After almost 3 decades in the landscape industry you really begin to notice the most common problems and mistakes in landscapes. One major problem is plant choice and location. Most homeowners, builders and even many landscapers are guilty of these errors. Today with the internet, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service, the plethora of gardening books and magazines, it is easier than ever to find information on plant selection.

Let’s start of with the large evergreens. Pinus Strobus (Eastern White Pine) and Picea Abies (Norway Spruce) are commonly planted in foundation plantings, 5 or 6 feet from the driveway, or 5 or 6 feet apart in a screen. These “significant” evergreen trees will achieve heights of 100+ feet and widths of 30 feet across. In 10 to 15 years a 7 foot tall Pinus Strobus can be 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. This is when these trees really start looking nice and unfortunately must be removed by then because they have outgrown their location. Why not choose another evergreen for those uses such as Juniperus Chinensis “Spartan” (Spartan Juniper) This nice small tree evergreen can be purchased in larger sizes for that evergreen accent and stays much smaller than Pinus Strobus or Picea Abies. In many cases fits our suburban landscape better.

Another good plant that is planted in too small a location is Acer Palmatum Dissectum (Japanese Cut Leaf Maple). This wonderful favorite rarely is sited in a location that it can achieve its full stature of 10 to 20 feet wide and 10 to 20 feet tall. It is often crammed into a small 5 foot wide space. What a shame to chop it down when it out grows its location! Transplanting is always possible but it is costly, has some risk, and must be done by an expert for best results. So give this one the room it needs.

I could go on for a long time about plant size and location. Here is one more example. Euonymus Alatus Compacta (Dwarf Winged Burning Bush) This name is very deceiving. This shrub is not a dwarf but quickly grows to 15 feet tall and over 10 feet wide. The “dwarf” refers to the size of “wings” on the branching and this variety has smaller “wings” than its native cousin. This is important to realize, just because it says dwarf does not mean tiny. It usually means smaller than its relatives of that cultivar.

Shade plants in sunny areas are a big problem also. Pieris Japonica (Japanese andromeda) is a great broadleaf evergreen. Although it can tolerate some sun it will tend to get Lace Bug in hot sunny locations almost always. The same is true with Azaleas. Cornus Florida (Flowering Dogwood) always suffers in full sun. This “edge of the forest” native will fair much better in light dappled shade.

Many other plants fail because they were planted in a wet or poorly drained area. Why fight Mother Nature and replace those Rhododendrons every year? I wood suggest Viburnum Dentatum (Arrowood Viburnum) This plant loves a wet poorly drained site and will flourish there.

So don’t make the same mistakes just because that’s how the other houses are planted. Do some research or hire a well qualified landscape designer or landscape architect to help you with your selections.

Maintenance & Plowing

Regency Landscape offers high quality residential and commercial grounds maintenance and snow plowing services in the following towns:

• Long Hill Township
• Warren Township
• Bernards Township
• Bernardsville
• Berkeley Heights
• Watchung
• New Providence
• Surounding areas

Patio & Pavers

Regency knows that a well designed and installed paver project can add beauty and value to your home. Pavers may be used for eye pleasing patios, elegant pool skirts, meandering walkways and drive ways. Don't forget retaining walls and raised planting beds. The possiblities afforded by pavers are limited only by the imagination. Our Design/Build services are available in:

• Morris County
• Somerset County
• Union County
• Hunterdon County
• Middlesex County
• Warren County