Does Your Landscaping Look Like @%#* ? Here’s How to Fix It

As you drive around the Minneapolis metro area, you’ve probably noticed some yards that have become quite an eyesore – due to neglect, ignorance, or just plain bad judgment.

Unattractive yards sometimes happen from laziness, but it’s often due to homeowners not feeling like they are well-versed in maintaining their landscape.  In other cases, landscapes look like hell due to what homeowners have done to them, not what they’ve failed to do to them. This can be from a sense of design that is poor.

Here are some ways to make your yard look awful, as well as solutions.

Number One:  Flowerbed has an ornament overkill.  One nice piece is enough.

t0z4mWe’ve all seen these overdone attempts at outdoor decor – garden gnomes, reflecting balls, and multiple items cluttering up what could be a beautiful flower bed.

Usually, when working with a pleasing landscape design, restrain on deploying ornaments works better. Most often, having just one ornament of high-quality in your flower bed adds the zest you need. In fact, most of the stunning flower beds have no ornamentation. The only statement that’s needed is the beauty of the plants growing within it.

Number Two:  Lollipop shrubs. Do not prune unnaturally and ruin vase-shaped shrubs.

While some careful pruning can turn some shrubs into works of art, for the most part let Mother Nature do her thing.

There are shrubs that look best when allowed to grow into their natural form instead of being involuntary pushed into shapes from overzealous pruning. An example is vase-shaped shrubs, like forsythia, when pruned to a “lollipop shrub” form or round shape tend to look less than attractive.  A few more shrubs that look better when allowed to grow naturally include beauty bush, common lilac, kerria, and mock orange, among many more.

Number Three:  Allowing ground go bare.  Dress it with cover crops, mulch, or hardscaping.

Bare might be fine for fashion but not for landscaping.  Bare earth leaves an invitation for weeds and soil erosion as well as it looking like – well, you know. If you do not have money or time to begin a new lawn, then opt for a garden bed or plant a ground cover, depending on circumstances.  There are easy alternatives, such as applying landscape mulch or crushed rock.  If you’ve got a spot in your yard that’s hard to keep green and looking good, consider converting it to hardscaping, like a patio or walkway.  But don’t overdo it – that’s mistake #4.

Number Four:  Hardscape overwhelms everything. Harsh lines need to be softened. 

Hardscaping such as overpowering retaining walls or fences and sidewalks that are in long, relentless stretches should be softened up with plantings. Although it is most important to use planting on material is less attractive, such as chain-link fences, it also applies to hardscape material where there is no reason to hide. For example, wood panel fences are gorgeous but look much better when arborvitae shrubs complement them.  Look at the picture on the right above – the angular brick walls get a touch of softness from all the flowers as well as the curved shape of the garden.

Struggling to make your yard attractive but just making a mess of it in the process?  Make your landscaping look great by implementing these ideas or hire a professional landscape designer to assist you.  A landscaping company that handles design as well as installation can convert your dreams into beautiful reality.

Architectural Landscape Design is your go-to professional for all your landscaping needs here in Minnesota. Give us a call today for a free initial consultation, and let us help you turn those ‘Oh no’ spots in your yard into ‘Oh yes!’