Understanding the Basics of Landscape Design

The key to creating a beautiful, elegant landscape is achieving a harmonious balance between the classic simplicity of nature and the modern architectural elegance of your house. This perfect unity between home and garden provides enjoyable living both inside and outside of your residence.

The most basic step in planning any functional and attractive garden design, regardless of how elaborate or how simple it is, is careful consideration to the style of the home, as well as the size of the entire property. With this information, you can decide on an overall landscape design theme and begin to incorporate other essential elements and principles of garden design into your plan.

Defining the Elements of Landscape Design

There is much more to understanding the basics of landscape design than simply selecting an array of plants and positioning them in your yard. First, there are five key elements that, when properly implemented into your design, will create a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor living area.

  • Line – Lines and geometric patterns can facilitate directional movement through the landscape and showcase important aspects of your space.
  • Scale – An array of colors that present a complementary pattern can bring the entire yard together.
  • Scale – It is important to select plants and trees appropriately scaled to the rest of the landscape surroundings.
  • Texture – The various textures of leaves, stems, and petals add more detail to your garden design.
  • Form – The form and physical attributes of the plant life within the design generates natural patterns that provide appeal and style to your outdoor space.

The Seven Principles of Landscape Design

The principles of landscape design are the basic concepts used to implement the elements of garden design mentioned above.

  • Unity – Creating unity throughout your outdoor living area, as well as the inside of your home, is one of the most important aspects of a custom landscape design with a professional appearance.
  • Repetition – Repetition and rhythm are generated through the use of color and texture, creating simple patterns in nature that bring a sense of relaxation and tranquility into your outdoor design.
  • Focalization – Lines, shapes, and forms are used to build points of focalization and to direct attention to central focal points in the landscape.
  • Balance – Balance and symmetry work with these other design principles to create a uniform appearance that invites pleasure and pleases the senses.
  • Transition – The transition and flow of the design and each of its components is equally important.
  • Proportion – Proportion, closely related to scale, is also one of the basics of landscape design that require special attention.

The Importance of Planning

Each of the aspects of landscape design mentioned above play a significant role in garden planning, but attention must also be placed on several other aspects of design for a truly functional outdoor space that blends elegantly with the design of your home.

Planning living areas, planting beds, and other elements of your design is much easier with the assistance of a plot plan. You will also want to analyze the soil contents and drainage abilities of your yard to determine the best positioning for your plants, as well as the most appropriate types of plants for your local area and climate.

While the basics of landscape design are simple and straightforward, combining these essential elements and principles into the ideal garden plan is not always that easy. Many homeowners rely on the experience of a professional landscape design firm to make the most of their outdoor living space.

Landscape Design Style – The Best Look for Your Yard

The right landscape design style for your yard will depend on the appearance of your home, as well as your personal preferences and needs. There are many different styles to consider, each with their own unique characteristics, and each offers a number of individual variations for different tastes and purposes. Listed below are various types of garden styles. See which one will work best for your property.

Formal Gardens have linear patterns, defined shapes, and an overall neatness describe the formal garden style. The Georgian Garden is a perfect example of this design style and many other prominent estates feature the uniformity of a formal landscape design. While formal gardens are spectacular displays, they require extensive maintenance and can be quite costly.

Informal Landscape Designs are natural and relaxed, featuring imperfect shapes and meandering curves. The key to an effective informal design style is planning a natural layout with native plants that grow in overflowing flower beds full of color and texture. This type of landscape has an unkempt, laid back appearance and is easier to maintain than a formal garden, but it still requires careful thought and regular upkeep.

The English Garden Style is a unique blend of formal and informal garden styles, the English, cottage, and country garden designs are colorful and relaxed with an intriguing air of elegance amidst the simplicity. These gardens are characterized by quaint borders and hedges, vibrant, lush blooms, and intimate outdoor living areas.

