The following is sponsored by Slow the Flow.
Utah is a tricky place to garden. Our climate varies dramatically between the dry, red hills of Southern Utah, and the high, mountain valleys in the north; plants that thrive in St. George wouldn’t last 10 minutes in Logan. Despite the variances in regional climate, there are certain landscape mistakes common in all parts of Utah. To combat these challenges, landscape experts from around the state collaborated to create a new landscape method called Localscapes®. It seeks to resolve as many challenges as possible, while providing homeowners with the know-how they need to create a yard that works for their family and thrives in Utah’s climate.
Below are three of the most frequently committed landscape faux pas (and how to fix them).
- Failure to Plan
The problem: If the first time you consider landscape layout and potential plants occurs while you’re at the store to purchase what you need, you’re guaranteed to end up with a sub-par landscape—no matter the budget.
The solution: A plan doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to be thoughtfully considered. Hire a designer or take a landscape design class. Localscapes classes are available statewide to help you plan a new yard or learn to remodel an existing landscape. If you have an existing landscape you’d like to improve, a plan should still be created to help you integrate the existing landscape with new elements. Consider costs at this point as well. Most homeowners substantially underestimate the cost of even a basic landscape.
- Poor Use of Lawn
The problem: In Utah, almost everyone has a landscape island planting bed (kidney-bean shape being the most common) and almost nobody knows why—they just did what everyone else was doing. Since planting beds have very different watering requirements than lawn, by placing beds in the lawn and then watering them each the same, means the planting beds are getting three to five times more water than they need, wasting water and dramatically increasing weeds.
The solution: Green the bean! Flip the layout so that the lawn is the island and the planting beds are the “sea” that surrounds it. The lawn becomes one central, open shape where 100 percent of the lawn is usable with only one edge to trim and maintain. As an added bonus, it’s much easier to irrigate a single block of turf efficiently, and requires fewer irrigation lines and sprinkler heads to get good coverage.
- All or Nothing Thinking
The problem: Too often we think a landscape is either the typical lawn with overly clipped hedges, or it’s a cactus and lava rock “xeriscape.”
The solution: Localscapes is a landscape spectrum between those two extremes. Whether you wish to have lawn in your landscape, or go completely lawnless, the Localscapes method uses the same five steps to ensure a beautiful and functional landscape every time. Low-cost or free classes are taught throughout Utah by regional experts who understand how to create a landscape that’s “localized” to where you live. To learn more, download free design plans or find classes near you, visit localscapes.com.