The five biggest mistakes you can make in your garden design


In designing gardens for homeowners over the past 18 years, I have seen good, bad and ugly. Most of the time, the same simple design mistakes make the yard look disorganized, unplanned or bland. From the initial site selection to selecting plants and positioning them in the landscape, building a gorgeous garden really requires a little know-how. Whether you plan a pollination garden in the Midwest, establish a formal garden in the northeast, or plan a drought resistant exhibition area in the southwest, the same design considerations apply. Here’s how you can avoid the most common garden design mistakes before you start your project.


Peter krumhart

Even plants

Although natural objects usually appear in pairs (two eyes, two legs, two wings, etc.), it is best not to pair or use even plants. When drawing attention to a single location as a pair and even number, in addition to building sidewalks or entrances, using odd numbers can move your eyes in the field of vision and bring a more natural and dynamic feeling to your landscape. By grouping plants into odd numbers of 3-11, avoid seemingly clumsy symmetry and avoid planting them on too straight lines. Any number above 11 will have too much impact on the eyes, so you can use even numbers if necessary.

2. Color contrast

Many times, we plant our garden in colorful colors. However, when these colors begin to conflict with other plants and nearby structures, the whole effect will become irresistible and fade. This often happens when someone really likes bright colors; For example, a bright yellow house is full of bright yellow flowers. To make up for the color conflict, choose flowers that match the background, such as yellow, white and orange flowers in front of dark houses and blue, purple and red flowers in front of light houses.

3. Mismatched garden style

When it comes to garden design mistakes, not paying attention to the architectural design of houses or other buildings is a major mistake. For example, the renovated Victorian style house, with its classical style and bold personality, complements the concise design of the modern style garden. Similarly, the smooth lines and angular shapes of most modern and contemporary houses will be overwhelmed by large and gorgeous flowers. Avoid this huge mistake at all costs to avoid rebuilding the whole yard again.

4. Empty bed

One of my biggest worries in garden design is that plants are surrounded by mulch when they are unnaturally separated on most empty planting beds I often see this appearance in commercial and dense residential landscapes because they are considered “low maintenance”. However, they are just the opposite, because weeds are eager to try to fill the gap every moment. Besides, these covered gardens are not beautiful. A more natural and fully planted design not only looks better, but also needs to reduce the frequency of weeding


Kim Drake

5. Failure to follow the plan

Over the years, gardeners may eventually get a hodgepodge of plants that don’t blend well. I am often asked to redesign such a landscape, which has been planted, replanted, and then replanted until the mixture of plants looks messy. In order to avoid the wrong design of this garden, it is important to make a plan and stick to it. The plan should be consistent throughout the field of view, which means that all areas viewed from a given angle should match

Related: 15 simple garden plans filled with plants that thrive in plenty of sunshine

Creating a garden is a good way to go outdoors, enjoy nature and make your art shine. However, you will get the best results by avoiding these common garden design defects.

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