Garden & Landscape Tips

A picturesque landscape doesn’t have to be an investment involving landscapers, contractors and a wholesale overhaul. It’s possible to breathe new life into a sad landscape with just a few high-impact, modestly-priced changes. Consider these eight possibilities:

  1. Mark your space. Think of the yard as you do the inside of your house. Space there is divided into separate rooms by indoor walls, with doorways and paths that lead from room to room. Throughout the landscape, add paths and a few “outdoor walls,” composed of dense plantings of trees and shrubs. Evergreens make for year-round privacy, but they’ll take time to fill in. Stonewalls can be pricey, but their appeal is instant and long-term. Fences and vine-clothed trellises also provide immediate results and are generally low cost.

  2. Barrenwort groundcover under tree
    Replace spotty grass that can’t compete with big tree roots with a shade and root-tolerant ground-cover, such as this planting of barrenwort.

    Dress the tree beds. Large trees and grass don’t get along very well. Eventually, the shade and big roots of mature trees kill off the grass under and around them. Rather than struggling to maintain grass, replant tree beds with groundcovers that tolerate shade and competition. Some good examples include pachysandra, lilyturf (Liriope), dead nettle (Lamium), barrenwort (Epimedium), plantain lily (Hosta), variegated Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum), blue leadwort (Ceratostigma), and sweet woodruff (Galium).

  3. Hide the uglies. Tired of looking at the neighbor’s dilapidated shed? Is a billboard spoiling the view out your back patio? Sometimes undesirable visual elements are beyond your control. But, you can screen what you don't want to see. Consider transplanting mature trees for a natural veil. If your landscape contains utility boxes, a trashcan area, a compost pile or air-conditioning unit, camouflage the eyesore with a small tree or shrub, or install an attractive trellis and plant vines to cover it. Morning glories, honeysuckles, and roses work well.

  4. Widen those foundation beds. The foundation beds of many homes are a paltry 3 to 4 feet wide. This narrow space quickly leads to cramped plantings and/or a lot of unnecessary pruning. Widen the beds to 5 or 6 feet, or better yet, 8 to 10 feet. The added space will give plants more room to spread out and allow you to add more layers of compact flowering shrubs, perennials, or annuals for long term color and textural interest. Mix and match freely to please your taste and complement the architecture of your home.

  5. Garden beds with green lawn
    Reduce lawn size with low-care mixed gardens, and keep the remaining lawn space weed-free for a look that’s both neat and colorful.

    Lessen the lawn. Gardens should be more than foundation plantings and a tiny bed around the mailbox. If you have boring (and water-guzzling) oceans of grass, cut out one or two substantial sized beds for shrubs and perennials to provide additional interest. Mark off the potential beds with a hose or rope and keep adjusting it until the shape pleases you. Make it big enough so the new garden doesn’t seem like a drop in the ocean. Anchor the new beds with tall shrubs as a backbone, then fill the rest with low-care compact flowering shrubs, low evergreens, perennials, annuals and groundcovers.

  6. Tend to the grass. If you do trade grass for gardens, remember your yard is part of the landscape. Improve the look of your grass by eliminating weed competition. Preen Weed Control kills most existing broadleaf weeds. Patch bare or thin spots with new grass seed. Don't mow too short. Sprinklers aren’t necessary – in fact, you should water sparingly.

  7. Edge the beds. Use a power edger or flat-bladed spade to cut a sharp edge around your garden beds. Then top the beds with a fresh coat of mulch (2 to 3 inches, including what’s left from other years, is ideal). Preen Mulch with Extended Control Weed Preventer has a weed preventer included to stop almost all weeds and keep that “clean” look for months.

  8. Eliminate your detractors. Sometimes, removing an ugly plant makes all the difference. Don't hang on to plants that do not give you pleasure (even if it was a gift from Grandma). Get rid of any scraggly, misshapen, bug-infested and/or disease-ridden plants. Propagate favorite plants or replace them with something more colorful and suitable for the space. Alternatively, healthy plants can usually be moved to a more appropriate spot. Most perennials can be divided or moved easily. Shrubs and evergreens are best moved while they are young —within the first three or four years.

For Customer Service Call 1-800-233-1067 or Email Us