This is my series of top 10 things you need to consider before you start your landscaping. Everyone thinks that to do their landscaping they need to cover up their yard with grass and shrubs. However, these are the last elements in the process, or as I like to put it they are the icing on the cake.

First you need to put the proper ingredients together to bake a good cake. So in David Letterman style I am starting with number 10 and working my way to number 1.

#10 – Shrubs

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A good rule of thumb is to plant your shrubs in groups to avoid spotty or patchy results. Shrubs are a great backbone for a fluid landscape design. Be sure to leave enough space between the shrubs to allow for 5 years of growth without any pruning.

Two plants reflect a formal composition, while groups of 3, 5 or more have more impact and make a stronger statement. Our eye is always looking for a pleasing, calming composition, and larger groups of the same type of plants and repeating plant groups throughout your design provide one of the major design principles which is unity. You can use a single plant as a specimen or focal point, but be sure its character is strong enough that it can hold on its own.

It’s also another rule of thumb to group like plants together for easier maintenance. Grouping plants that have similar watering and sun requirements will reduce your maintenance time and allow the plants to thrive together in the same environment.

Donna Brown Landscape Designer– Donna Brown, Landscape Design, Salisbury Landscaping, Edmonton & Sherwood Park