Skip to page body Home About GP City Government Residents Business Visitors I Want To...

For a landscape design to be successful it must continue to function as the years pass.  It is imperative to plant "the right plant for each individual site in your landscape."  A well planned and harmonious landscape adds value to a property; however, a poorly planned landscape may actually reduce its potential selling price.  It is important to put careful consideration into the layout of your landscape to achieve the effect you wish.

The table below describes what are considered to be the top five common mistakes in landscape plantings (adapted from "Landscape Design" by Greg Davis, Ph.D., in Master Gardener Update, September 1994).


Over Planting:  Small trees and shrubs are often planted too close together to get a "full" look.  The result several years later is a crowded landscape.  Plants must be removed or drastically pruned to reduce competition.    

Resist the temptation to have an "instant landscape."  Know the mature size of plants and give them room - and time - to grow.

Lawn areas scattered with trees and shrubs:  Plants scattered throughout the lawn appear unorganized and create maintenance problems when mowing, raking, watering, etc. Group shrubs and trees in mulched plant beds bordering the lawn.
Shrubs around the home are too tall:  When plants grow too tall they cover windows and no longer enhance the home's appearance.  Owners try to compensate for this by shearing to control the plant size.  Constant shearing weakens and disfigures shrubs and also creates extra work and yard waste. Select foundation plants with a mature size that fits the location.   Instead of shearing shrubs, selectively clip stray shoots to keep the plant neat and full.

Plants are planted too close to the house:  Plants too close to the house have an unattractive "cramped" look.  They also create a maintenance nightmare when it is time to repair or paint the house.    

Foundation or corner shrubs should be planted half their mature width plus 30 cm (1') away from the wall.  Therefore a shrub that will grow to be 150 cm (5') wide should be planted 105 (75 +30) cm from the house.
Bright colours are scattered throughout the yard:  Brightly coloured foliage, flowers or fruit attract attention.  When brilliant colour is scattered along the foundation or elsewhere around the yard, it confuses.     Concentrate colour where accent is desired.  The goal is to attract attention to focal areas of the house.
Last updated: 2/23/2017 1:56:41 PM