A Look at Common Cottage Landscaping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Once your cottage is open, it’s time to tend to the landscape and garden to get it on par with your home away from home.
A cottage garden adds to the beauty of nature and the serene summer atmosphere, but sometimes cottage landscaping and gardening can be too much work for cottage owners.
Cottage landscaping isn’t exactly the easiest of jobs, after all, and without proper care, a garden could easily fall into disrepair. There’s plenty of potential for error and confusion in these projects.
Thankfully, there are solutions! As Ottawa’s landscape design experts, Jonathan Robert Landscapes has the knowledge needed to keep your cottage looking beautiful all summer long.
These are some of the most common issues we find with cottage landscaping projects, and tips to help you avoid and fix them.
Not Knowing What You Want Or Focusing On One Specific Thing Too Much
Not knowing what you want out of a project is perhaps the most common issue we come across.
While an elaborate garden looks nice, it might not suit your cottage’s laid-back rustic style. And if it requires a lot of upkeep, you may find that you’re spending too much time tending to your garden and not enough time relaxing at your cottage.
If you don’t have the time to tend to a big garden, especially if you’re not at your cottage all the time, you’re better off choosing plants that are easier to care for.
But if you do have a luxurious cottage and you want a landscape to match, consider hiring cottage landscaping professionals to do the work for you.
Wildlife, especially deer and insects, are attracted to certain plants. So when choosing plants for your cottage landscaping, keep this in mind. You don’t want to invest your time and energy into a garden that will be eaten.
Ask gardening experts about which plants keep pests and deer away. Companion planting is a style of gardening that groups specific plants together to protect your garden from hungry visitors.
But if you do want to attract wildlife, such as pollinators (bees, butterflies), chipmunks, foxes, and hummingbirds, you can find plenty of plants that will do just that.
Not Planting with Purpose
While gardens seem fairly straightforward, they actually require careful planning for success in the long run. If you don’t have an idea of how your garden will look in five to 10 years from now, or even next season, you may end up with an overcrowded or dull-looking garden.
Ottawa landscape design companies can help you plan your garden so it will grow into a lush, well-spaced garden with plenty of colour and plants that complement each other.
Perennials, shrubs, and trees need a lot of room to spread out. If they don’t have this room, they will eventually look overgrown and choked. Over-crowded plants also compete for food and water, which can be detrimental to their health, especially during droughts.
While your garden might look sparse at first, it will fill out over time.
As for keeping your garden colourful in spring, summer, and fall, choose a variety of plants that bloom in each season. You don’t want a whole garden full of spring blooms. This will leave your garden without colour for the rest of the year.
There are early- and late-spring blooms, summer blooms, and even plants that bloom once in spring and again in summer. As for fall colours, consider a shrub that turns vibrant red, such as a burning bush.
Neglecting Plants and Not Clearing Out Weeds
All gardens require upkeep. If you neglect your garden, it won’t look as nice as it should.
Gardens need regular watering, tidying, weeding, and pest control. Without this care, your garden could end up with:
- Dead plants from lack of watering;
- Plants with holes throughout the leaves from pests munching on them;
- Weeds overtaking your garden, stealing water and nutrients from your plants, and causing cracks in your brick, stone, and interlock pavers; and
- An overall poor-looking garden that you can no longer admire.
- If you’re not up for the challenge of regular garden maintenance, stick to low-maintenance landscaping.
Many native plants are low-maintenance since they naturally thrive in local conditions. They typically won’t need as much watering, pruning, or pest control if planted in the right soil and environmental conditions.
Also, make sure to choose the right location for your plants so they get the required sun exposure and watering needs.
Keep these cottage landscaping ideas (and mistakes) in mind when planning for your cottage garden this summer.
With the right plants, you can have a lush, colourful garden throughout the cottage season.
You can opt for low-maintenance landscaping so you can spend more time admiring your garden and less time working on it.
While you probably don’t spend as much time at your cottage as you do at home, it’s worth it to plan for cottage landscaping and gardens that will look great and stay healthy for years to come.
In 2008, following a successful career as a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team, Jonathan Robert stepped into the landscaping industry, starting Jonathan Robert Landscapes. In the years since he’s quickly earned a reputation for high-quality work with creative designs and has been recognized in several industry-leading publications. Jonathan’s always got an eye on innovation and is always looking ahead to see what’s on the horizon in the industry. He works hard to stay on top of current guidelines, practices, and regulations. Jonathan is a member of Landscape Ontario, the International Concrete Paving Industry (ICPI), Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), and is a Tech-Pro contractor.