How to Avoid Landscaping Mistakes That Date Your Home

How to Avoid Landscaping Mistakes That Date Your Home

Refreshing your landscape is an opportunity to revitalize your home and breathe fresh life into your property. So, it goes without saying that you want to learn how to avoid landscaping mistakes that date your home! 

The last thing you want is to end up spending the time, energy, and money to overhaul your landscape only to end up disappointed in the end - potentially ending up worse off than before. Don’t sweat it - the experts at Michaelangelo’s are here to help. As the #1 choice for Alpharetta landscaping, you can trust that you’re in good hands by partnering with us for the project. 

But if you’re not in the area, we’ll still provide a few key tips in this article to help you spruce up your landscape and bring your home into the current century. First - let’s discuss the most common landscape design mistakes we see homeowners make that end up dating their property. 

A List of Common Landscaping Mistakes That Date Your Home

Don’t get us wrong - we respect the classic approaches to front yard landscape design and backyard landscape design. But your goal is to bring your property into the modern world - not take a step backward! 

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of these common landscaping mistakes that date your home and avoid them at all costs. So, let’s go over those together below:

Excessive use of concrete

Having pathways throughout your property makes it more accessible. But, your yard should use concrete sparingly - making room for as much greenery as possible. 

This is especially true around swimming pools - which is why one of the best modern swimming pool landscape design ideas is to instead let your grass come right up to the edge of your pool. Or, install shrubs around the pool. Just be sure to leave enough distance so that clippings or leaves don’t fall into the pool.

Crowding Your Home With Shrubs and Trees

We know you want to maximize your property by getting as many of your favorite shrubs and trees installed as possible. But, sometimes less is more. 

If you crowd your home with shrubs and trees, it not only looks unsightly - it can result in extra maintenance as you remove the mold from the stucco or wooden siding of your home. Moreover, roots can grow into your home’s foundation and start to create havoc - leading to costly repairs down the line.

This dated practice is known as foundation planting, and should be avoided in place of a more minimalist approach to plant selection and installation. Think about it - your home itself is the centerpiece of your property. Your yard should complement it - not detract from it. Don’t try to hide your house behind trees!

One modern approach to planting shrubs and trees near the home that works well is to install larger trees at the corners (no closer than 5’ from the foundation), with smaller varieties between to fill in the gaps.

Outdated Water Features & Tacky Sculptures

Maybe you’re trying to create a backyard inspired by your favorite mafia boss with a triple-tiered fountain and some eye-catching angel statues throughout the property. Perhaps you even have plans to bring some gnomes into the mix. If this type of design is what will make you happy and proud of your property, go for it. But most landscape designers in this day and age shy away from the use of these types of outdated water features. 

We tend to agree that they’re best left where they belong - in the 80s. Not only do these types of fountains look out of place in the 21st century - they are a hassle to clean, as they’re conducive to algae growth. The same is true of bird baths. And when it comes to the excessive use of statues, we believe less is more - kind of like the point we made above in terms of overplanting. Embrace more natural beauty and use that space for plants rather than statues or sculptures.

That doesn’t mean water features, fountains, and sculptures are off-limits - they should just have a more modern edge. And, they should be used strategically rather than a shotgun approach. This is something that only an eye for design can help uncover, which is why we recommend letting the experts at Michaelangelo’s help you choose the right sculpture or fountain.

Ivy Vines Climbing on Your Home

Certain properties can still pull this look off. The vast majority of homes, however, can look dated with the installation of vining plants on the home itself or surrounding fences. 

Not only do these vining plants create a great varmint habit - the vines can actually grow into your siding and create serious problems over time by forming cracks in the walls. Moreover, vining plants like these can wreak havoc on other native plants - strangling them and leaving them lifeless.

Now, that’s not to say that vining plants have no place on your property. You should just strategically choose the right variety. Some experts say that twining vine plants are great because they don’t strangle as they grow - they shimmy.

Certain Mulch Varieties

Mulch is a great way to fill in space around your property. Sometimes, you can even use mulch as a way to fertilize your shrubs and trees. 

However, certain varieties are known for dating a home - like the red mulch variety that became very popular in the 1960s. We still see it being sold in stores and installed in homes - what a travesty! 

