Landscaping is a bit of a mystery for many of us. While there are plenty of things you can do right, such as considering sun exposure, there’s also lots you can get wrong, like over or under watering. Here are a few common – and sometimes costly – mistakes to avoid.
- Even and symmetrical planting
Symmetry is nice but, as most artists and designers will tell you, it can also be a bit boring. And when you try to apply it to living things like plants it can be extremely difficult to maintain. To avoid the constant fussing required to maintain matching shrubs, include asymmetry on purpose. Keep a pattern or theme, and use odd numbers of plants and contrasting styles and shapes. Not only does this keep the space interesting by moving your gaze along, it also ensures your garden design looks intentional rather than accidentally off-kilter.
- Not thinking about use
Will you make use of a firepit to lounge around, or do you need a more active area for young kids or pets? Will you sit out there in the afternoon if it’s cool and shady or subject to full sun? Are you really going to be able to tend to more than a couple of beds of vegetables? There are many design inspirations out there, but not all of them are for you. Go for what you need and want most out of the space and you’ll find it more enjoyable.
- Not “requesting a locate” before you dig
Most properties have services and utilities buried under them, such as water and gas lines, and hydro and sewage waste lines. In Ontario, you must know where these utilities are before you do any digging. It’s actually illegal to dig for anything – whether fence, tree house, sapling or flower bed – without this information. You get the details to dig safely and legally by requesting what’s called a “locate” from the non-profit organization Ontario One Call at least a week before you want to dig.
Find more information or request your locate at ontarioonecall.ca