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3 Tips to Protect Your Plants from Pests and Disease in Northern Virginia

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landscaping-planting-roses-walkway-1When you step outside of your home are you pleased with your landscape? Do people stop in their tracks and say “wow” when they drive or pass by? If not—and it’s boring or even an eyesore—then you might be looking for some landscaping planting ideas to enhance your property and take it to a whole new level.

Of course, there’s a lot more to the task of landscaping than just sticking a few rows of flowers in the ground and calling it a day. Incorporating vibrant color into a strategic landscape plan takes an eye for design and a knowledge of plant material.

We’ve rounded up some of our best pro landscaping planting ideas to help get you on your way to color that wows.

Layer for Height and Contrast

Using plants of different heights is one of the best ways to get a professional look. Two layers could work, but ideally, you want three. You can use taller and broader evergreens to create a backdrop and will still have room for planting bushes, such as some mid-sized flowering shrubs. In front of that, you can think about planting flowers.

layered plants in landscaping, flowers, trees, and shrubs

If you don’t have plant beds that are wide enough for two separate layers of shrubs, you can still achieve a layered look using shrubs in the background and then planting two different layers of plants in front, each with differing heights. This will look much more robust and professionally designed than a single layer of same-height plants.

By creating some dimension to your landscaping, you are adding a lot of appeal. The multi-dimensional aspect of the layout is much more attractive than a landscape that is comprised of a single row of plants, all the way across.

Think About Bloom Time

One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make with landscaping is that they fail to think about bloom time. When this happens, the landscape will go through periods where there is absolutely nothing colorful or appealing about it. Ideally, you want to have a variety of bloom times incorporated into your design so that there is almost always something attractive about the layout.

brick walkway and landscape plantings

Blooming plants also need to be well-coordinated in terms of where they’re placed. For instance, you don’t want to have all of your spring-blooming plants together in one big bunch because it will create an unattractive gap in your landscape when there’s nothing in bloom. Have your blooming plants well spaced around your property. There should be a strategy incorporated into your design.

tulips bloomingWhen talking about bloom time, we’d be remiss in not mentioning “planting time,” as well. This is particularly important when it comes to planting bulbs, which is only a limited opportunity. A lot of people love the look of beautiful tulips, daffodils, or crocus, but they often forget that the planting time for these spring flowers is in the fall. This is all part of planning ahead in order to have a complete landscape.

Plant a Variety of Materials

Another very common mistake we see whether it’s landscaping by planting trees, flowers, or bushes is that homeowners tend to get caught up on just one type of material.

You see this a lot with a plant like an azalea because homeowners really love them. Azaleas are bright and beautiful but when you plant too many of them, it can be boring—not to mention the fact that azaleas are going to give you a bloom time issue. They’ll look awesome for a couple weeks while they’re in full bloom and then the rest of the year will be relatively plain. That’s fine if you have a couple of them strategically placed. But if you have 5 or 6 or them, it’s going to really limit the appeal.

Instead, use a mix of trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals around your landscape.

landscape steps surrounded by plantings

Annuals are a great way to add longer bloom time to various sections of your landscape where you utilize them. A minimal downside to annuals is that they need to be planted each year. Plus, some of your annuals will need to be swapped out for different varieties as the year goes along—that is if you’re out for maximum color. Planting annual varieties in the spring, summer, and fall will give you color for most of the year.

planter on patio wall

You might also consider planting some container gardens that you can utilize on your patio, deck, or front porch in order to brighten up those spaces. Planting flowers in a gorgeous urn or piece of pottery will add even more appeal to your property.

Pay Attention to the Surrounding Area

Another important factor in designing a landscape is paying attention to what’s nearby. If you plant a landscape that looks similar (or even identical) to your neighbor’s, it’s going to lose a tremendous amount of appeal. This often happens when everyone in the neighborhood heads to the same local box store and picks out the same (or at least similar) plants. There are only so many options to choose from.

walkway with shrubs and colorful trees

However, when you work with a professional designer, it opens up so many more possibilities. You can create something one-of-a-kind with plant material that none of your neighbors have. It will make your space stand apart from all the rest.

Remember: Color Doesn’t Just Come From Planting Flowers

There’s no doubt that planting flowers will provide your property with color. But they aren’t your only option! Various plant materials also have colorful leaves, bark, and fruit that can brighten up your landscape.

winterberry holly

This can be particularly helpful in the winter months when flowers won’t be in bloom. You can still incorporate color into your winter landscape with plants that have colorful winter berries (like hollies) or interesting bark (like River Birch Trees). These colorful features look particularly appealing when they “pop” against a fresh blanket of white snow.

Understand that Beautiful Landscaping is an Art and a Science

Is this all sounding like it’s a bit more complicated than you thought it’d be? There’s no question that there is a lot more to landscaping than just planting flowers or trees. There is a tremendous amount of planning involved as well as quite a bit of artistic talent needed. You have to have a good eye for design and be able to visualize what plant material will look best in what area of your landscape in order to put together a stunning design. For these reasons, it would benefit you to hire a talented artist in the form of a landscape designer in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA.

Landscape design layout

While the design portion of your landscape is an art, keeping it all continually looking its best is a science. That’s why you also need to make sure your landscape designer understands how to maximize color and appeal by using some of the same techniques mentioned in this article. Plus, you want to know that your landscape company is going to be able to maintain what they’ve created, keeping it looking and performing optimally throughout the year.

Get the Full Enjoyment Out of your Landscape

woman and dog on front porch surrounded by colorful plantingsYou might be more than capable of planting bushes or flowers but at the end of the day, what you really want is a complete landscape—thoughtfully planned out as part of an artistic design. You don’t want a few plants here and there. You want something that wows.

On top of that, you’d love to see it come together without having to put in a lot of work—or worry. After all, you only get so much free time. The last thing that you want to do is spend it working on a landscape that might not even come together the way you dreamed it. You want to be able to work with a designer that has the ability to connect your goals with some ideas you might not have even thought of in order to bring together a dream landscape. A designer that has the skill and experience and who will keep the project on task can achieve this for you.

By handing the work and the worries over to a true professional who can not only put together a fantastic landscape design but can provide maintenance services to keep it looking its best, all you’ll have left to do is enjoy your landscape.

If you’d like to discuss creating a landscape that wows, request a consultation, get your customized plan, and relax while you watch a dream landscape take shape right before your eyes.

Request a Landscape Consultation

Image Sources:  winterberry holly, tulips

Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.