Landscape Design Tips for Beginners

Starting From Square 1: What is Landscaping?

White picket fence with yellow tulips planted in back.
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I just became a homeowner for the first time. Is there a good reason why I should bother with landscaping at all?

What would be the first landscaping issue that I should begin to look into, as soon as I move into my new property?

What factors influence site selection for landscape plants?

I don't have a lot of time for maintenance, so I'm going to plant perennials rather than annuals. After all, they come up every year, right? Is this a sound strategy for beginners?

Readers have sent in some other great questions over the years. Let's look at one more in some detail:

How Do You Plant on Sloping Land?

On a small scale and for a moderate slope, it is possible for the average homeowner to terrace sloping land using a series of small retaining walls. However, if the project is grander and involves significant labor and planning, then it is perhaps best left to professionals. A more feasible way for the DIY'er to landscape sloping land, in most cases, is to install an appropriate ground cover. One that is especially adept at holding back soil on sloping land in an area that receives full sunshine is blue rug juniper. If you are presented with the challenge of finding a ground cover to cover a hillside that lies in shade, a better bet is Pachysandra terminalis.