Problem areas. Almost every landscape has at least one, whether it is a rocky spot, a slope or a place so heavily shaded that design options with plants are limited.
If drought strikes or your land is plagued by flooding, a normally enviable piece of land can be transformed into a landscape headache.
Fortunately, several solutions are available for dealing with these and other problem areas.
7 Solutions for Landscape Problems
1. Problem: Rocky soil
Solution: Don’t fight the rocks; design a rock garden. Rocks add visual appeal and function to anchor the soil. Plant rock crevices with drought-tolerant plants such as ice plant and sedum as a form of xeriscaping.
2. Problem: Soil erosion
Solution: There are a few different options to help hold back soil such as rock gardens, retaining walls, erosion fabric or even terracing. The easiest option is to grow a deep-rooting ground cover such as pachysandra (shade) or creeping rosemary (sun).
3. Problem: Poor drainage
Solution: Plant a variety of wetland plants such as meadowsweet shrubs, Joe Pye weed, Colorado blue spruce, bayberry, ferns and winterberry. Improve drainage by using absorbent soils and pervious surfaces, edging puddles and creating drainage paths through low-lying areas with sand or stones.
4. Problem: Too much sun
Solution: Save time and money by planting low-maintenance, drought-tolerant perennials such as cacti and succulents. Group plants with similar irrigation needs together in your yard. Plant tall plants for shade such as acacia, mesquite and desert willow.
5. Problem: Too much shade
Solution: Many gardeners would not consider shade a problem as there are dozens upon dozens of shade-loving plants. Fill a shady landscape with hosta, hellebores, bleeding hearts, hollies, azaleas, boxwood, ferns, ginger, English ivy, hydrangea and ajuga.
6. Problem: No privacy
Solution: The quickest solution is to build a fence. If you have a little more time, install lattice and plant vines underneath for added privacy and color. If you have a lot of time, grow a living wall made of trees or shrubs such as arborvitae or cherry laurel.
7. Problem: Critters
Solution: While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for pests, there is one thing you can do to reduce the chances of your landscape becoming an all-you-can-eat buffet: garden in raised beds. While this won’t solve all your problems, a raised bed helps deter small- and medium-sized animals. Add a fence or netting to deter deer and birds as well.