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9 Tips for a Glorious Landscape All Year ‘Round

From Fairfax Station to Potomac Falls, Northern Virginia homeowners love to nurture their beautiful yards. And that’s a good thing. According to a study by Michigan State University, a well-designed and maintained landscape improves a home's value by 12 percent over comparable homes. It's easier than you might think to have great landscaping. Start by following these tips from the experts at Lost Creek Landscapes:

  1. Plan for year-round color.  Why be dull and boring during the off-season? Choose plants, shrubs and trees that can do “double duty” by staying colorful during the winter.  
  2. Assess your maintenance tolerance. Some homeowners envision a landscape without realizing its daily requirements. Makes sure you have a realistic idea of how much time you want to spend maintaining your garden.
  3. Eliminate random acts of landscaping. Before you pick up a shovel, spend some time in your yard. Where is the shade, where do people congregate and what do you do when you're outside? Establish your priorities and create a master plan to ensure the elements of your landscape work together.
  4. Understand your plants' needs. Avoid novice mistakes pruning lilacs before they bloom, for example by getting to know your flowers, shrubs and trees.
  5. Choose the best edging. It keeps grass and weeds out of flowerbeds and mulch off lawns. Many landscape designers advocate something substantial, such as natural stone or steel.
  6. Keep beds mulched but not too heavily. Old mulch should be removed periodically so it doesn't suffocate root crowns.
  7. Find a landscape plan that complements your house. Flowers, trees, and shrubs should work in tandem with your home. Practice spatial awareness and make sure it works both in style and size.
  8. Spend money on foundation plants. A hedge works doubly hard framing a yard and adding privacy for more immediate payoff. That's why it's worth it to choose more mature versions of trees and shrubs.
  9. Get acquainted with the creatures in your backyard. Be mindful of what the deer and rabbit populations can do to your plants. Plant native, plant hardy and plant what animals consider less tasty.