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Things to consider when considering landscaping

Start by considering plant needs — sun or shade. Then decide what you want your landscaping to achieve.

Privacy screening versus sun exposure is typically the strongest concern. This is followed closely by litter and tracking of grass clippings and mulch materials.

After the function is addressed, we focus on form, he said. Making the space as enjoyable as possible.

Brightly colored flowers attract pollinators, and that could mean bee stings. Some of the most attractive ornamental plants have thorns. Both are obviously annoying to thinly clad and barefoot bathers.

Typically, I have found that insects will generally ignore us if we ignore them. Just the mere presence of bees in the landscape does not initiate an attack. However, if severe allergies or phobias of bees exist, I recommend concentrating on other ways to brighten up the landscape — brightly colored foliage, for example.

Or turn to marigolds, chrysanthemums, mint, foxglove, geraniums, and zinnias, whose blooms don’t typically attract stinging insects.

And thorns?

Roses offer us what few other plants can — an entire summer of repeat blooms. In my opinion, the benefits of these plants outweigh the hazards as long, as the plants are positioned an appropriate distance from well-trafficked areas.

Some gardening do’s and don’ts:

Watch where you stockpile organic materials such as pine straw or bark. They can blow or be tracked into the walking areas and can be hard on the feet if you are a lover of going with bare feet during the summer months.

Select plants for year-round interest, even in cold weather. Think evergreens.

Choose trees and shrubs that produce a minimum of litter. Almost any organic material that falls from trees — needles, leaves, spent blooms, fruit — has the potential to stain hardscape elements like decks and patios, simply try to balance the benefits with the concerns and reach a compromise we can all live with.

Think about both day and night use. Evenings can be accented by soft peripheral lighting or featuring tree trunks with up-lights.

Eliminate the use of dark-colored pavement; it adds reflected heat to plants, especially in hotter, dryer climates. Plants that have smaller or waxy leaves will also lose less water than large thin leaves, which dry out quickly.

Need help?  Come on out to The Chicago Home Shows and talk to the experts.  Save time, money and get the pulled together look you want from creating a plan first.

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