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Landscape Design Tips for Beginners

Starting From Square 1: What is Landscaping?

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bluebeard: drought tolerant shrub

Bluebeard (photo) will survive in a dry, sunny site, where some other plants would "cook." Proper site selection is one of the most important elements of landscaping to master.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

Q.--
I know "landscaping" refers to plants, fences and the like. But is there a core idea behind landscape design?

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I just became a homeowner for the first time. Is there a good reason why I should bother with landscaping at all?

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What would be the first landscaping issue that I should begin to look into, as soon as I move into my new property?

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Should I hire a professional to work on my landscaping and, if so, how do I go about hiring such a person (for example, a landscape designer or architect)?

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I've decided to do my own landscaping work. How do I begin planning my project?

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I like a lot of different plants, but as a beginner, I'm not sure how to group them. Aesthetic considerations aside, is there a rule of thumb for grouping plant A with plant B, rather than having it grow next to plant C?

Q.--
What factors influence site selection for landscape plants?

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I don't want to sever any underground utility cables when digging. Isn't there some sort of "Dig Safe" phone number that I can call?

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I don't have a lot of time for maintenance, so I'm going to plant perennials rather than annuals. After all, they come up every year, right? Is this a sound strategy for beginners?

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I live in an area where it gets really hot, meaning I have to irrigate profusely if I don't want to lose my lawn and all my plants to drought. Could I save money in the long run by having a water well dug?

Q.--
I have big trees in my front yard, and no plant will grow under them. Can you suggest a way to plant under trees?

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I want to plant a row of trees alongside the street. Do you have any examples of pollution-tolerant trees?

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The cold weather is on its way. I'm new to landscaping and wonder what I can do about winter plant protection. Any tips?

Q.--
Is Spraying the Best Option for Tick Control?

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