Landscape Design – Creating Harmony and Unity in Your Yard
Designing a landscape involves organizing the natural and man-made features of your yard into a visually pleasing, functional, and environmentally sustainable outdoor space. A well-designed landscape can enhance the value of your home, attract people to your property and improve the quality of your life.
Choosing a design theme or style for your landscape can help you create harmony and unity in the garden. Identifying your personal style by studying other yards or landscapes you admire can help you develop a strong sense of what works best for your own needs and tastes. Studying the elements of design, including line, form, color, and texture is also important.
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Consider your house shape and size
The shape of your house can provide clues as to the kind of shapes that will look best in your yard. A square or rectangular yard will look better with a rectangle of hardscape, while a circular or curved house may inspire curves in the landscape. The house and lot lines will also be helpful in defining the location of focal features, such as patios and fire pits.
Form (line, texture, and color)
The use of form is a key design element, as it emphasizes focal points or emphasizes relationships between plant material, hardscape, and other design elements. For example, a circle emphasizes the center of a plant bed, a curved hardscape or an arc of a pond. In addition, circles and ellipses can be combined with lines to produce arcs and tangents.
The ability to make a space feel balanced and harmonious is one of the most important qualities of landscape design. A landscape that fails to convey this quality is often marred by abrupt transitions between design elements. For instance, a lawn that transitions to a patio is an abrupt change and can be hard for the eye to follow.
To ensure proportion in your landscape, make sure the sizes of plant material and hardscape are consistent throughout the yard. This can be accomplished by mirroring like elements and by adjusting proportions based on the lighting conditions in your yard.
Developing a master plan
To start, make a list of the design features you want to include in your landscape. These can include water features, seating areas, walkways, trees, shrubs, and other plantings. These will be the focus of your design.
Once you have an idea of the features you are looking for, draw a plan on your property boundary survey showing where these feature will be located in relation to the outline of your house and lot. Using these guidelines, it is possible to map out all the elements of your design in a single, cohesive manner.
Color is another important design element and should be used to accent more enduring materials in the landscape. Brighter colors will appear more saturated and intense, while darker shades are used to highlight softer or less permanent materials in the landscape.
It is also important to take the season into consideration when selecting colors for your landscape. Summer sunlight is more intense and can produce bolder color, while winter filtered light produces soft, subtler hues.
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