You spent months (if not years) designing and building your dream home, hopefully with the help of a Home-Build Concierge. You saw your dream become reality -- the house looks beautiful, inside and outside. Now, three years have passed, and as you drive up to your beautiful home, you realize that it's hard to see the house through the jungle that has covered it from the outside. Sound familiar?
You notice it in recently completed neighborhoods as well as some custom homes. Builders often think they're being generous by providing the homeowner with an "upgraded" landscape package -- usually in response to the homeowner's request. It's no surprise in our society obsessed with instant gratification, that homeowners will want their brand-new house to have a "mature" landscape. However, any reputable landscape designer will help guide your landscaping plan and installation.
As you plan your landscaping for your new home, here as some things to keep in mind:
Plants do grow
Instant gratification is nice, but you should remember that plants do grow. It is tempting to have the initial installation of landscaping look “mature” so the house looks complete, but if you plan to live in your house a while, you should avoid the “jungle” look and keep showing off your beautiful home with smart plant selections, placement, and planning. In 3-5 years, you’ll be happy you chose wisely and will not have to get the chainsaw out to keep the landscaping under control.
Keep plants away from the structure
Because plants do grow, you should have your shrubs and trees planted with enough space away from the structure to obtain the desired effect long-term. Pest Control professionals recommend that you keep trees away from the house (especially the eaves) as they serve as a highway for ants, other crawling insects, and rodents. Also, some trees and shrubs can cause root damage to your home’s foundation if planted too close to the structure.
Use native species
It may be tempting to use exotic or unusual plants for a unique look, but when doing so, choose wisely. If your home is situated in a wide-open space, it is especially important to select native species so they have a better chance of surviving the elements.
Security experts recommend a thorny shrub under accessible windows to keep nosy neighbors and prowlers from peering into your home. Also, they recommend that you minimize hiding places for hooligans by considering the placement of bushy plants in the yard.
Let the sunshine in
When planting shrubs and trees, remember the things you value in your new home: the views from within, and all the brilliant natural light. Shade from tall trees can be attractive, but avoid covering up your beautiful new windows with plants. If it’s privacy you want, consider window treatments, as they let you control the amount of light and privacy you get. With plants, it’s a little harder to adjust.
Typically, by the time a homeowner is presented with landscaping decisions, they are tired from all the other decisions they’ve had to make during a construction or renovation project. Take the time to plan ahead, or let the Home-Build Concierge help with the decisions – unless, of course, you want the “jungle look”.