Crystal Valley Blog

Landscaping Dos and Don’ts

POSTED July 4, 2017

Looking at a bare yard can be exciting or overwhelming, depending on how you feel about landscaping. When it comes to planting trees and caring for plants, there are common mistakes people tend to make that can spoil the overall look, or spell future doom for their hard-wrought efforts.

Look at these tips for your front and backyards — our top seven dos and don’ts of landscaping!

Landscaping Dos

Think long term
landscapingPlant care and lawn maintenance can wear you out, especially if you don’t have lots of leisure time to spend in your yard. Choose plants and trees that won’t be hazardous or high maintenance, especially if you aren’t home much. And consider how large a plant or tree will be at maturity before investing in it.

Making Mulch

Yard maintenance, especially in the fall, produces a lot of waste which we tend to bag and send to the curb. Do try composting instead. Take those branches, clippings, leaves and debris – you may have to rent a chipper – and turn them into mulch – an organic way to improve your soil. To get you started, here are a few compost bins you can build in a day.

Read the Tags!

A common mistake people often make while planting is placing the plans where they won’t get enough sunlight. A quick fix is to read the tag before you plant! (This was a new concept for us, too.) No tag? Check the Plant Encyclopedia at Better Homes and Gardens for characteristics and care information. This will help you understand how they reproduce and spread and what type of maintenance they’ll need.

Factor in Wildlife

If you’re planting a smorgasbord for the local deer, rabbits and squirrels your landscaping may suffer! Throw in some bitter tasting plants to discourage deer like marigolds, foxglove and rosemary. Crape myrtle, fountain grass and African lilies are also not bothered, usually, by critters.

Landscaping Don’ts

Too many gnomes

landscapingSome homeowners make the mistake of putting too many gnomes, frogs, fairies and other decorative items in their yard. After one or two strategically placed sculptures, ornaments can distract from the beauty of your natural landscape. Before placing an ornament on or around your lawn ask yourself how it fits into the overall design and plant placement. Resist the urge to over-embellish!

Invasive plants

Invasive plants are alien species that tend to spread out of control. These undesirable plants make look good, but are from another region and spread like wildfire in an aggressive move to dominate your habitat! Here’s a list of some of the aggressive plants you might want to avoid. 

Tight squeeze trees
Never plant a tree too close to your home, or else you could be looking at roof repair in the winter! Consider how tall and long its branches will be before you plant. The absolute minimum distance a short tree should be from your home is 20 feet, but taller trees should be planted up to 50 feet away.

For more front and backyard blunders, check out this list of 25 landscaping mistakes at

And for a few inspirational ideas for low-maintenance landscaping, check out these pins on Pinterest.

Admire the Landscape in Crystal Valley

We’ve been doing some beautiful new landscaping in the master-planned community of Crystal Valley! Check out our handiwork as you explore new home designs from Richmond American Homes, available in ranch or two-story models and priced from the high $300s. And – coming soon – new homes by D.R. Horton and Kauffman Homes!


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Our community enjoys a year-round schedule of events and activities. Register to receive the latest progress and news of upcoming events at Crystal Valley.

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