Essentials to Include in Your Landscape Design

Front Yard Lanscaping

A well laid out, comfortable landscape requires extensive planning. It simply doesn't come together by planting a few gardens, building a deck and setting out the patio furniture. Your landscape design needs to be done correctly, and should include a few essentials that will ensure your outdoor space is the best it can be.

Beauty and Visual Appeal

The very first thing that homeowners want from their newly landscaped yard is visual appeal. No one wants to spend thousands of dollars excavating, grading, planting, and building, only to end up with an area that doesn't project the beauty they want.

A beautiful setting is achieved through many different avenues, all of them combining the colors, textures and shapes that appeal to you. One of the easiest ways to pin down your personal definition of beauty is to browse through garden and landscape magazines and clip pictures that draw your eye. Gather those images together and try to discover the similarities, pinpointing which design styles, bloom colors and plant shapes you feel strongly about. It may also want to clip pictures that didn't appeal to you, but keep those in a separate scrapbook to help your landscape designer figure out what to avoid.

Consider the style of your landscape, whether that is romantic, serene, lush, classic or eclectic. This will serve as the framework for the landscape design and offers a guideline for which beautiful and appealing items to include.

Function and Purpose

Besides appreciating the overall beauty, your yard should also be designed for optimum function. This is often where hardscaping projects fit in. Decks work well for entertaining and cooking, as well as providing the stability and comfort necessary for setting up patio furniture. Stone patios fulfill the same function.

Sheds help to create storage, pools provide a place for fun and physical exercise, and ponds can be home to a collection of fish. Retaining walls are often strictly functional, although they can create areas that are essential for beauty and visual appeal. Always have these larger items designed with purpose in mind, instead of designing strictly for aesthetics or trends.

Plants and trees also have a function, although that differs depending on the variety and species. Trees are often used for shade, privacy or wind blocks. Plants can be used for food (think of herbs or raspberry bushes), as natural pest repellants or for cut flowers. Choose flowers and plants that provide a function, but only if that function is necessary and the plant appeals to your senses.

Balance and Symmetry

Well-designed yards have something special that others do not. They may all include the same plants and trees, and may all be built around beautiful decks, walkways and other hardscaping features, but only yards created using a well thought out landscape design have balance and symmetry.

Balance creates that sense of calm you want from your outdoor space. It also allows elements of the area to co-exist without a lot of maintenance and worry. A balanced landscape will include native plants alongside your favorite exotic species, all in colors and textures that allow both to shine. Balance comes from careful planning and good overall knowledge of both gardening and landscaping.

Having symmetry in your yard doesn't necessarily mean that it's full of straight lines. Symmetry involves flow, both from the eye and through foot traffic. Does your space make sense? Do the colors work together, instead of competing? Are all of the senses engaged when you're in the space? These questions will help you to form an outdoor area that is symmetrical and balanced, allowing you to be comfortable.

Sustainability and Responsibility

All of us need to be responsible for our planet, especially the bit of it in our own yard. Practicing sustainable landscape design is simple and allows you to cut down on maintenance costs and time spent working in the yard. Relax more and enjoy your outdoor living space with a sustainably designed landscape plan.

Collect rainwater using a rain barrel; it's perfect for watering patio pots and hanging baskets. Spread mulch for moisture retention and to reduce the weeds in your flowerbeds and around trees and shrubs. Use treated wood or composite products for long lasting, eco friendly decking, fencing, sheds and retaining walls. Stone patios and retaining walls are also low care and environmentally sound choices.

Design your space with responsibility in mind. But don't forget that you need to keep up this area. Consider how much time you have for yard maintenance, and decide whether outdoor work (gardening, lawn cutting, tree trimming, etc.) is how you want to spend that time. Including low maintenance options is wise and your personal lifestyle and schedule should always be taken into account.

Is a Professional Landscape Design Really Necessary?

Many people assume they can create the perfect landscape design after reading a few books and walking through a few gardens. While that may be true for some people with the aptitude and skills required for this job, many people would be best to hire a professional.

Trained landscape designers have knowledge and expertise that can be put to good use capturing the essentials outlined above. If you are confident that your design can encapsulate the beauty, function, balance and sustainability required for the optimum landscape, by all means tackle this project yourself. But investing in a professionally done landscape design is wise and allows you to complete the project at your own pace.

The best yards contain elements essential for comfort in the outdoors. Your landscape design should include beauty and visual appeal according to your own tastes. Function and purpose need to be considered, especially on the hardscaping components. Balance and symmetry provide the optimum atmosphere and comfort, and a sustainably designed yard is good for the planet and your schedule. Get the yard you want and deserve by starting with a well thought out landscape design.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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