Landscaping mistakes and how to avoid them

Published On: June 16, 20230 Comments on Landscaping mistakes and how to avoid themTags: Last Updated: January 28, 20244.4 min read

Newbie and experienced gardeners alike know how easy it is to make mistakes in your landscaping. And that’s okay – nobody’s ever said landscaping is simple. At least, not anyone who’s actually done it themselves.

backyard pergola

But even though mistakes are crucial to help us grow and learn, they can sometimes be detrimental to our wallet, time, and the living ecosystem serving as an extension of our home. So isn’t it better if we avoid them more often than not?

What Are the 6 Most Common Landscaping Mistakes?

As our favorite memory-making spaces, our yards deserve a healthy amount of planning, caring, and maintenance and there’s no better way to do so than by avoiding these 6 landscaping blunders.

Not Setting a Budget Beforehand

Sadly, losing control of your finances is as easy as falling off a log, which is why it’s undoubtedly one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when embarking on a landscaping project. If you don’t set a(n) (almost) concrete budget in advance, it will eventually lead to overspending and bitter disappointment due to insufficient funds. To avoid this, set a realistic budget and take every expense into account, from the cost of plants to materials to labor. By keeping in mind the parameters within which you can freely operate, allocate your funds accordingly so that you know what you can and cannot do. And always remember to overestimate, never underestimate.

Chasing Symmetry With Live Plants

We love symmetry as much as the next person. But we contend that it can be a drag to achieve, especially when using natural plants. When working with live plants, symmetry ultimately means doing extra maintenance work and keeping an eagle eye on visual perfection. Shrubs and trees arranged symmetrically require regular pruning and trimming to keep the pairs as identical as possible. So if you don’t have time, money, or patience to spare for dealing with such a hassle, create symmetry by using artificial topiary sets. Essentially, it achieves the same effect with none of the work.

pruning bush with shears

Overcrowding With Ornaments

Contrary to many homeowners’ beliefs, there is such a thing as too many tchotchkes in landscaping. While a few ornamental items will enhance your yard and elevate your decorating, too many of them will suffocate and overwhelm the space, detracting from the beauty. Instead, opt for statement pieces that create focal points and use them sparingly around your yard to ensure it attracts the right amount of attention. Besides this, have an idea of what feelings your yard would elicit and purchase ornaments conducive to your plans and intentions. In landscape design, less is absolutely more.

Neglecting Privacy Concerns

Landscaping should be a sight for sore eyes, but not at the expense of privacy. Although cordoning your yard off with fences may not be on your design radar, failing to safeguard your privacy will lead to a yard that’s like a fishbowl for all the world to see (and pester). As a stronghold of your private life, your yard should provide a sense of safety and seclusion facilitated by landscaping features that create a retreat from the outside world and allow you to enjoy the simple pleasures of nature. If you want natural-looking barriers, opt for a low-maintenance faux hedge that adds beauty and security.

hedge behind picket fence

Skipping Detailed Planning

What’s the easiest way to get a backyard landscape that doesn’t even come close to your expectations? By designing it on a whim, of course! Skipping over one of the most pivotal stages in landscaping is a common mistake that takes you back a few steps. Sure, you might be done sooner than anticipated, but will it be worth the mismatched plants, the chaotic placements, and the odd features? Ultimately, the best results come from a detailed plan that considers even the smallest aspects and correlates to your vision. In time, spending more time on planning will save you a few headaches.

Bypassing Professional Landscapers

Landscaping projects are notoriously complex to conceive and execute, so tackling the job yourself will be counterproductive. By enlisting professional landscapers, you’ll get a design that’s not only eye-catching but also functional and sustainable. Plus, they will help you select the right plants and materials for your desired landscape and ensure the project is completed on time and within budget. If your landscape design requires more than a few plant replacements, a landscape designer will be a saving grace. So DIYers, you might want to sit this one out and hand it over to the professionals. Your yard will be all the better for it.

landscaper pruning

Finishing Thoughts

While landscaping can be a fulfilling and delightful project, a few simple mistakes can shatter the experience and soil the end result. So, by following the tips mentioned above and investing time into your design, you will inevitably create a stunning space that fires you with a need to relax. So go ahead and start planning your future favorite space today!

Share This Tip With Your Friends!

About the Author: Handyman tips team

The Handyman Tips Team is a group of authors that provides tips on the Handyman Tips website. The Handyman Tips team consists of real handymen, contractors, carpenters, woodworkers, and experts in home repairs, appliance repairs, and landscaping. The team is always there for visitors to the Handyman Tips website. If you can't find the answer to your question on the Handyman Tips website, one of them will reply to you almost immediately if you contact them through the Ask the Handyman page!