Landscaping Ideas for Beginners

No great mystery exists to landscaping. This task simply beautifies the outdoor environment, much like decorating the interior of the house. Beginners often feel overwhelmed by soil tests, mulches, plant choices and the hundreds of other concerns when adding plants to the landscape. Start small to develop confidence and knowledge of the best gardening practices.

Container Gardens

Potted gardens offer the novice gardener the chance to create a manageable addition to the landscape. Select a container with holes and decide where to place the planter. Watch the sunlight in this area to determine which type of plant best suits the area. Sites with full sun receive six or more hours per day and those with partial sun receive four to six hours each day. Part shade sites experience two to four hours each day and full shade has reflective or filtered sunlight for most of the day. Choose annual plants for immediate color to easily match light requirements. A general rule for creating a container garden recommends choosing tall focal plants for height, a mounding plant to fill the planter and mid-size plants for a transition between the large and small plants.

Easy Shrub Mixed Garden

Creating a mixed garden may sound daunting to the first-time gardener. Low-maintenance plants actually exist in both the shrub and annual family. The old practice of lining the foundation of a home has given way to random shrub placement to enhance flower gardens. Select an easy-to-grow shrub like the dwarf boxwood. The medium green, dense foliage perfectly accents flowers placed in the same garden. Choose a few colors of vividly blooming annuals to place in groups of three for impact. Plant the shrubs in a pattern or randomly and use the annual plants to add color. This mixed garden offers an easy, low maintenance garden with color and style for a novice landscaper.

Wildflower Garden

Wildflower gardens offer two benefits to the homeowner. These gardens bring bees, butterflies and, in some cases, hummingbirds to the landscape. Wildflower gardens also provide a wealth of cutting flowers for indoor arrangements. Creating a wildflower garden adds beauty to the landscape and also teaches novice gardeners the basic skills without great expense in time or plants. Visit the garden center for a tin of wildflower seeds and a bag of compost. Grab a hoe and shovel. Remove all weeds by scraping the hoe across the soil or hand pulling larger weeds. Turn over the soil by stepping down on the shovel blade and flipping the soil over. Break up clumps and add the compost as a layer over the top of the garden. Work the compost into the soil to improve organic content and drainage. Follow package instructions for the best planting methods. In most cases, gardeners sprinkle seeds throughout the garden and cover with an inch of fine-grained soil. Water thoroughly to ensure even moisture levels in the soil.

Keywords: beginner landscaping ideas, novice gardening techniques, easy landscaping ideas

About this Author

S.F. Heron is an avid gardener with three years of experience in online writing and a working background in aviation and earth and ocean sciences. She is published on various sites, including Helium, eHow and Xomba. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.