Sooner or Later, You'll Call Jim Slater

May 1, 2024

Landscaping 101 – Mistakes to Avoid

The season of landscaping is upon us and we can assure you that you will not be making any mistakes this year. Landscaping takes more planning than most homeowners choose to do, as they simply want to put in whatever they think looks best. Without proper thinking and planning, common mistakes, like the ones listed below, can detract from the overall beauty and functionality of your landscape. 

Preparation Neglect

One of the most common mistakes is neglecting budget, timing, and property boundaries. Landscaping is not something that should be started without a plan, and that plan should include obtaining a scaled topographic survey to prevent any disputes with the neighbors, and a clear set budget. 

Save Room for the Plants! 

Many times one might skimp on the space left for plants. We are all about having a large open yard, however when it comes to landscaping, plants provide balance and connection to nature, and the overall beauty to the exterior of your home. It is important to consider the space for plant beds and furniture, suggesting 3 feet wide plant beds with space around the outdoor furniture to prevent crowding. 


The more the merrier is not always the case, especially when it comes to landscaping. It is important to proceed with caution when choosing to add more landscaping to the property. You want the landscape to complement the architecture of your home, not cover it up, and that is important to keep in mind with all landscaping projects you take on. Find formal ways to enhance the look of your home. 

The Ignorance of Drainage 

We all have the bad habit of only picturing our landscaping in the setting of a beautiful sunny day, ignoring reality. We advise you to also picture your landscaping in a heavy rain storm, and how things will look and be handled in that moment. It is important to plan for proper pitch and drainage systems to prevent water damage and erosion. Consider where the water will be going, and explore the many drainage systems that can be installed that best fits your needs.

Consideration of the View 

Pick the points where your landscaping will stand out, like the kitchen window or your driveway, and be sure to frame your landscaping from this POV. You want your keypoint views to enhance the overall appearance of your home for yourself and your guests. 

Patio Furniture – Don’t Wait Until the End 

You will not be picking out your patio furniture once all the landscaping is completed, you will be considering this step in the planning stage. Now, you don’t have to have the exact set picked out, but have an idea of what type of furniture you are looking to put in (chairs, table, couch, fireplace, etc.). Also, it is very easy for people to not consider walking and access space needed around the furniture. Come up with the furniture you would like to use, the amount of space you would like dedicated for the furniture, and have a landscape architect fine-tune the plan before digging in. 

Don’t Forget the Maintenance! 

It’s simple, make sure you understand all the time and effort is required to maintain each plant and elements you choose to purchase. If you know you will be unable to keep up, don’t buy it because it’s pretty. If not maintained, beauty runs out in the long-run, and could cost you more in the end. 


Landscaping mistakes can cause a bigger mess down the road, which can be both ugly and costly. Spend the most time in the planning and preparation stage and then pass the work on to the landscapers, worry-free.


The Spruce

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Landscaping 101 – Mistakes to Avoid

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