Evergreen shrubs retain their leaves or needles all year long, so they’re constantly providing cover and color. “This gives you some interest even in the winter,” says Rich Cording Jr., co-owner of CLC Landscape Design, Inc., in Ringwood, N.J. He says evergreen plants advantageously placed near the house, such as in front of corners, can help soften the vertical lines of the house, giving it a more inviting appearance.
Make a water feature look natural – A water feature, even a small, self-contained unit that stands alone on a patio, should look like it belongs in its surroundings, Trenary notes. “You can use natural stone to build it up,” he adds. “You can use the same stone or material that you find on the house.”
Create curved lines instead of straight ones – Landscapers often add edging around flower gardens, the house foundation, and sometimes sidewalks and driveways. Installing the edging in creative curves instead of perfectly straight lines adds appeal and character. “I really enjoy creating those long, serpentine edges,” Cording says. “You really just improved the edge of the [garden] bed.”
Combine a variety of plants – Cording encourages homeowners to choose a diverse range of plants that bloom at different times so ornamental leaves will be visible all season long. Otherwise, if all the flowers bloom at the same time, they’ll look attractive during that time frame but will lack color the rest of the year. Cording, for example, likes to use the perennial Rozanne geranium because it blooms from June through October.
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