Blooming trees and shrubs certainly add color to the landscape. However, their pop and effect are ephemeral. This is a beloved feature in the Japanese style of landscape design, but we tend to prefer a showier, more lasting impact. For a longer season of color, planting tough annuals or perennials en masse does the trick. Choose plants carefully though, as they can easily fade in our hot summers or become deer food. For more lasting, yet more subtle solutions, consider these options:
Boldly overflowing containers are great for a quick and easy focal point. Coordinating flowers with an accent paint color at your door or entry is an especially warm greeting. This can actually be more powerfully eye-catching that planting larger areas of flowers.
MIX IT UP— WITH LAWN ALTERNATIVES
Your lawn is probably the most expensive and labor-intensive part of your landscape, requiring substantial maintenance and treatments. Mulch beds connecting trees and plantings, strategically located throughout the property, can decrease lawn size significantly. They should be installed with care to reduce maintenance and do require some periodic attention.
Nothing creates a more tidy appearance and instant curb appeal than neatly mulched and edged planting beds. There are various types of mulches, from those made of recycled, shredded tires, to stone, pine tags (straw), and hardwood. . I am also a big advocate of planting ground covers within mulched areas. They accomplish several objectives: they are low maintenance, usually spread on their own, help to control weeds, and provide green color that mimics the lawn without the work.
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