Landscape Designers Can Make a Difference

Landscape designs

Landscape design combines the essential elements of art and science to create a functional, aesthetically pleasing extension of indoor living to the outdoors. It is a part of landscape architecture and allows space and design to reflect creativity. Completely a man made exercise, the purpose of landscape design is to blend technology with nature. To become a landscape designer one must have a working knowledge of art elements and design principles.

Though an architectural field, landscape design has a special aesthetic value. Elements of art include but are not limited to color, line, form, texture and scale. These elements are never independent of each other, but their individual natures should be dealt with care before considering the interactions.

Landscape design is a multi-disciplinary field, including within its fold mathematics, science, engineering, art, technology, social sciences, politics, history, philosophy. Color, line, form, texture and scale are tools which are used in combinations to adjust design the landscape. Design principles include unity, balance, transition, focalization, proportion, rhythm, repetition and simplicity. All these principles interact to yield the intended landscape design.

The landscape designer essentially works on:

o The form, scale and citing of new developments

o Public parks, greenways, golf courses, theme parks and sports facilities

o Housing areas, industrial parks and commercial developments

o Urban design, town and city squares, and pedestrian schemes

o Large or small urban regeneration schemes

o Forest, tourist or historic landscapes, and historic garden appraisal and conservation studies

o Environmental assessment and landscape assessment, planning advice and land management proposals.

o Coastal and offshore developments

The key steps in landscape design are:

o Develop a plot plan.

o Conduct a site analysis.

o Assess family needs and desires.

o Locate activity areas.

o Design activity areas.

o Plant selection and placement.

Important in landscape design:

o Unity is obtained by the effective use of components in a design to express a main idea through consistent style. It is emphasized by consistency of character between units in the landscape. Use of elements to express a specific theme within units creates harmony in landscape design.

o Balance is also needed. It refers to the equilibrium or equality of visual attraction. Symmetrical balance is achieved when one side of the design is a mirror image of the other side. There is a distinct dividing line between the two sides. Equal lines, forms, textures or colors are on each side of a symmetrical landscape design.

o Colors are combined into color schemes for practical applications. Three basic color schemes are monochromatic, analogous and complementary. A monochromatic color scheme consists of different tints and shades of one color and is seldom achieved in its pure form in the landscape design.

o A line is maintained in landscape design with the height of the plants that have been planted. In the overall landscape, line is inferred by bed arrangement and the way these beds fit or flow together.

o The size of the area is to be kept in mind for a definite landscape design.

Landscape designers and Landscape technicians or engineers are employed with landscape construction and service companies. Landscape designers, like garden designers, design all types of planting and green spaces. With rapid modern urbanization, landscape design is fast gaining momentum.

Landscape Design – The Principles and Elements of Landscaping

Introduction to Landscape Design

The Definition of Landscaping

Improve the aesthetic appearance of (an area) by changing its contours, adding ornamental features, or planting trees and shrubs.

“the site has been tastefully landscaped”.

What is Landscape Design?

Landscape design is not something that anyone needs to be fearful of, if you have an idea for your landscape or garden space you will be able to make it reality with a little bit of research and desire to create something beautiful.

As a potential Landscape Designer you need to be aware that your backyard masterpiece is going to be a living and growing thing that will change as the plants grow and develop, the environment changes through the season and you and your family use the space you have created. You will also grow as a person and landscaper as you learn through the experience and as a direct result of your personal growth and confidence in your ability your landscaping ideas and designs will also advance dramatically.

However you choose to Landscape your garden the priority is always to create something that you love, it will be your space and you will create something that is visually pleasing, functional and ultimately a landscape that works for you and for your garden.

What are the Landscaping Elements?

The first step in any design process is to put the ‘Elements’ in place for your Landscaping Space, obviously this changes for every single project because of the size of your space, the level of the ground, the conditions of the site and the soil and what is already there and may need to be worked around.

You, as the landscaper, need to sit and draw a rough plan of your space and place in any fixed feature that you may be required to work around (eg. a manhole cover). I would recommend doing a rough scale map of the area you have available to work in. It does not have to be fancy but a plan that is easy for you to work on and visualise your landscaping ideas.

When you have your basic plan (make sure you make a few copies) you can start to organise the hardscape materials and plants. Hardscape and Plants are referred to as features.

Features are anything that can be physically described by the visual qualities of:

Line – Form – Colour – Texture – visual weight.

These are the Elements of Landscaping Design.

What are the Landscaping Principles?

The principles of Landscaping are the guidelines that we use to arrange and organise the features to create a beautiful landscape, the fundamental concepts of landscape composition are proportion (always remember that plants grow over time), order (remember size and colour), repetition (how large or small a space do with to cover with a certain effect), and unity (will they and do they work together).

Understanding the Elements and Principles of Landscaping Design is the basic foundation of all landscaping Design, at this stage you just need to put your ideas down and think about what you want to create.

If you are brand new to landscape design do not be afraid, just apply your thoughts, ideas and what you are wanting to create to your design and deal with the details as you research and progress further into your landscaping experience.

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.