The Benefits of Landscaping

Landscaping involves planting trees, shrubs, flowers and grass to create a visually appealing outdoor environment. It can also provide practical benefits such as shading, privacy, and soil improvement.


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Trees provide shade, beauty, and privacy to outdoor spaces. They also help conserve water, control erosion, and improve air quality.

The planting location is as important as the type of tree you select. When choosing a site, consider the mature size of the tree as well as other factors such as soil type and sun/shade requirements. Ensure that the tree will have enough room to grow to its intended height and not be too close to buildings, sidewalks, or other trees. Check local zoning laws for guidelines.

When digging the hole, make sure it is not too deep and not deeper than the root ball (Image 2). Also, try to avoid stepping on or compacting the soil in and around the roots. This can damage the delicate roots.

After the tree is planted, water it thoroughly. Slowly pour water over the entire soil area and around the root ball until it is soaked. Be sure to check that the tree is centered and standing straight, and that the main branches are facing in the direction you prefer.

Plant a Shrub

Shrubs are low-to-medium-sized perennial woody plants that differ from herbaceous or deciduous perennial plants. They have multiple thick stems above ground, and are often cultivated in gardens for their enriching foliage and flowers.

In nature, shrubs are found in diverse types of landscapes such as forest, grassland and scrub. They are also used in landscaping as hedging plants or as foundation plantings for homes. They provide natural habitats for small creatures and enhance the green coverage of the planet.

When planting shrubs, it is important to consider their conditions and care requirements. Some plants require full sun, while others can thrive in partial shade. It is also necessary to choose the right time of year to plant them.

To help your shrubs get established, dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the container. Once you’ve planted your shrub, make sure that the best side of it faces the direction from which it will most commonly be viewed. Then gently “rough up” the roots by moving and twisting them a little.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

There’s nothing quite like the taste of garden-fresh vegetables, and it doesn’t have to be complicated to grow your own. The key is to find a spot that gets full sun and can easily be accessed by water. Watering is essential for vegetable gardens because many veggies, especially tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and beans, are very thirsty. Make sure there aren’t too many trees, shrubs or other plants nearby that can block the garden for any part of the day as these can compete for sunlight and nutrients with your veggie crops.

Before digging in, sketch out the garden area on graph paper to help avoid any surprises. This will also prevent you from stepping on your freshly planted seeds or roots which can compact and damage them. Then prepare the soil by amending as per the recommendations on the seed packet or plant tag. Make sure the soil is rich and healthy by feeling it (it should be easy to dig and drain well). Water new seeds or transplants daily until established and water mature veggies frequently to keep the soil moist, but not muddy.

Plant a Flower Bed

A well-planned flower bed adds color to the landscape while supporting biodiversity. It also helps to soak up excess rainfall around the property, preventing puddles and erosion. In addition, many bees and butterflies rely on healthy flowers to reproduce.

Begin by identifying the location and layout of the bed you want to create. You can have one flower bed, or multiple, and they can be any shape. Common types include rectangular beds that border the home, long gardens lining front walkways, and loose, oval shapes along the property’s perimeter.

Once the flower bed has been outlined, use marking paint or baking flour to clearly mark its boundaries. Then, eliminate any grass or weeds that are growing inside the outlined area. A broad-spectrum herbicide such as glyphosate is suitable for this purpose.

Next, trench the area to a depth of 6 inches. Then, spread and till a 4-inch layer of light potting soil on top of the underlying native dirt. You can even mix in other amendments to create a lighter, more fertile mix such as vermiculite, cottonseed meal, and fish emulsion.

Plant a Perennial Garden

Perennial plants provide blooms year after year, adding color and texture to the garden. They’re easy to grow, but they require some maintenance, such as periodic watering and deadheading.

Follow the old garden adage “right plant, right place.” Match each perennial’s light and soil preferences to where you want it to live in your landscape. Some flowers like coneflower and yarrow thrive in bright sun from morning until night, while others such as black cohosh and bleeding heart do best in shade. And some perennials love dry, fast-draining soil, while others thrive in soil that stays moist.

Group your perennials according to their environmental needs, and make sure to irrigate accordingly. For example, plant drought-tolerant perennials such as yarrow and black-eyed Susan together in a perennial shade garden, while moisture-loving perennials like astilbe should be located near a pond or stream. Also consider including flowering shrubs in your perennial garden, as these often flower throughout the season and add a focal point to the landscape. Plant azaleas and rhododendrons in spring, rose of Sharon in summer and chrysanthemums through fall.

Plant a Shrub Garden

Shrubs add structure to the landscape while providing color, bloom, and texture that perennials and annuals can’t. They are perfect for filling in gaps and adding color to “shoulder seasons” like spring and fall, as well as creating privacy and hedging. Shrubs also attract wildlife with their colorful berries, foliage and bark.

When planting shrubs, it is important to pay close attention to size and spacing. Always dig a hole that is two to three times the width of the root ball and make sure you leave enough room for the plant to grow. Also, be sure to check the tag on the shrub you are planting for specific cultural requirements such as sun and soil moisture.

For example, if you are planting a flowering shrub you should look for the early-blooming varieties such as Camellia japonica, lilacs and forsythia. You can add even more color with the late-blooming yarrow, weigela and panicle hydrangeas, or accentuate the fall colors of your yard with heucherella, smoke bush and ninebark. Yarrow is also a good choice for pollinator gardens.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

From the first tender shoots of asparagus to the tangy bite of homegrown tomatoes, there is nothing more rewarding than growing your own vegetables. To have the best chance of success, however, it’s important to plan your vegetable garden layout well in advance and prepare the soil correctly.

Most vegetables need full sun (at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight a day) and need a location that is not shaded by large shrubs or trees during part of the day. Choose a spot with good drainage to prevent waterlogged soils. Ideally, the soil should be rich in organic matter, with a mixture of clay, sand and silt (also known as loam) that holds and drains moisture well.

Water is a major factor in growing vegetables, so locate your vegetable garden near an easy-to-reach water source (you don’t want to spend all day dragging a hose or hauling buckets around the yard). If planting new seeds or transplants, water them daily until established; more mature plants need frequent, shallow irrigation (depending on rainfall and temperature). To control weeds and keep grasses from encroaching into the vegetable garden, maintain a narrow strip of tilled ground around the garden.

Plant a Flower Bed

Flower beds are not only decorative, but they can also help soak up excess rainwater, preventing water pooling around your home and minimizing erosion in the landscape. Adding flower beds can be a fun way to express your creativity and add color to your landscape.

Before planting, make sure the soil is even and workable, adding some light potting mix or compost to enhance the texture of the bed soil. It is recommended to add a slow-release flower fertilizer at this time as well for season long feeding.

If you are working in a bed that is covered in grass, use a broad-spectrum herbicide like Roundup to kill the existing turf and allow the grass to decompose. It’s important to kill all of the grass in an area when creating a new flower bed, as perennial weeds may emerge from underneath the soil as it decomposes.

Consider a few different design options for your flower beds, such as planting them in a circle or lining them up along the front walkway of your house or installing drip irrigation systems that direct water directly to the roots of the flowers and plants instead of watering the entire bed. This will save you both time and money!