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How Not to Landscape Your Yard: Various Errors to Avoid
Here we are again getting ready for another gardening year. I offer a variety of landscape mistakes common to many
a gardener according to design landscaping expert, David Beaulieu, to reflect upon along with my interpretations, as
well. Becoming aware of certain shortcomings can always improve our gardening skills. None of the errors here are
catastrophic but, an unsettled landscape design can result when a number of flaws are combined together.
Installing Plants that Quickly Outgrow Their Space
Many foundation plantings look great when installed but then disappoint later when plants outgrow their allotted
space. A common reason is a failure to research the mature dimensions of the plants that are used. Not only should
eventual height of a plant be considered but width matters, too.
Using Overambitious Ground Covers
When selecting an optimal ground cover always be wary of words such as “vigorous," or "fast-growing ground cover"
to describe a plant. For instance, English Ivy can do its job so well that it actually becomes a weed. Ground covers
that thrive in the shade are often considered to be the worst offenders since they have to be vigorous to compete in
Failure to Position Plants for Optimal Display
We are often seduced into buying the irresistible new cultivar at the garden center. But, buyer, please beware of the
specter of “one-of-each-itis” or the “onesie syndrome.” Heed the advice often repeated by a landscape designer: It is
best to buy-and plant- in groups of three to allow plants to grow naturally in mass. A bigger impact will be achieved by
grouping plants together and not a hodge-podge by planting one here or there. Steer clear of placing sun-loving
plants in shaded areas or trying to grow plants in soil that is too poor to support them. Also, when locating a focal
plant consider its overall effect when viewed from different angles deemed to be most pleasurable to you,
Pruning a Shrub before Knowing the Proper Time
Some landscape maintenance novices pride themselves on being fastidious as they run outside with pruners to "stay