An effective landscape design can turn a ho-hum yard into a uniquely beautiful and inviting outdoor space. Poor design, however, can detract from your home’s curb appeal as well as its value.


Whether you’re an avid home gardener or DIY landscape designer, you can create a stunning landscape plan for your yard, especially if you avoid these three potential design hiccups.

Mistake No. 1: Improvising Your Landscape Design

Does your plan include an unprepared visit to the garden center and buying whichever outdoor plants and landscape elements appeal to you in the moment?

Failing to prepare your landscape plan before you shop for plants, trees and flowers is a very bad idea. For a first-rate design, it’s important to consider the architectural style of your home and the layout of your homesite – and of course, to measure your space. Improvise, and your results are liable to be both expensive and ineffective.

When designing your landscape, let the natural features of your lot guide you. Don’t try to force a garden feature where it doesn’t really belong or where it feels out of place. Try using photo images of your home and yard when deciding on which outdoor plants and elements to include and where to place them. This will help put your design into perspective.

A detailed, plant-by-plant design isn’t imperative, but it will be helpful once you get to the garden center.

Mistake No. 2: Using a One-Dimensional Approach to Landscape Design

Are you considering a lush rose garden? Or would you prefer low-maintenance ground cover and native grasses?

Choose whatever elements you prefer to be the focal point of your landscaping design, but don’t stop there. Professional landscape designers chose one or two elements to highlight, and then use a variety of different plants, trees, shrubs and hardscape elements to complete the design.

Design in layers or zones for consistency and use varying heights for visual interest. Select plants that are complimentary in color and texture, but be sure to mix things up a bit. This ensures that something is always in bloom and keeps your design fresh and interesting all year long.

Mistake No. 3: Going Overboard with Landscape Design

Keep your landscape design interesting, but don’t let your imagination get too carried away either. Focus on balance and harmony and, when in doubt, remember that less is more – at least to start. You can always add more to your design once the plants, flowers and shrubs are in.

Going back to our earlier point, be sure to take your list with you when you shop. It’s easy to go overboard when visiting a garden center, especially when you’re a gardening aficionado. Take your list and stick to it, otherwise you may be tempted to buy one or two of everything.

If you are tempted to purchase a plant, tree or shrub that’s not on your list, consider how it will work with your overall landscape design theme. No matter how enamored you are of wildflowers, for example, they might now work well in a yard that features manicured hedges and topiaries.

If you’re not sure where to start in the planning process, visit Millcreek Gardens and consult with our expert staff. We have all the plants, gardening supplies and tools you’ll need and our experienced associates can help you create the landscape design of your dreams.