A homeowner’s journey toward the perfect landscaping project never starts smoothly. Site issues, such as terrain slopes, inadequate drainage, easements
Instead of waving the proverbial white flag, let’s discuss the challenges you face and how to overcome them prior to, and during, the design phase.
Issue: Potential erosion and runoff
Overwatering by previous land owners could cause soil erosion which, if prolonged, can create slopes and valleys in uncommon places. Even with Illinois’ relatively normal soil composition, the potential for eroding land is real, although you’ll find this issue less prevalent within Mokena and other major cities in Northeastern Illinois.
Solution: Backfill eroded areas prior to designing new landscapes; install pavers around or across eroded areas; design and implement a timed watering system which will release water in smaller amounts to vital areas only.
Issue: Property slopes and inclines
A good number of Illinois homes have inclines in odd places or slopes due to natural ground settling. These pose challenges to homeowners who want flat landscape designs, leaving many design concepts off the table due to difficulty or perceived costs.
Solution: Bring in professional landscapers to create terraced levels (think “steppe farming”) adorned with pavers, a misting system, beautiful specimens of shrubs and plants, or possibly vegetables if you’re going for an edible landscape.
Issue: Utilizing excess shade in landscaping projects
Homeowners who’ve tried growing Bermuda grass, certain plants and even shrubs in areas with excessive shade can attest to the difficulty shade growing brings. Although there are numerous plants that thrive in shady areas, not all bring “life” to dull areas nor are part of any homeowner’s landscape design plans. Shade, by all accounts, is the “party pooper” of landscaping.
Solution: In areas where plants and trees will remain despite excess shade, install artificial grass. Not only will this eliminating reseeding, fertilizing, watering and mowing, but you’ll retain the aesthetic beauty no matter how dark the area gets. Another idea would be to shave the grassy area down, install pavers, and repurpose that shade into a functional outdoor kitchen or meeting area.
Issue: Capitalizing on small spaces
Some subdivisions in Lockport and surrounding areas have houses grouped closely together, taking away front and back yard space from homeowners looking to get creative with their plot of land. While on the surface less space seems troublesome, it’s actually a blessing.
Solution: Change your mindset from having a large putting green or in-ground pool to having less maintenance and yard work to perform. With pavers, landscaping rock, and a little ingenuity, you can build a raised plant bed with a small misting or fogging system. Container gardening is another brilliant way to functionalize small spaces, as are backyard barbecue areas.
Make Landscaping Your Passion
You must appreciate your land in order to be an effective landscaper. This means learning about your soil, finding your property lines, and working with easements and other obstacles.
Stay tuned to our blog for more landscaping tips and ways to spruce up your outdoor property prior to selling your home.