Nothing is more frustrating than spending long hours, days, or weeks on a landscaping project only to have it ruined by a simple planning mistake. Here are 10 of the most common DIY landscaping mistakes:
1. Underestimating your budget. The best plan and the most sumptuous vision can easily go awry if you run out of money! Be sure to take all costs into account before beginning the project. To ensure ample funding, you might wish to assemble all of your estimates and multiply them by 1.5. Not only does this ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the costs of your project as envisioned, but it can also give recourse in the event of an unexpected cost or accident.
2. Not planning for the future. When planning your project, whether it be a lawn, garden, or something even bigger, try to imagine how it will look in five or ten years. For example, young trees or shrubs planted closely might be pleasing to the eye at first, but will they begin to look crowded and overgrown with the passage of time? Will their roots tangle and cause resource conflicts, inevitably damaging the beauty of your lawn?
3. Forgetting the front. Planned gardens and lawns can be intensely private affairs. This often causes us to focus our planning on the backyard and other areas out of the public eye. Don’t neglect the front yard!
4. Forgetting the window-view. This is an easy mistake to make. We have a vision for how the project should look from the outside, but we forget that we’ll be seeing our garden from INSIDE as well! Be sure to include the window-view in your planning!
5. Excessive ornamentation. To ensure natural balance and harmony, allow the natural beauty of your settings to come forth by avoiding the overuse of statuary and other ornamentations.
6. Not choosing the right plants. You may love Chinese Redwood trees, and you may even have the space to plant them. But if you live in an arid climate, Colorado for instance, the trees won’t flourish and the beauty of your garden will suffer accordingly. Choose plants that are well-suited for your particular climate.
7. Planting on a hillside that’s prone to erosion. In your planning, ensure that the planting area(s) will support your design over the long-term. There’s nothing worse than watching your garden succumb to forces beyond your control!
8. Undersized planting beds. Again with the planning. Be sure to correctly estimate the amount of space you’ll need in any planting beds, whether raised or inset, to allow your plants ample space to flourish and thrive.
9. Trying to be perfect. All this emphasis on planning might make you a perfectionist! Resist it! Perfectionism leads to frustration, and frustration leads to errors. Plan your best, but be flexible too.
10. Failure to plan. Flying by the seat of your pants can be exhilarating, but when it comes to landscaping, the destination of your flight may well be disappointment! Planning is key to the success of your project.