Landscape Renovation

Many folks think that there’s only one solution for an old, tired or overgrown landscape: rip it out, and start anew. While that’s certainly an option, and sometimes an absolute necessity, there’s a much less drastic and more cost-effective alternative: renovation.

We all look around our homes from time to time, and suddenly realize that the shade we chose for the dining room is looking stale, and the lighting in the living room is growing dim. We know it’s time to paint, move things around, add a few new pieces and freshen everything up. The same holds true for our outdoor spaces. The Boxwood that so smartly lined the front walk when first installed may be tattered around the edges now, and the shady spot where we planted a favorite tree may be dank and mossy, and no longer a place that beckons when we step outside. There are lots of ways to bring your landscape back to life, and we’re happy to share a few ideas with you.

Remove/Transplant -- Like many other industries that involve design, landscaping follows trends. Perhaps the fashions in plantings don’t come and go as quickly as those on the runway, but they change nonetheless. In the nineties, excess was best and formality ruled. Landscapes featured layers of plant material in deep beds, densely planted borders with many varieties of shrubs and perennials, and dwarf evergreens staged everywhere as focal points. Now, simplicity prevails, and ‘natural’, ‘organic’ and ‘native’ are the new buzzwords. It might be time to re-evaluate your planting beds with paring down in mind. Many of your existing plants can probably be grouped in new locations (and allowed to grow naturally!) for a cleaner, more unified effect. Other plants can be potted up and donated to a friend or local Garden Club. Even your prized Japanese maple can be relocated to a spot where it can stretch out and achieve its finest potential, unencumbered by smaller shrubs. Just transplanting and/or eliminating some of your plant material can go a long way toward helping your landscape look fresher and more up-to-date.

Re-imagine planting beds -- Take a hard look at your current landscaping, and ask yourself if it’s doing the job it was intended to do. Is it still screening an unsightly view? Allowing an attractive passage from one part of the property to another? You may no longer need that large expanse of grassy soccer field, and would get far more use from a beautifully sited, screened gazebo. Or you may never have developed a love for all of those flowering shrubs and perennials, and would much rather look out at a calming swath of ornamental grasses. Many times shrubs are planted under trees when all the material is young, and the shrubs begin to weaken and thin as the tree grows on. Those shrubs may take on a new attitude when they’re cut back and moved to a sunny spot, while the tree would be perfectly happy in a new, smaller bed, under planted with Liriope. Renovating your landscape is all about picturing how it can perform better for you. 

Add a bit of masonry -- No component of outdoor design can add as much punch to your landscape as good masonry. Whether it’s a new set of steps to your front door, two pillars framing an entrance, or a sturdy patio in a secluded spot, masonry provides the structure for landscaping. It supplies solid footing, lends a sense of permanence, and can sculpt more functional space from areas that may be unusable. Masonry also increases the value of your home. Well-designed stone work pays for itself by adding curb appeal and extending your living spaces, and it never has to be pruned, watered, or mulched! Click here to read our Masonry & Sitework page.

DLTC has been re-imagining landscapes for over 35 years. If you think you’re ready to renovate, we’re ready to share more ideas that can transform your current landscape into something fresh and up-to-date.

Jon Sweeney

Pat has been an avid gardener throughout her adult life. Her education was in fine arts, with a further degree in commercial art. After a decade as an Art Director, Pat segued into landscaping, and has worked as a Landscape Designer in Fairfield County for the past twenty years.