A Man, A Plan, A Garden

Feb 14, 2017, 14:22 PM
The best backyard landscapes start with a plan. Whether you’re a DIYer on a budget, or you’re hiring a professional landscaper to create the yard of your dreams, foresight and careful selection of each element is vital.


We talked to Joshua Gillow, the Founder of MasterPLAN, a landscape design-build company based in Broadheadsville, Pennsylvania, who offered up a few things to think about when you begin your planning process.

  1. Natural Disguise - Trees, shrubs and plants can be used to border boundary lines, to disguise property pins or act as an embellishment to distract from an unsightly feature. Purposefully laying out larger evergreens and deciduous plantings provide ample privacy from neighboring properties. 
  2. Flowerbed Flow - Always fortify the flowerbed area with a strong evergreen or deciduous planting first, and then layer in plantings based on their size, texture and color. Consider groundcover plantings since they are generally low maintenance and provide the whole space with a much more natural look. 
  3. Know Your Trees - You might get more than you bargained for with some species of trees. While a Black Walnut tree is beautiful, its roots produce juglone, a chemical that prevents the growth of many other plants. The Leyland Cypress might like a great tree for privacy because it grows so quickly, but it’s extremely soft-wooded and can’t even support its own weight after as few as 10 years. 
  4. Consistent Color - Choosing flowers that bloom at different times of the year, and planting them based on size and flowering timeframe throughout your garden will introduce layers of depth and provide vibrant, exciting and shifting colors throughout each blooming season. 
  5. Your Nose Knows - Consider how you will walk through and use your garden space, then plant fragrant plants that match your schedules and paths. Keep early blooming flowers like Lilacs closer to congregation areas and incorporate the late blooming plants farther away from the home. Plants like Sweetbay Magnolia flower later in the season when it is warmer and you are more likely to be enjoying the full run of your property. Place a Lavender plant near pathways or areas of congregation so you and your guests can enjoy its scent. 
  6. Birder’s Delight - Specific breeds of birds are attracted to different plants. For example, Trumpet Vine attracts hummingbirds and other wildlife, and Black Eyed Susans will bring in those beautiful yellow Goldfinches. Incorporating plants that appeal to your favorite birds will guarantee a lively landscape. 
Visit the MasterPLAN team at the Philly Home + Garden Show at Booth 58 and 60 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks Feb. 17-19.

Philly Home + Garden Show Logo

FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017.