This style should be avoided when filling in planting beds. Instead, stick with a low-impact mulch free of harmful chemicals - as red mulch is typically dyed to get that appearance, making it an unnatural choice. Your local garden center should have a selection of beautiful pine-based mulch that can serve you well.

Installing Boulders Just for the Sake of Adding Dimension

There’s a difference between having natural boulders on your property and bringing them in just for the sake of adding dimension to a yard. 

On the surface, these types of rock features look nice - until you think a bit deeper and realize that they aren’t natural or native to the topography itself. If you’re seeking drought-resistant landscape design ideas in Arizona, that’s one thing. But to install these same features in a backyard in an Atlanta backyard would look out of place. 

All of this is to say your yard should be aligned with the natural scenery and topography of your location. You can still add dimension to your yard through large shrubbery - ideally, plant varieties that are native to your zone. This creates a cohesive feel with your landscape and the surrounding area.

Planting Vibrant Floral Beds Around the Base of Trees

We’re not sure we want to call this a mistake - as it can look good in certain situations. However, many instances of homeowners planting colorful floral beds in a circular ring around the trunk of a tree don’t end up satisfying the intended aesthetic. And, depending on which flowers you plant, they may end up sucking vital nutrients away from the tree itself - causing more harm than good. 

You may be seeing a common theme throughout this section. What we recommend you do if you wish to plant floral plants in a circle around trees is choose native plants for your area rather than the most colorful, vibrant varieties you can find at your local garden center. 

How to Avoid Landscaping Mistakes That Date Your Home

Now, the question is how to avoid the landscaping mistakes that date your home. And there are two ways you can go about this - with one having a clear advantage over the other:

  1. Let the seasoned experts at Michaelangelo’s handle the project for you

  2. Take the time to educate yourself on the basic elements of landscape design and DIY

Here’s why you should hire a landscape designer rather than go the DIY route… 

Hire the Expert Landscape Design Crew at Michaelangelo’s

Whether you’re looking for landscape design vs landscape architecture, you can count on Michaelangelo’s to help you bring your dream property to life. We’ve been known as the premier choice for landscape design in Alpharetta GA for a number of years now - and once you take a look at some of the projects we’ve completed, you’ll see why. Our track record speaks for itself!

The benefit of working with us to revitalize your landscape and bring it into the modern world is peace of mind. We handle everything from initial concept to installation so you can kick back, relax, and rest assured you won’t fall victim to the common landscape design mistakes that date your home.

Better yet, we can keep your new yard looking stunning after the fact through our full-service landscape maintenance. We handle both residential landscape maintenance and commercial landscape maintenance - so whether you want help maintaining your home or business, you can trust you’re in good hands. 

So - reach out today if you’re in the Atlanta area and we’ll go over your needs and vision together. From there, we’ll get to work designing something that will exceed your expectations. We can’t wait to have you as our next success story! 

Read Our Detailed Resources and Attempt the DIY Route

Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking landscape design and installation is something they can do themselves. If you don’t have experience in this type of work, you’ll undoubtedly end up making mistakes along the way - not only in terms of dating your home, but in the actual installation process. You run the risk of plants dying in the first season, not creating a good balance between landscape vs hardscape features, damaging your landscape lighting plan design, etc.

But if you are sold on going the DIY route, we encourage you to explore our blog for helpful resources to point you in the right direction. Our beginner's guide on what landscape design is all about is a great starting point. 

Really, though, when you consider how much landscape design costs, it’s well worth the investment - after all, properly designed landscaping can raise your property value!

Final Thoughts on How to Avoid the Landscaping Mistakes That Date Your Home

We hope this article cleared up some of your concerns in regard to how to avoid landscaping mistakes that date your home. There are so many intricacies that go into designing a home’s landscape that one single blog post isn’t enough to encompass them all - but the mistakes we’ve discussed today are some of the most common offenders we come across here at Michaelangelo’s.

And, if you’re serious about creating a stunning front yard or backyard that becomes the envy of your neighborhood, reach out to us today. By partnering with us, you won’t have to stress over making the common landscape design mistakes that date your home.