It may be a little early to actually get your hands in the dirt and start creating your spring yard, but it’s never too early to start planning. We’re firm believers that the best plan is a well thought-out one. But what if your plans are doomed from the get-go? Or worse: you head to the nursery with no plan at all. Help us guide you away from these five landscaping mistakes and ensure your yard is perfect for spring!
It’s important to decide on a specific theme and then after measuring the space, draw it out on paper. Sketch out different ideas and then consult garden resources for plant specs on ultimate sizes, light requirements, and frost tenderness before going to the nursery to help you stay focused. This way, you’ll eliminate many plants from the start and can choose ones that are perfect for your home.
Second, ensure you have an irrigation system in place. You may think you’ll have time to hand-water every day, but oftentimes life gets in the way. Drip irrigation systems are the best at ensuring your plants stay watered and not over or under watered. It may be a bit confusing or cost a little extra, but your plants will thank you.
Third: remember that plants aren’t always what they seem. The smaller, the better, because your plant will grow. Some perennials and most annuals are better bought in 4” or even cell packs because they are quick growers and will quickly catch up size-wise. Having a mature garden does not necessarily mean you have a healthy garden.
On that note, our fourth bit of advice is to ensure there is plenty of space around your growing plants. It may look nicer to fill up any blank spaces you see upon planting, but the reality is that those plants will grow up and make your flower bed look crowded and messy. We recommend adding mulch to spare places until plants grow in and cover them with foliage.
We know we’ve been focusing a bit on springtime thus far, but our fifth piece of advice will ensure longevity year-round. Avoid focusing your plant choices on spring and early summer bloomers, and instead remember to include plants that are attractive year-round, like evergreen perennials, shrubs, and trees. Also consider plants that hit their high marks in the fall or winter with colorful autumn tones or sculptural bark.
You can buy small, seasonal flowers to switch out and put in pots, but anything you’re planting in the ground should be able to thrive all year long. Luckily, we have many options as Californians.