Gardening tips for an irregularly shaped lot

Landscaping an irregularly shaped lot can be frustrating for most people, but it doesn’t have to be. The uniqueness of it is what makes it stand out by providing many more design options. As with any project, you must consider what type of landscape you are looking for. Possibilities range from low maintenance evergreen to tropical. It is very important to select the type of plants that you will use.

As we all know, you get expensive purchasing plants and you should keep your plant purchase receipts, especially from major retailers. They provide replacements within a year of purchase if the plant is unsuccessful. A good mix of plant types is 5% annual, 15% tropical, 30% perennial, and 50% perennial. The reason for this percentage breakdown is that annuals will only survive one year. Although some tropicals should be kept in a greenhouse over the winter, many of them will return in the spring, provided they have some protection from wind chill and are adequately mulched. Perennials are very hardy and will return every year. Then there are the evergreens that provide color throughout the year.

Depending on which direction the door entrance is facing, you need to consider what kind of shade protection you will need and whether you will receive morning light from the east or the hottest part of the day from the west. That being the case, tree planting in these areas is advisable. Things to consider when selecting a tree are: potential growth, longevity, and invasiveness of the roots. Consider what underground utilities are within the root growth area, such as water and sewer lines. If your property has already established trees in the path of your lines, they are best removed. It will be much more expensive to repair those lines on an ongoing basis, as tree roots will continue to expand.

If your property has a gradual to steep slope, you can minimize soil erosion by leveling your yard at different levels. This can be done by building retaining walls or simply planting evergreen shrubs in strategic areas. An example of this is my pie-shaped property that sits next to a river. I placed 80 pound bags of cement at the rear of the property to minimize soil erosion. I just stacked the crisscross bags up to 4 feet high and then thinned them out. This method is very viable and the least expensive.

For high traffic noise properties, I recommend planting Privet leaf wax shrubs that are evergreen and will grow up to 10 feet. Although there are several types of Privets, the wax sheet has deep green leaves and is very easy to work with. Other plants that can be included are red-leaved Photinia, which can be kept as a shrub or trained as trees that reach 20 feet. Depending on the area you live in and possible restrictions on homeowners association guidelines, the installation of an 8-foot treated wood fence is recommended. This height serves several purposes. Creates a deterrent to potential theft of property and the privacy you deserve. A fence this high will also protect your plants in the winter from wind chill and keep your backyard at least 10 degrees cooler in the summer, minimizing water evaporation. In addition, when designing the trails it attracts birds that contribute to create a tropical atmosphere.

In my pie-shaped lot, I planted green ash trees on the north side that protected me from the rain storms that often come from the northwest. To the south, I planted evergreen shrubs to protect myself from the constant south wind. For color, I have numerous different colored Crepe Myrtle trees reaching 30 feet at this point. They provide an abundance of color visible from a great distance. Since most people don’t spend the day in the front yard for fun, having a small front yard is beneficial to you. It is true that prospective home buyers judge the front yard and you should keep it in good repair, however the emphasis in landscaping should be on the back.

With all the work it takes to create a landscape worth coming home to every day, you can add a touch of class to your garden by building gazebos and gazebos. On my property I built a 16 foot radius gazebo, 4 feet off the ground, at the corner of the lot. This strategic location provides an overview of the courtyard and draws you in for a morning coffee or weekend meal. As a landscape enthusiast, my knowledge-based website provides landscape design ideas.

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