Creating a new landscape design for your home is an exciting event for homeowners. It provides the opportunity to bring your vision to life and to enjoy it for many years to come. But with this long term enjoyment there can also be some long term issues if you do not carefully plan for the growth and expansion of your plantings. Considering how your future landscape will impact the use of your property and the property of your neighbors is key to maintaining a beautiful yard and a good relationship with your neighbors.

Think of the Future

When selecting your plants, consider the mature size of the plants as well as where you are locating them. A small bougainvillea that barely fills a 5 gallon pot today will be well over 8’ tall in less than two years and could easily hang over sidewalks and into a neighbor’s yard. Keep large, fast growing plants away from property lines and areas that could block the view of a driveway or a sidewalk. You might not mind maintaining these large plants but your neighbor probably feels differently.

Consider Maintenance

Also, consider the type and amount of debris your plants will produce in the future. Will the trees shed leaves year round? Will there be seed pods falling on the sidewalks? Will they produce hundreds of colorful blooms that will litter the ground each day? All of these traits will increase your yard maintenance as well as that of your neighbors. And if you do elect to install plants that produce a large amount of debris, be contentious in keeping them well-groomed to avoid littering your neighbor’s property.

Potentially Toxic Plants

Finally, consider eliminating toxic plants from your landscape if your neighbors have small children or domestic pets. One of the most commonly used toxic plants in the Phoenix area is the Oleander. All parts of the plant are toxic including the dried leaves. Another common plant that is very dangerous is the Sago Palm. The plant is toxic to both humans and domestic pets when ingested. The ASPCA reports a fatality rate of over 50% when a pet eats the Sago Palm needles. The number is thought to be this high because animals seem to enjoy the texture of the plant and will consume large amounts of the plant. Locating toxic plants in fenced areas, where access can be controlled, can be a great way to ensure that no children or animals suffer from the effects of their toxins.

Planning for the potential growth and maintenance of your landscape plants is crucial for the long term success of your yard. Your UNIQUE designer can help you to determine optimal plant locations and plant growth rates to be certain that you understand the maintenance your new landscape will require. Being considerate of your neighbor’s property and their ability to enjoy it will help to ensure a many years of enjoyment of your new UNIQUE landscape for both you and your neighbors.