Refresh Your Landscaping in Only Two Days. We Show You How.

Making over your landscaping doesn’t take long at all. You can do it in a weekend if you plan your days ahead.

Day One: Prep

First, you’ll need to clear your planting beds. If you’re completely redesigning your landscaping, the only thing left should be the dirt. Bushes, flowers, weeds, all of it has to go into the yard cart and out to the street.

Touch up the borders of your landscaping beds with an edger, or draw all new ones with a hoe and shovel. Make sure the lines are very clear. Garden edging is a great way to keep your garden beds and your lawn separated, but if you forego it we suggest marking the boundaries with planting flags {gallery} until the project is completely finished.

Garden Bed Prep

Use a test kit to see what you should use to balance out your soil. One of the greatest things about garden beds is that you get to really control what goes into your soil. That’s a huge advantage when it comes to things like fertilizers and amendments.

Ideally you’ll have balanced ph, and your soil will be high in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Some plants require more acidic soil, so be sure to check the needs of what you’re choosing to plant. Then head to your neighborhood store and grab the fertilizer that fills in the gaps in your soil’s mix.

Scatter your amendments over the soil, then turn them in with a garden fork (literally stick the fork in and try to turn the dirt over) a few times, and water it. Try to keep the bed fluffy and loose if you can. Loose soil makes it easier for plants to grow large, strong roots and to establish themselves.

Let your landscaping beds settle overnight, and get some rest.

Day Two: Planting.

Good landscaping embraces and accentuates your home, making the grounds an extension of the living area and vice-versa.

Place evergreen shrubs close to your exterior walls. They’re the ones that are going to be around all year, so you can use them to permanently accent a feature, or soften the impact of anything you don’t currently love about the exterior your home.

Remember, evergreen doesn’t mean a tree that grows spiky leaf-needles. It means a plant that doesn’t lose its leaves in the winter. So it’s not just cypress, juniper, and pine. A lot of flowering plants fall into this category, too.

Some of our favorite evergreen shrubs are mock orange and heavenly bamboo, but the Nursery at your neighborhood store will have a wide selection of plants that will thrive in your area.

Mexican Mock Orange

Mexican Mock Orange

Pro Tip:

For a container garden that looks like it was put together by a professional, mix a “thriller,” a ”filler,” and a “spiller.” The thriller is the main attraction, the showboat of the pot. It’s usually tall and colorful. The filler is there to support the thriller, and to add mass to the container. It’s usually bushy. The spiller flows over the container edges to soften them, and to connect the pot to its location.

Shrubs are also a great choice for lining walkways and for framing other focal points like pergolas, benches, and fountains. You can plant them directly in ground, or you can put them in containers. Planters and containers make it easier to change the way your landscaping is set, by changing the way the eye moves around the yard.

For smaller flowering plants, you have a few options: Annuals, perennials, and groundcovers.

Annuals go from seed to flower and back in one year. They’re usually used to give garden beds some variety, since their life cycle is so short. You can have pansies one year and marigolds the next.

Perennials live longer than 2 years, and bloom seasonally. Some of them keep their leaves over winter, and some don’t. Some die every winter, then pop up again year after year in the same spot. Use them as dependable seasonal fixtures, and accent them with annuals.

Groundcovers are plants that creep quickly to fill in open spaces, and form dense mats that choke out weeds. Some of them bloom, but the ones that don’t bloom still grow so tightly that they can make a statement with color. You can plant them around larger perennials and shrubs to fill in any gaps. They’re also ideal for places where grass doesn’t (or shouldn’t) grow, like under trees and between stepping stones.

Ground cover varities

Ground cover varities

No matter what you choose, keep this rule in mind: Plant in masses. Mass planting your colorful flowers and groundcovers can refresh your landscape’s feel immediately, because big swaths of the same color, texture, or shape make a bold statement.

When you’re ready to get dirty, lay out all the plant containers to get a feel for what it’ll be like to have them in place. We always plant from large to small, to save time tiptoeing around the tulips later. Start with the biggest shrubs and move out from them, placing smaller plants as you go.

Mulch ground cover

Mulch ground cover

The last addition to your landscape should be wood. Not, say, a giant driftwood log you found on the beach (though that would be very cool, and in no way are we saying don’t do that if you can figure out how to get it home) but wood chips, bark, and mulch. It’s a low-maintenance ways to discourage weeds and keep moisture closer to the ground. Finish off by using it to fill in any gaps between plants, and define the borders of your new garden beds.

Now sit back, grab a drink, and take a look at that beautiful view.