All Posts   Posted:   March 9, 2016

Everyone wants an attractive and well-maintained landscape design, but planning a major overhaul to your landscape or identifying the subtle tweaks needed to nail your unique personal style can be tough to achieve. And it doesn’t help that there are practical considerations like drainage, sun exposure, and limited space that you have to plan for as well. Not to worry, though! With decades of residential landscaping experience, we’ve identified seven common issues that homeowners come across and have tips for how you can solve them.

Problem #1: Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is a common landscaping issue that jeopardizes the health of your lawn. If you notice standing water in your lawn after a heavy rain, it’s likely you have drainage problems. Not only does this prevent you from enjoying your outdoor space, it creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and crane fly larvae, which can decimate a lawn in just a few weeks.  These are immediate issues that need to be addressed.

To keep your yard from staying soggy, slope, divert, and aerate. Your yard should have a gradual and regular slope away from your house, and gutters or drains should be used to divert water coming off your roof and prevent it from accumulating in the yard. Seasonally, it’s important to aerate your lawn to allow water and air to permeate the soil, keeping your plants healthy and your yard dry. Check out our Bean Residence project to see how the landscape experts at Dennis’ 7 Dees solved similar drainage problems.

Erosion Control

 

Problem #2: Noisy Neighborhood

It’s hard to enjoy the privacy of your yard if you’re in a noisy or high-traffic area. While you can’t completely eliminate neighborhood or city sounds, you can greatly mitigate them with the addition of a high barrier fence, masonry walls, or a water feature to help mask unwanted sounds. Decorative objects and landscape features can also serve as noise barriers if correctly placed. With a strategic approach, you block out noise while enhancing the beauty of your backyard.

Wall & plant sound barrier to street noise

 

Problem #3: Unsightly Views

Whether you don’t like looking at your neighbor’s broken down car or you want your backyard to feel more private, a fence can be a great way to completely screen your yard and create intimacy. For medium coverage, a semi-privacy or shadowbox fence is your best option. Or, if you would prefer privacy with no fence at all, you can still create screening with the strategic placement of masonry pillars, monuments, pergolas, and similar. Potted plants, large decorative stones, or bamboo screens can also be used to fill in exposed gaps or create light coverage. If you have the space, evergreen tree screening is a great option too.

Creative screening panel

 

Problem #4: Shaded Landscaping

The graceful Cedars and towering Douglas Firs that Portland is known for can make it nearly impossible to maintain a robust and healthy landscape design. Many plants need at least a few hours a day of sun exposure in order to thrive. However, even areas that are rarely exposed to sunlight can be gorgeously landscaped, you just have to do your research.

To work with a shady yard, observe and determine how much sun or shade different parts of your yard get before making landscaping changes. This will determine the types of plants you will want to use for your landscaping efforts. To add lively color in areas that are deeply shaded, go for full shade plants like hydrangeas, begonia, or hellebores.

Shade garden

 

Problem #5: Negotiating a Small Space

Another common concern in our urban areas and our neighborhoods situated on deep slopes is dealing with a lack of usable space. To make the most of a small outdoor area, a raised patio or deck can be added to create the feel of a spacious outdoor living area. Segmental retaining walls are a great solution to elevating unusable space, especially in difficult to access locations, due to their modular design and high retention value.  Tall plants that grow upward as opposed to sprawl outward can also be used to draw the eye up and make the most of vertical space.

Small space landscape

 

Problem #6: Upkeep & Maintenance

Maybe you love your landscape, but you don’t necessarily love maintaining it. Watering, trimming, pruning, raking, and mowing can become unwanted chores for even the most avid garden lovers.

To avoid weekend frustration, before building out your landscape determine just how involved in the maintenance you want to be. Certain plants, shrubs, and flowers are more self-sufficient than others and are easier to care for, while others require consistent care and more time-consuming maintenance. For a hands-off approach, Dennis’ 7 Dees also offers residential landscaping services in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas to keep your yard in gorgeous condition all year round.

Self sufficient plants

 

Problem #7: Landscaping on a Budget

Your dream backyard doesn’t have to happen all at once! If you want a beautiful landscape, but some elements are out of your budget, you may want to consider a phased approach instead of a complete overhaul. Our team of landscaping experts can help determine when to spend and when to save to help you achieve a beautiful end result without breaking your budget.  Being smart with knowing the order of what should be done will also keep your project on track and keep you from having to redo work you’ve already done.  We can help guide you there too.

