Swan Creek Landscaping

Landscape Design Mistakes To Avoid In Maryland

How bad is bad in landscaping design? We have all heard that neglected gardens can make a home look neglected OR make people think it is severely neglected on the inside. It reduces the value of your home and will keep it on the market longer.

Did you know that real estate agents in Maryland have reported that some clients won’t even enter a house once they see bad landscaping design outside?

So how can you be sure you are doing the right thing? Here are some tips about what is considered bad landscaping and how you can solve that:

Correction #1: Random Planting Banned

Different plants have different lifespans, never mind different seasons. Planting DOES require planning and final-finish forethought. Plot out the space you have available, and place a mixture of perennials and annuals with different flowering seasons and different heights. Don’t intermix them, or it will be hard to access the annuals. Group them per type but within one bed.

Correction #2: Rush Hour Traffic

While planting a group of plants together is better than having a single, desperate begonia in a whole plant bed, it doesn’t mean bunched together. When they grow and spread, they will be pushing and fighting. They become stressed, some don’t make it, some just wilt and look weary. They will want sustenance (food and water) and might not be able to access it.

And all those reasons are why we call it Rush Hour.

Give ALL your plants plenty of room to spread their limbs and show-off. Overcrowding will weaken their immune systems and make them susceptible to the slightest unusual weather or disease attack.

Correction #3: Catalog Craziness

This is an affliction that can grab you at any time, whether it is shoe shopping, gadget shopping, or plant shopping.

A lot of plants will look gorgeous in a catalog or lined up on the racks at the nursery. Flowers busting of receptacles and sepals, taunting you with their color and gorgeous petal texture and virtually vibrating with beauty.

Don’t be seduced. Let your mind manage this part. Look for candidates that suit your Maryland hardiness zone, your expertise or interest as a gardener, the usage of your garden, and the function you want from the plants: picking, screening, scent, bees, birds, etc.

If you let your heart rule, you will break that heart with plants that die soon, need winter hats or weekly “somethings” to keep them looking sort-of like the catalog.

Correction #4: Deal With The Dead

Clusters of dried up shrubs of sticks are not plants; they are vertical compost. There is nothing attractive about patches of death in your plant bed. Remove those compost candidates quickly and deliver them to the next phase of their – the compost heap.

Warning! Do not do that if your plants died because of an infection. Then it’s into the black waste bag for them and into the trash truck.

Correction #5: Wily Weeds

While we want to encourage the growth of plants in landscape design, we don’t want to encourage the growth of weeds in your Maryland yard. They do ‘steal’ food, water, and breathing space from your showtime plants. They also spoil the landscape design.

Use pre-emergent before weed season but remember you can’t use pre-emergent if you planted seedlings. In that case, weed out the unwanted visitors before they flower and infest the yard.

Correction #6: Critter Combat

You have to have your wits about you for critter combat, big and small. Depending on your location, you could have deer, rabbits, and tiny pests munching away at your artwork. An entire plant can disappear overnight.

We recommend:

  • Plant deer- or rabbit-resistant varieties, e.g. catmint, lavender, yarrow.
  • An electric fence is sufficient for the big critters.
  • Use critter repellent sprays.

There are home-made organic options available with a little bit of Google power. Spray again after a hard rain. There are harmless snakes that can control snails and slugs. Ladybugs can control aphids, and so on.

We do hope these corrections inspire and help you take your landscape design in Maryland to the next level. Do it in phases so that you don’t wear yourself out and rather extend your enjoyment.

Contact Swan Creek if you want to talk to us a bit more about appropriate showtime plants! We will be delighted to answer all your questions and get color back into your garden.