Field of Science

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Bad landscaping

Once you've grown enough trees and shrubs, and cut down enough overgrown landscaping, you can see the future problems with new landscaping. Take a look at this bed featured as part of a HGTV dream house. First, you must be kidding about the evenly spaced evenly sized globes of green. And it's hard to tell what they are (mugo pine? probably), but even if slow growing (as mugo pines) how long before they coalesce making a solid mass and begin crowding each other out? Second, the monoculture of ornamental grass in a row! Yeah, grass grows in rows, lots of it, especially here in Lincolnland, but your landscaping shouldn't look like a field of maize. Probably not a good idea to burn them rather than cutting them down! Third, those pretty firs almost planted under the eaves. Unfortunately trees grow, and these will be crowding the house in no time at all. Landscapers do this because they want the bed to look nice now for show and sale, but with total disregard for the future and with the understanding that most people can't envision the future. Hey, every now and again, you make a mistake planting something and not allowing enough room; the Phactor is thinking of a certain 5 gallon thread-leafed Chamaecyparis that has really grown a lot in just 10 years, and they are tricky to prune if you don't want a poodle. Placing young plants too close together or to other plants or buildings or driveways and sidewalks is probably the most common landscaping mistake the Phactor sees, and he sees it alot. A lot of nursery tags now tell you how big the tree or shrub will be in 10 years, so make allowances. Too many people seem to think plants shouldn't grow, and they seem annoyed when to explain to them what will happen. Dream house or nightmare? Probably not a real nightmare, but bad, as in uninspired and poorly planned, just the same. HT to the Garden Rant where they also go ballistic about native plant "lawns" that run afoul of mowing ordinances.


Eric said...

I can't believe no one has commented on this one yet. I guess it is too hideous for words. But since when did that stop any of us? This doesn't even look good from the start, for, oh, so many reasons. The vegetation farther afield indicates that all that evergreenery looks out of place even in the best of arrangements. And what is all this regimentation, marching lines and meatballs. If you want sculpture, then just put some gazing balls out there and be done with it. Couldn't be any uglier. At least they won't outgrow the house.

Kraneia said...

Even though this an older post (as in, not posted within the last few days or so), the title caught my eye, so I had to comment.

As someone who has recently graduated with an A.A.S in Horticulture, I have to agree--that layout is rather overdone (and too close to the house) Although I think the little green globes are a type of false cypress rather than mugos. Still, you never know, a little hard to tell from the image.

Here we have folks who insist on, as one instructor here calls them, "Hollyscapes" and "Juniperscapes".


UNKNOWN said...

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