Everyone wants an attractive and well-maintained landscape design, but planning a major overhaul to your landscape or identifying the subtle tweaks needed to nail your unique personal style can be tough to achieve. And it doesn’t help that there are practical considerations like drainage, sun exposure, and limited space that you have to plan for as well. Not to worry, though! With decades of residential landscaping experience, we’ve identified seven common issues that homeowners come across and have tips for how you can solve them.

Problem #1: Poor Drainage

Poor drainage is a common landscaping issue that jeopardizes the health of your lawn. If you notice standing water in your lawn after a heavy rain, it’s likely you have drainage problems. Not only does this prevent you from enjoying your outdoor space, it creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and crane fly larvae, which can decimate a lawn in just a few weeks.  These are immediate issues that need to be addressed.

To keep your yard from staying soggy, slope, divert, and aerate. Your yard should have a gradual and regular slope away from your house, and gutters or drains should be used to divert water coming off your roof and prevent it from accumulating in the yard. Seasonally, it’s important to aerate your lawn to allow water and air to permeate the soil, keeping your plants healthy and your yard dry. Check out our Bean Residence project to see how the landscape experts at Dennis’ 7 Dees solved similar drainage problems.

Erosion Control

 

Problem #2: Noisy Neighborhood

It’s hard to enjoy the privacy of your yard if you’re in a noisy or high-traffic area. While you can’t completely eliminate neighborhood or city sounds, you can greatly mitigate them with the addition of a high barrier fence, masonry walls, or a water feature to help mask unwanted sounds. Decorative objects and landscape features can also serve as noise barriers if correctly placed. With a strategic approach, you block out noise while enhancing the beauty of your backyard.

Wall & plant sound barrier to street noise

 

Problem #3: Unsightly Views

Whether you don’t like looking at your neighbor’s broken down car or you want your backyard to feel more private, a fence can be a great way to completely screen your yard and create intimacy. For medium coverage, a semi-privacy or shadowbox fence is your best option. Or, if you would prefer privacy with no fence at all, you can still create screening with the strategic placement of masonry pillars, monuments, pergolas, and similar. Potted plants, large decorative stones, or bamboo screens can also be used to fill in exposed gaps or create light coverage. If you have the space, evergreen tree screening is a great option too.

Creative screening panel

 

Problem #4: Shaded Landscaping

The graceful Cedars and towering Douglas Firs that Portland is known for can make it nearly impossible to maintain a robust and healthy landscape design. Many plants need at least a few hours a day of sun exposure in order to thrive. However, even areas that are rarely exposed to sunlight can be gorgeously landscaped, you just have to do your research.

To work with a shady yard, observe and determine how much sun or shade different parts of your yard get before making landscaping changes. This will determine the types of plants you will want to use for your landscaping efforts. To add lively color in areas that are deeply shaded, go for full shade plants like hydrangeas, begonia, or hellebores.

Shade garden

 

Problem #5: Negotiating a Small Space

Another common concern in our urban areas and our neighborhoods situated on deep slopes is dealing with a lack of usable space. To make the most of a small outdoor area, a raised patio or deck can be added to create the feel of a spacious outdoor living area. Segmental retaining walls are a great solution to elevating unusable space, especially in difficult to access locations, due to their modular design and high retention value.  Tall plants that grow upward as opposed to sprawl outward can also be used to draw the eye up and make the most of vertical space.

Small space landscape

 

Problem #6: Upkeep & Maintenance

Maybe you love your landscape, but you don’t necessarily love maintaining it. Watering, trimming, pruning, raking, and mowing can become unwanted chores for even the most avid garden lovers.

To avoid weekend frustration, before building out your landscape determine just how involved in the maintenance you want to be. Certain plants, shrubs, and flowers are more self-sufficient than others and are easier to care for, while others require consistent care and more time-consuming maintenance. For a hands-off approach, Dennis’ 7 Dees also offers residential landscaping services in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA areas to keep your yard in gorgeous condition all year round.

Self sufficient plants

 

Problem #7: Landscaping on a Budget

Your dream backyard doesn’t have to happen all at once! If you want a beautiful landscape, but some elements are out of your budget, you may want to consider a phased approach instead of a complete overhaul. Our team of landscaping experts can help determine when to spend and when to save to help you achieve a beautiful end result without breaking your budget.  Being smart with knowing the order of what should be done will also keep your project on track and keep you from having to redo work you’ve already done.  We can help guide you there too.