Oriental Landscapes are peaceful, balanced, and serene, oriental gardens reflect the relaxing effect of nature. These Asian influenced styles highlight the beauty of the outdoors, often on a miniaturized level. Lush bamboo provides privacy and shade, charming foot paths and bridges add elegance, and the natural flow of water brings even more tranquility to these outdoor designs.

Tropical Outdoor Designs are lush, with vivid colors, and depend greatly on a warm, moist climate. Ferns, shrubs, and fruit trees with oversized leaves create a wonderful backdrop for the bright blooms common in a tropical landscape. Comfortable island style accessories with splashes of color create an outdoor paradise with a flair of the tropics.

Desert Garden Styles are dependent upon warm weather, but requiring a more arid environment, southwestern landscape designs make the most of a dry, hot climate. These gardens typically include a variety of native plants like cacti and saw grass. Desert style landscapes demand careful planning, especially in plant selection.

Contemporary Landscape Design is a more modern approach to outdoor design follows a formal garden style with defined lines and geometric shapes, but contemporary garden styles integrate various angles and patterns with innovative outdoor materials as well. Unique garden sculptures, rare plant species, and groups of similar flowers and shrubs are common elements in this style.

Natural Gardens are a completely informal landscape style, natural gardens are typically seen in commercial areas with large expanses of land or outdoor parks rather than residences. Also referred to as Xeriscape, this style incorporates native plants in carefully planned natural areas for a landscape that reflects the pure qualities of nature.

Mediterranean Style Landscape Design with its warm, breezy Mediterranean coast was where gardening seen its origin so it is not surprising that there are a variety of design styles within this broad category. The Italian Renaissance style, also referred to as Palazzo, falls neatly into this category and features refined patterns and formal designs that reflect the period of classic Rome. Tuscan landscape designs are one of the most popular Mediterranean garden styles These quaint and rustic outdoor spaces are influenced by Old World Tuscany and feature natural materials with elegant accessories.

The Usefulness of Hiring a Good Landscape Designer

Landscape design is a creative art tradition of beautifying the exterior property and preserving it for aesthetic purpose. The practical landscape elements like plants, trees, shrubs, horticulture environmental sustainability, topography and soil structure all form the components of contemporary landscape design. Hence it is clear that maintaining landscapes both for personal and professional purpose is not a simple task at the same time one cannot ignore the fact that good landscaping increases the value of the property. Individuals who deal with landscaping know very well it is a back breaking laborious task. There is a lot of information that they should possess for designing a landscape. But with the help of skilled landscape designers he can easily deal with the complexities of planning the landscape projects, whether installing structures like walkways, water features or small residential gardens.

The landscapes are made of several living and nonliving things. Many people are familiar with the construction materials like bricks, cement, wood and concrete and can easily select the materials needed. But they might not know from where to buy the materials. A skilled landscape designer is of great use in all such cases. People are willing to pay the designers in order to meet their needs because with the expertise, knowledge of landscape designers they can get the end results that they want instead of messing up the whole construction work.

Many times the gardens are overgrown with grasses and people feel less confident to clean it as a result, the lawn transforms into untidy green grounds and breeding places for mosquitoes and insects that carry diseases. Many landscape designers who possess an interest and involvement in gardening can provide some assistance. By studying the local climate and soil conditions they can give suggestions about how to establish a yard with the minimal upkeep and maintenance costs. They also use effective lawn mowing tools and equipments to reach out the remote and difficult corners of the garden. They also use the knowledge of horticulture to bring back life into the backyard and gardens by planting a variety of plants and flowers to make the space look more natural.

Landscape designers can do a lot more than just pointing out which type of plants to grow. They also involve the task of constructing decks, porches and even outdoor kitchens. They make preliminary sketches for landscape projects, take the approval of the clients and accordingly makes changes. When a project is halfway they regularly supervise the construction work to make sure that the specifications of the designs are followed and also provide useful advice relating to plant care and other special functions that individuals should be aware of after the project is completed. A true professional landscape designer knows the latest trends and can bridge the gap between human needs and wants.