How to Landscape Your Yard

Home Grounds Landscaping Tips

Trees, shrubs, and other greenery help in making your house a home. They are likewise good air conditioners. A grown, well watered tree can create a cooling effect equal to ten room air conditioners running twenty hours each day. When you remove all the leaves from a mature tree and put them flat on the ground so they touched each other, the leaves would cover an area of four acres. On the tree, each of these leaves works like a miniature air conditioner. A well placed shade tree can bring down the temperature in your home nearly 20 degrees.

Similarly, good landscaping brings down your fuel bills during winter. A correctly placed shade tree lowers your fuel bill by as much as 30 percent by working as a windbreak. To heat an average house, it takes double the fuel at a temperature of 32 degrees and a wind of 12 miles per hour as it does for the equivalent temperature and a wind of 3 miles per hour.

garden landscapeCredit: wikipedia

Trees, shrubs, and grass filter odors and dust particles and reduce noise pollution. These green servants also help to purify the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen. One authority points out America plant one tree for every ten automobiles and one hundred trees for every truck on the road. It will be a great investment. Trees, unlike most things you buy, gain in value over time.

Simply put, landscaping means dressing up your outdoor living area. A lot of people take great pride in adorning their homes. At the least, $9 billion is spent every year in this country on yards, lawns, and gardens. Experts propose that 10 to 30 percent of the cost of a new home must be spent for landscaping. Having that much money and comfort, utility, and livability at stake, it would be well worth the effort to plan landscaping work with care. Your home is among your best hedges against inflation or recession. Anything you do to improve it is like putting money in the bank.

Spending money to maintain your property looking neat and attractive outdoors is just as important as spending money on carpeting, draperies, and other fixtures inside. Not everyone who has a property is an expert in landscaping, but this doesn't imply that you can't do a good job. Don't hesitate in consulting a good local nurseryman for advice. There are trees, shrubs, and other plants that meet every need.

Foundation Planting

Apart from the lawn, your foundation planting—these are the plants around the base of your house — is your most important landscaping. You can spruce up your home front by selecting shrubs of your choice. Prior to attempting to landscape, take photos, or on a drawing paper, draw your home front and sketch in plants which you may want to have. You want an irregular skyline silhouette, with tallest plants on the corners for softening effect. Under windows, place the spreading types so they will not obstruct the view. Stick only to three different types of shrubs. Your local nurseryman will be happy to help you make sound choices even if you're struggling with a low budget.

Here are a couple of dozen quick Do's and Don'ts for a budgeting home landscaper to study for that "million-dollar look."


1. Do study nursery' catalogues carefully.

2. Do water all shrubs copiously, at least once a week.

3. Do let part of your foundation show.

4. Do make holes large enough (don't cram a ten-dollar shrub in a two-dollar hole).

5. Do "heel" your plants in ground if you cannot set them out immediately.

6. Do use annuals and perennials among your foundation plantings.

7. Do plant shrubs at least 3 feet from the house wall and about 3 feet apart.

8. Do prune tips of roots back at planting time and practice moderate annual pruning.

9. Do keep your shrubs sprayed and feed at least once yearly.

10. Do have neat, sharp borders in front of your planting.

11. Do mix humus and plant foods in soil for growth.

12. Do use shrubs to screen off undesirable views.



1. Don't overlook the shrub's mature size.

2. Don't overcrowd. Shrubs and trees need room to grow.

3. Don't have too great a variety of plants.

4. Don't try to rejuvenate relic evergreens.

5. Don't plant all one variety in a straight row.

6. Don't be impatient if newly set shrubs don't start fast. It takes some weeks for buds to break.

7. Don't be afraid to combine evergreens with non-evergreens. Avoid planting tall-growing shrubs too near entrance and under windows. Keep shrubs pruned regularly so they don't grow out of bounds. Don't plant all one type of shrub in your foundation planting. It's too monotonous.

8. Don't plant tall shrubs under a window.

9. Don't plant sun-loving plants in shady places.

10. Don't be afraid to start with small plants.

11. Don't plant trees near utility lines or too near property lines.

12. Don't plant trees and large shrubs where they will later obstruct a view.