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Tips for the DIY Landscaper

In the last 15 years, we have seen resurgence in the Do-It-Yourself Culture.  With the increased amount of Arts & Crafts supply stores, as well as big box home improvement stores, we are bombarded with messages empowering society to be DIY-ers.

Arising from this ‘movement’ we are giving ourselves more opportunities to learn new things while saving money. The downside?  We are compromising the expertise of hiring someone, by thinking we can do just as good a job ourselves.  DIY Landscaping is a perfect example of this.   Everyone wants to feel proud of their yard, but the lack of expertise and knowledge of the soil can create problems.

Professional landscapers know their business inside and out.  They know the composition of the soil, the plants that fit the geography, and the plants that will complement each other.

Professional landscapers even know where in your yard a patio would work best, and if it should be made from wood, concrete, or brick.  You may think you have a “great eye” for landscape design, but expertise takes experience, and that is something that the landscaper has over you.

But many of you will still be determined to DIY.  If you are one of those, here are a few mistakes that you are probably making.

Tips for the DIY Landscaper

Thinking Linearly

Most DIY landscapers believe that linearity is the key.  The problem is, is that the world is not linear, or perfectly square or rigid.  It is bumpy and curvy, and to the average person, there is always a flaw in the lawn.  Professional landscapers know these things, and work with the natural lines and “imperfections” of the landscape to create aesthetically pleasing yards.

Planting for this Season

Sure, the shrubs or flowers that you plant today will look great this season, and maybe next, but soon they will either die during the winter season, or grow in height quickly.  If you are planning to re-plant each year, or trim shrubs on a weekly basis, then fine.  Not planning for the future is a common mistake by the average DIY’er.  You need to understand your plants.  How they look now and how they will grow in  the future is knowledge that will help you create a better look and save you tons of work and money for seasons to come.

Focusing on Aesthetics

I have written about this one before, but I still see so many people make this mistake.  Yes, a landscape should be aesthetically pleasing.  But above all, functionality is of utmost importance.  Building a beautiful walkway from the back door to the garden might look great, but does it interfere with where your kids play every day?  While designing a landscape, the entire families input and daily activities need to be taken into account

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