Landscape Design Tips

Frequently Asked Questions About Landscaping

Tulip scene in mixed colors as seen from window.
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If you need some quick landscape design tips, use the following FAQ resources as a sort of "Yard Care 101." Each individual FAQ resource in this series focuses on a different aspect of designing or taking care of a yard:

Best Time to Prune Shrubs

Shrubs are a diverse lot, and that's generally a good thing. But that very diversity also poses challenges when it comes to pruning shrubs. This FAQ distinguishes between four types of shrubs for the purpose of determining when to prune them; I also address some cases where shrub pruning procedure may be especially confusing to beginners:

How to Prune Trees

The main purpose of this FAQ series is to answer questions about pruning trees, but along the way I also treat a few other, basic issues regarding trees. For instance, many homeowners seek recommendations for trees that would have the greatest impact on a landscape design:

How to Prune Trees

Bamboo Plants

One of the landscape design tips most requested by readers is how to provide privacy for their yards. Growing a hedge of bamboo plants is one way to make your yard more private. But growing bamboo has its caveats, so first read this introduction to bamboo:

Landscape Design Tips for Beginners: Yard Care 101

The landscape design tips in this Q & A are geared to beginners, answering questions such as:

  • What is landscaping?
  • Why bother with it at all?
  • Where do you begin when landscaping a yard for the first time?

For the answers to these questions and more, please see the following FAQ:

Fall Gardens

Don't think that, when summer ends, your work is over. Not only will you be raking leaves out of your fall gardens, but you'll also have to perform certain yard care tasks to get ready for winter:

Fall Gardens

Spring Landscaping Maintenance

If you're like me, spring is your busiest time of year in terms of yard care. Between taking care of what you already have and making new plantings, there won't be enough hours in the day to get everything done! Expedite matters by consulting these handy landscape design tips:

Selecting a Lawn Mower

Having the right lawn mower can make yard care much easier. Explore your options in this FAQ:

Selecting a Lawn Mower: What the Different Types of Mowers are Good For

Lawn Mower Care

Once you have a lawn mower tailored to your needs, learn how to care for it properly:

Lawn Mower Care

Many of my landscape design tips revolve around the lawn -- whether it be alternatives that help reduce lawn space or strategies to cope with lawn maintenance. For that latter, I offer the following FAQ:

Lawn Irrigation

If you don't already have an automatic irrigation system and you live in the fast lane and/or in a hot climate, you'll want to familiarize yourself with the information in this yard care FAQ:


It's hard to imagine a series on landscape design tips that doesn't address how to use mulch. Mulch is the unsung hero of yard care:


Turn to these landscape design tips regarding hardscape (i.e., patios, walkways, etc.) for help in getting going with that do-it-yourself project you've been putting off:

Hardscape: Landscaping With Rock

Building Fences

Security. Privacy. Style. You have much to consider if a new fence is part of your yard makeover plans:

Not only does this resource discuss how to build rock gardens (without breaking your back!), but also landscape design tips that will help make your rock garden a focal point:

Driveway Materials

Need a new driveway? Perhaps you're curious about the qualities of the different driveway materials from which to choose. This FAQ addresses their pros and cons; you'll also learn landscape design tips to enhance your driveway's appearance:

Shoveling Snow

Choosing a material for a new driveway is one thing; keeping that driveway clear of snow and ice in the winter is another. This FAQ tackles the issue mainly from the perspective of shoveling snow safely, comfortably and efficiently (but I add some remarks at the end about alternatives to shoveling snow):

Tips on Shoveling Snow

Heated Driveways

Imagine never having to shovel again, never having to maintain and house a bulky snowblower again, never risking damage again to plants and driveway alike by relying on snowplows. Now stop merely imagining all that and read this FAQ on the snow-melt systems technology that's as real as winter itself!

Garden Shrubs

This FAQ provides a brief introduction to that staple of landscape design, garden shrubs. Included are tips on selection, planting, pruning and winter protection.

Garden Shrubs

Shrub Problems

If shrubs are a staple of landscaping, then solving shrub problems is, clearly, a high-priority matter. While online advice is no substitute for on-site advice, this FAQ on shrub problems may help, at least, to point you in the right direction.

Landscape Plant Guide

I asked readers of my site to submit some of their more pressing landscaping questions, from which I selected the most relevant for the general audience. The result is this landscape plant guide -- an FAQ series offering landscaping tips on a number of issues, ranging from plant selection to plant care.

Landscape Plant Guide

Tree Care

Trees are the gentle giants of our landscapes. But even giants have vulnerabilities. Generally speaking, trees are susceptible to all sorts of problems, although some types are plagued by more difficulties than others. Learn about some common tree problems -- and what to do about them -- in this FAQ.

Magnolia Tree Care

One of the most popular trees of the spring season in North America is the magnolia. This flowering tree can put on a magnificent blooming display. If you grow one and are experiencing problems with it, you may be able to find a solution here.