Five Simple Landscaping Tips

We get tons of questions on our landscaping. Many ask how we get our ideas, and even where to start. We are definitely not pros, but have been doing it ourselves for many years. While we still have a lot to learn about flowers, I feel like we are good at the green stuff!

Doing it ourselves allows us to save some money and we also know it is done correctly. When it comes to projects, Henry tends to be a little OCD and wants to make sure everything is close to perfect.

After landscaping several homes, landscaping has become something we just do, and never really condor hiring it out. We always use the same design process and design techniques over and over, because it works with achieving a clean landscape around a home. This is the look we love and are always striving for.

Here are a few tips that we always keep in mind while designing and doing our landscaping projects.

Keep It Simple

Landscaping doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it is a very easy process once you have a little practice under your belt.

Henry and I normally have different opinions on many things, but both on landscaping and home design we agree that simple is better.

Keeping it simple means having enough greenery, but not too much. We think it’s important not to overdo your landscaping for a few reasons. More shrubs and plants, means more work and more to take care of. And if you end up planting too much, things can start to look overgrown very quickly.

Keeping it simple also means that you won’t have to spend as much on your landscaping. We all know that shrubs and flowers can get expensive.

Have a Plan in Mind or Sketched Out

Always make sure and plan out the area you want to landscape. Do some research on what kind of plant works best for where you’re planting.

We have a couple of plants we use in about every landscaping project. We have an obsession with Boxwoods. We normally use Wintergem or Wintergreen Boxwoods. The number one reason for loving this particular plant is because it is so hardy and it’s evergreen. For height, we like Emerald Green Arborvitaes.

Having a plan in mind will also keep you from overbuying and spending too much money. Not to mention it will keep the work load down on hauling extra unneeded plants.


The number one thing to keep in mind while planning your landscaping is layering. Layers will add texture and interest.

We normally start with evergreen larger shrubs in the back or even a tree. This will create your height. Then we move forward to the middle where a medium size evergreen is planted. In the front we like to leave room for seasonal flowers.

Now, the layered rule is sometimes broken when you have a smaller area. In this case, it is very simple. You plant what you have room for. This may only be two or even one layer. For instance, around our front porch we only have room for a larger shrub and a layer of flowers in the front.

Use the Right Mulch

I know most people have their own favorite mulch. Ours is pine bark. We like it for a few reasons. It has a very natural color. We’re not big fans of the unnatural mulch colors you can get, like red or black.

Pine bark also has a very good texture. It has small pieces of bark, but also some stringy pieces that help it cling together and not easily wash off of banks.

Always Edge

So, I’ve saved the most important for last. Always edge!

Edging will create a clean line where your grass meets the mulch. Not only will it look great, people will for sure think you hired a professional. Edging does take a bit more time, but it creates a very nice stopping point. It also helps prevent your mulch from running away.

You can create a nice clean edge using a spade as seen in the picture below. Before edging, it’s always a good idea to use a can of orange spray paint to mark your border. Then you can edge along the spray painted line.

As I stated above, landscaping doesn’t have to be hard. I think like anything, we talk ourselves into thinking we can’t do it. Now, don’t get me wrong, Im not sure I’ll let Henry talk me into doing a project as big as our last one…160 bags of mulch was bit much for me, but for the most part, landscaping it fun to us.

I hope these tips help you see that if we can do it, I know you can! Let’s get those edgers out and get to work!

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  • Reply Karen

    Great tips! Me and Tom were just talking about landscaping for our yard. Thanks for sharing!

    May 1, 2019 at 11:35 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Hey Karen! Im glad you enjoyed it. Yes, you will be having lots of landscaping soon. I know you all will make it look beautiful just like your home will be!

      May 1, 2019 at 12:00 pm
  • Reply Andrea stryd

    Love these tips! I just bought some boxwoods. Do they grow fast? Wondering how long till they bulk up.

    May 4, 2019 at 2:06 am
    • Reply Brooke

      Thanks! It normally takes them a few months to really start growing. But once they get going, they really grow fast.

      May 6, 2019 at 1:34 am
  • Reply Leslie

    We have boxwoods at our house now and I can’t stand the way they smell. Are there ones that done smell??

    May 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm
    • Reply Henry

      I’m not sure if there are any that do not smell. I actually like it. 🙂 It reminds me of going to my grandma’s house when I was a kid.

      May 9, 2019 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Loretta

    What are the little red flowers in the picture with the boxwoods close up. The red flowers are in the bottom red corner.

    May 11, 2019 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Tatiane

    Awesome tips. Thanks for sharing it.

    May 25, 2019 at 10:02 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      Thank you for following along and so glad you enjoyed!

      May 7, 2020 at 12:25 pm
  • Reply Sarah Lofton

    I am in Texas and it is very hot I have an old flower bed that is in the front of our house….I cannot keep the weeds and clovers out of it do you have a recommendation on some kind of plant something very green like vines that will grow and we can keep trimmed off the sidewalk very new too landscaping I just feel like it looks trashy in the front of our house currently! NEED HELP!!!

    July 9, 2019 at 10:51 pm
  • Reply susan

    Hello, what is the name of the small evergreen shrub/tree to left of meter by fp called?

    December 16, 2020 at 2:43 am
  • Reply Suze Nevitt

    How do you keep the grass out of the flower beds and in the area around the shrubs?

    June 7, 2021 at 12:34 am
  • Reply Monica

    Beautiful landscaping, thanks for sharing!
    Could you tell me what the yellow flowers are at the end of the garage planted between the boxwoods?

    Are they and annual or perennial?

    May 7, 2022 at 1:28 pm
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