You don't have to be a professional to landscape like one. Professional landscaping requires a combination of expertise, patience and good ideas. If you take the time to plan your landscaping ideas and do the necessary research before you start, you can end up with results that would make the pros feel proud.
Cut it Back
Cut back thick foundation hedges into small, orderly columns to open up space around your house. Thin large, dense plantings of ornamental grass into several small, separate plugs to create a more formal, geometric look for your garden. Replace a large irregular landscape boulder with a row of several smaller, flat rocks to give your yard a more symmetrical look. Leave the extra space bare or add pavers or other landscape rocks to form a walkway or patio.
Light Your Landscape
Good professional landscape lighting requires a combination of functional and artistic lights. Landscape-America recommends uplighting architectural features, such as arbors and archways for a striking, dramatic effect. Use a broader beam to outline the side of a house and use submersible lights to illuminate a pond.
Trees, bushes and other natural features can be illuminated in a number of ways. Light them from behind to create a silhouette, from below for dramatic uplighting or from above or all around to create a more concrete display with good visibility.
Use low voltage lights to create area lighting for nighttime activities. Install lights under handrails, eaves and benches to create diffuse lighting for good visibility. Combine these lights with beam lights from above to light the area for nighttime activities.
Create a low-maintenance, grass-free landscape. Build a stone walkway or patio and plant a low-water, low-maintenance ground cover such as thyme to replace a lawn.
Lay mulch such as gravel or bark over landscape fabric to create a weed-free yard that never requires any water. Add plants that are native to your area for a low-maintenance garden that will require relatively little watering, weeding or fertilizing.