Landscape Design Ideas For Unique Terrains

Not all landscape design ideas are suited for every type of yard. In fact, some yards will require a great deal of planning and adjusting to get just the right look from a landscape design. Whether you’re working with limited space or difficult grades, there are a variety of landscaping tips and ideas that can help you make the most of your outdoor space.

Garden Wall Design

Walls can be used for privacy, protection, seating, or simply for beauty. Varying heights, depending on the wall’s purpose, and angles or curves to suit your garden style make these hardscape features a great addition to any type of landscape design. Bricks, stones, or other materials that complement the rest of your outdoor space is a great way to blend your landscape with your home.

Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are a unique type of garden wall, designed to offset slopes and enhance curb appeal. Like most hardscape designs, planning and constructing a retaining wall requires special attention to accuracy. Drainage, erosion, and other issues must be addressed as well. Landscape designers can typically create and build a retaining wall that works well with your yard.

Landscape Design for Slopes and Grades

Retaining walls are just one technique for landscaping hillside garden areas. Slopes and grades can become beautiful parts of your outdoor space with the right landscaping. Appropriate drainage and irrigation systems are recommended to maintain all of the following ideas for hillside landscaping:

  • Rock gardens
  • Functional decks
  • Wild flower gardens
  • Natural areas with unique ground covers.

Landscape Design Ideas for Terraces

From secluded sitting areas near the master suite to expansive patios for entertaining, garden terraces are beautiful landscaping techniques that create harmony between your outdoor and indoor living space. Use patterns, colors, and materials that complement your overall design. You can add more functionality to your terrace and patio by integrating covered areas, railing, and other custom touches.

Landscape Design Tips for Small Yards

Limited outdoor space does not mean you are limited with design ideas. Small yards have become quite common and there are plenty of ways to create a beautiful garden with a tiny amount of space.

  • Integrate proportionate outdoor accessories. A large garden pond, for instance, would overpower a small yard and leave little room for living.
  • Plant small trees, including fruit trees and ornamentals, rather than large shade trees.
  • Choose colors that make your yard appear larger.
  • Certain textures can create a feeling of openness as well.
  • Opt for slender fencing that adds to the open feeling.
  • Plants that grow vertically, like vines and climbers, can also add more dimension to a small yard.

No matter what obstacles you may face because of the natural characteristics of your yard, a beautiful outdoor space is never impossible. A landscape contractor can ensure a design that complements your home and reflects your personal tastes, but there are a number of simple landscape design ideas that you can create on your own.

Landscape Design Plans – The Foundation of Unique Outdoor Living Space

Landscape design plans are critical to any beautiful outdoor area. These detailed diagrams contain all the information needed to construct and install the landscape of your dreams, including scaled representation of everything within your property. Your design plan will illustrate the size of your property, as well as any special terrain features, and will display existing structures, existing hardscape designs, and plants and trees that will remain in your outdoor space.

Creating Design Plans

Some homeowners use special software programs to help produce an accurate, detailed landscape design plan, while others attempt to draw the plans by hand based on a plot map. There are a number of free design plans that can aid in the process as well, but the best way to get a professional and precise plan is to hire the services of a professional designer.

There are many different elements within a complete landscape design. Specialty designs, like lighting or irrigation, are typically illustrated with a separate plan. Swimming pool design, hardscapes, and even planting layouts each have their own design plan as well. Your plan set may include just one or two types of designs or could contain several, depending on exactly what your landscape design entails.

