Summer is winding down, but that's no signal to neglect your yard and garden. Autumn is an excellent time to plant many kinds of shrubs, trees and spring-blooming bulbs.
Fall plantings will add beauty and value to your home grounds. The plantings will develop roots during the winter, getting them off to a strong start next spring.
As you plan your landscaping, think of the benefits: sight-screening, comfort, beauty, convenience, safety and easy maintenance.
The American Assn. of Nurserymen says that most homeowners want their yards to afford some privacy. A hedge of trees and shrubs can screen out unsightly views while affording some privacy.
Your yard can provide outdoor room for comfort and relaxation. The temperature in a tree's shade, for instance, may be 15 to 20 degrees cooler than in the sun. A row of trees and shrubs can protect against disturbing winds. Thick foliage can muffle city noise and help cleanse a polluted atmosphere.
Maintenance can be a pleasure rather than a burden. Flat borders of brick or stone between flower beds and lawn can minimize edging and trimming around beds. Planting in containers can ease gardening chores by eliminating the need for stooping. Some lawn mowing, watering and weeding work can be reduced by the use of mulches and ground-cover plants.
The association also advises: "Once your plan has been made for your yard, don't feel installation can be done immediately. If the design is sufficiently flexible, it can take shape over months or even years, as circumstances dictate, whether you do it yourself or have professionals do it."