Landscape tip #1 – Cultivate your soil not the plants. Sounds crazy but if you look after you soil wether it be in the garden or beneath you lawn, your plants will be much happier, healthier and look better. Synthetic fertilizers harm soil organisms, try applying organic based fertilizers or organic matter ( composted ) to your landscape. Soil organisms are responsible for turning organic matter and minerals into usable elements which plants need. Synthetic fertilizers turn your soil into addicts, once the soil organisms have been reduced the plants become dependent on the fertilizer.
Landscape tip #2 – Research your plants prior to purchasing them… avoid impulse buying a the nursery… The nurseries will not like this but you should plan your landscape and know what plants you want. Phone ahead and order, your nursery of choice may not have your wish list in stock but they can order it in for you.
Landscape tip #3 – Unity….Repetition brings Unity. Repeat some of your plants to bring some unity and calming effect in your landscape. You can certainly add one of’s, but try and keep a running theme or framework of either trees, shrubs, or perennials. Try and avoid creating a botanical garden which may have botanical interest, but this is seldom a restful look. Pop the odd special one of plant here and there for interest.
Landscape tip #4 – Invest in an automated irrigation system. No one likes to spend money on under ground infrastructure, but a well designed irrigation system will reduce your maintenance and save you money. Most landscapes on Vancouver island are metered which means you pay for every liter or gallon used. Automated irrigation systems can be designed to effectively water your landscape in off peak hours. The installation of a rain or solar sensor can increase the effectiveness of your system which in turn reduces water consumption.
Landscape tip #5 – Mulch, Mulch, Mulch…. Protect the surface of your plantings areas with mulch. Wether this be a high quality composted product or simply bark mulch. Whatever you can get your hands on. Even wood chips, long term, have a huge effect on the soil beneath. An annual application of mulch on your garden will reduce evaporation, reduce annual weed germination, and enhance to the soil beneath.
Landscape tip #6 – Consider hiring a landscape designer for your project. How many people would consider building a house without a plan ? Not many. Make sure that every dollar you invest in your landscape is one well spent. A landscape designer can help you plan your investment and bring not only beauty to your surroundings but good value.
Landscape tip #7 – Add a water feature, even if your space is limited you can add a water into your landscape. It doesn’t have to be a pond, there are pondless waterfalls, stone/water features, water features using metal or wood. You name it, you can do it.