Thursday, August 28, 2008

Landscaping Do's and Don't's

My parents' housing tract was built in '69, back when there was a lot of land and very few conservationists. Hence, very large front and back yards in a geographical area with clay soil and ten months of sunshine--difficult to landscape! While people have recently gotten away from the decorative stone garden and fake-desert tableaus featuring wooden wagon wheels, cactus, and cow skulls, I still notice a lot of landscaping don't's on my daily strolls in the 90-degree heat.

Most of these houses employ gardeners so there's hope for these landscaping misdemeanors. But only if the home-owners are ready to admit they have serious landscaping issues. Let's cut through the denial and get out the pick-axes. It's time for do's and don't's.

DON'T mix your hardscapes. A river-rock facade with a brick retaining wall and a paved driveway only confuses the eye and makes me slightly nauseated.Note the added element of a faux stone fountain on the porch. Natural, or super-natural?DON'T over-shape your shrubs. This isn't the croquet game in Alice in Wonderland. Unless you're growing a live security hedge, let bushes grow up to be bushes. This greenery is smoooooth.DO make sure your "welcome" stepping stones and mats are facing the right way. Otherwise you're welcoming yourself out to the sidewalk and "emoclewing" your guests as they walk toward your door. Ottomans are hot, but DON'T try to make your plants into one. They'll only resent you by growing in different directions on a constant basis.DON'T form your juniper bushes into drywall.By all that is unnatural--why? Why? Why?DON'T let your bird bath be larger in scale than your step bridge. Unless you're expecting some California Condors to show up.DO pose your resin statuary in a demure fashion. Charming!


michelle robinson said...

this is your parents place? man! it sure aint the pacific north west. not with those bushes. and rocks. but good for them for not wasting water on grass. which should be illegal. yes, i am a water nazi!

Miss Lisa said...

This is a bunch of homes near my parnets' home. My parents struggle with landscaping most every year. Things are planted out here to die it seems. Occasionally something "sticks." God knows why. The natural landscaping consists of grasses and heritage Oaks--not the most yard-friendly options. The struggle continues.