Garden & Landscaping

Landscaping 101

First Things First.

Get a plan together- assess your existing landscape and determine its strengths and weaknesses; Evaluate problem areas- too much/too little sun, unsightly views, wet or marshy areas, etc;  Determine how much time you would like to spend maintaining the yard and garden.  Don’t take a trip to your local garden center before you have some general plan for landscape design…you will likely feel overwhelmed by the selection and you’ll choose plants that won’t fit the space.

Choose a color scheme.

Keep in mind what looks good next to your home (i.e. white and pastel colored flowers seem to pop out of the shadows and look great against a dark or red brick home).

I like monochromatic colors like warm oranges and reds or cooling blues and greens!  I carry this color throughout my entire landscape plan (both front and back yard areas).

Select your plants.

  • When choosing plants, you must consider their location.  For instance, if your front yard receives full sun from 12:00 pm to sunset (like mine does), you will need to select plants that will thrive under these conditions.
  • Obviously, your color scheme will also come into play.  Once you’ve chosen your colors, make sure they are used throughout your landscape so as to keep things cohesive.
  • Keep it simple and take your time!  Start with some slow-growing foundation trees and bushes and, over time, add color and texture to match your style.  This is especially important if you are on a tight budget!
  • Create layers by putting taller plants in the back and place smaller plants in front, in order of height.

Small Foundation Trees:

When selecting a foundation tree, I suggest looking for something that will grow between 8-15 feet.  Place it center a big window or off on one corner of the house…either way, it adds to your home’s curb appeal!

Acer Dissectum ‘Crimson Queen’ (Japanese Maple)

Sargent Tina Crabapple

Star Magnolia


Foundation shrubs:

Use foundation shrubs as a backdrop for other flowers; Look for ones that grow to be 4-6 feet tall and half as wide.  Here are a few options to get you started:

Korean Boxwood

Crimson Barberry or Dwarf Red Barberry


Convexa Japanese Holly

Dwarf Heavenly Bamboo


Select long-lived perennials that bring both foliage and floral beauty to your landscape.  These are some of my favorites:



Other Landscaping Resources:

Better Homes and Gardens- Gardening & Landscaping
Other Landscape & Garden Resources:
Martha Stewart- Garden Types
Real Simple- Gardening

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