Types of Landscape Design Plans

  • Plot plans are the foundation of every other design plan for your yard. Extremely precise, these topography charts are usually obtained from a surveyor to ensure accuracy. Plot plans map out the existing structures and land elements on your property, including:
    • Accurate property lines, adjacent roads, driveways and sidewalks, walls, and fencing.
    • Buildings, storage sheds, your house, and other elements that may interfere with your design, like a play set or heating unit.
    • Natural features, including slopes, drainage issues, and both natural and man-made water elements.
  • Concept plans are the master design plans that bring everything together into a single diagram. Also called a site plan, this design is typically in AutoCAD format, but may be drawn by hand, and is often a resource used by contractors to develop an estimate on installation.
  • Elevation plans are typically integrated into other landscape design plans to provide more detail on vertical features. Structures like gazebos, walls, and fireplaces can be seen more clearly to ensure a more accurate installation.
  • Hardscape plans are often found within the concept plan but can be illustrated in a separate design plan as well. These plans are important for precise installation measurements on sidewalks, drives, fencing, and other structural landscaping elements. The appropriate materials, colors, and related details are outlined on the plan as well.
  • Planting plans are extremely detailed instructions for the installation of the vegetation within your landscape design. Using symbols and a comprehensive legend, the exact location of each plant is noted and the types of planting materials required are clearly stated. Planting plans can include shrubbery, hedges, flower beds, trees, and any other vegetation in your outdoor area.
  • Irrigation plans are not a part of every landscape design and are often integrated into an existing outdoor design. These plans include the layout of piping and the placement of sprinkler heads, helpful illustrations, and details on the necessary parts and equipment for installation.
  • Drainage plans are necessary parts of many landscape designs to eliminate excess water after a rain. These plans are also quite detailed, containing measurements on the exact grade needed and information on the best materials.
  • Lighting plans are optional as well, but are usually seen in most high-end outdoor designs. Illustrations and diagrams detail the types of lighting fixtures, along with their placement and positioning throughout the yard. Wiring and installation instructions are outlined and special lighting techniques are also noted.

There are many different things involved in creating a beautiful outdoor plan that blends with your home while reflecting your own personality. Every design plan begins with an accurate plot plan and can include nearly any outdoor feature you can imagine. A number of contractors can provide you with professional landscape design plans as well as quality installations for a convenient way to give your outdoor space just the right look.

California Landscape Design – Mediterranean Lifestyle on the Pacific West Coast

The Father of California Landscape Designs

Today’s elaborate and stylish high-end landscape designs first appeared in affluent areas of Southern California at the beginning of the 1930’s. An educated landscape architect with experience in the popular garden styles of Europe in this era, Thomas Church, began a landscape design firm in downtown San Francisco and quickly became a household name in Southern California outdoor planning.

During his 45 year career in California landscape design, Church created more than 2,000 custom garden designs in some of the most prosperous areas and developments of Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside, all during the prime of modern architectural development. These functional, yet beautiful, outdoor living spaces resulted in a trend that is still growing in popularity across the nation of extending the living space of a home into the openness of nature.

The Many Faces of this Unique Design Style

The homes of Southern California are some of the most remarkable structures in the world and represent a variety of unique architectural styles. California landscape designs complement these fine homes with carefully selected plants, materials, and accessories to create a central theme that blends outdoor charm with sophisticated style for a magnificent outdoor living area.

While most of the various landscape designs seen across Southern California possess a rustic, Old World appearance, there are also classy, formal garden styles that reflect a more contemporary atmosphere. The influence of the European Mediterranean can also be seen in many California garden styles.

With so many different garden styles and influences seen in the landscape designs of of this area, there is one common thread among them all. Each and every California landscape design is carefully planned to reflect the relaxed, natural lifestyle of the warm Mediterranean coast while complementing the style of the most lavish homes.

These Mediterranean styled designs are simple, but sophisticated, functional, as well as ornate, and these outdoor living spaces are truly designed for outdoor living.

Elements of a California style garden may include:

  • Natural accessories, like unfinished furniture or terra cotta planters
  • Colorful cushions, patio ware, lighting, and flower pots, with bright, vivid colors
  • Simple materials, like bark, gravel, and stone, accent water features and create walkways

Because of the wonderful diversity throughout Southern California, the landscape designs are also unique but they are all carefully planned to make outdoor living at home convenient, relaxing, and a beautiful part of your residence. With so many different garden styles to choose from, it is often best to employ the services of an experienced California landscape design firm.