X

New Hampshire Landscaping Blog

12Jul

Landscaping Design Basics

Let’s say you’re working on your back yard landscape design. You may think that there aren’t any real “rules” to a good back yard landscape design. After over 30 years of designing landscapes, I can tell you that there are definitely rules to follow for good design. You can look at the blank canvas of your yard and get lost on how to design it so it has form, function and beauty. Look at these following “rules” of landscape garden design and look at the picture. See if you can identify any of the rules in this landscaping project. Back yard landscape design or entire property landscape design, the rules are the same.

A good garden design should not consider just one area of the property, but must view the entire property as a cohesive composition. Here are a few thoughts on the subject.

First of all, ALL landscape designs should adhere to the basic design principles of UNITY, BALANCE, INTEREST, RHYTHM AND MOVEMENT.

I’ll start with laying out the initial design, then move on to how to scale the projects proportions for the most pleasing visual impact, and then on to plant selection.

1. HAVE SPECIFIED AREAS OF USE. When we first start out in landscape design class, we use “bubble diagrams” to delineate certain areas such as ‘utility’, ‘outdoor eating’, ‘walkway’, ‘play area’, ‘open space’, etc.

  • This is to ensure that things such as garbage cans don’t end up getting stored on the corner of the patio because we forgot to designate a place for them.

2. CREATE UNITY: Unity can be achieved in many ways. Unity will bring a sense of order to the design. Here are a few examples of creating unity:

  • Repeat the circular lawn shape in a circular patio shape
  • Transition from one design element to another element with ease
  • Use similar materials throughout such as natural stone instead of mixing it up

3. BALANCE: If a design is out of balance, it just won’t feel right. A tiny border garden near the edge of an expansive lawn is an example of being out of balance. Balance can be achieved either symmetrically or asymmetrically.

  • Balance one tall tree with an equal mass of shrubs
  • Use the ‘golden mean rule’ for proportion. A 5’ x 8’ sized raised bed, for example always looks balanced... it’s just one of those weird rules.

4. START WITH THE ‘BONES’ AND THEN PUT ON THE ‘MEAT’: The ‘bones’ of the design is what we need to build everything else off of. In these bones, you will create the RHYTHM and MOVEMENT in the design (although other aspects such as plant choices can assist with rhythm and movement too).

  • The bones will be things such as walkways, patios, retaining wall, trees, the big stuff. Lay these out so that the designated use areas flow with pleasant rhythm and movement. Different shapes can be used here too. When we move seamlessly from the front of the home, along a meandering walk on the side of the home, and come through an arbor and open up onto a patio, there is a sense of movement.

5. INTEREST: Something must always attract our eye in any given view in the landscape or it will be boring.

  • Every view should have a focal point.

6. PLANT CHOICES: As far as design goes, plants should be placed in groups, and balanced with their overall mass. Always place the larger plants first, and build the smaller plant groups around the bones of the design and the larger plants. Plants are the ‘meat’ on the ‘bones’

Related

Terracing That Slope

Terracing That Slope

Don’t just assume that a sloped area is pretty much useless. Sure, you can’t play ball on a hill, ...

Read More >
Our 5 Biggest Requests from Customers

Our 5 Biggest Requests from Customers

Ever wonder what the 5 most asked questions or needs are in landscaping? Here's our top 5!

Read More >
2022 Perennial Plant of the Year

2022 Perennial Plant of the Year

Drumroll…… And the winner is…….

Read More >
Patio Design

Patio Design

A patio is one of the most used things that you’ll ever invest in for your yard. Other than a walk ...

Read More >
NH Lakeside Paver Patio with Granite Steps

NH Lakeside Paver Patio with Granite Steps

Follow one of our landscaping redesign projects from start to finish.

Read More >
DES Permitting is just a part of “Lakeshore Living”in New Hampshire

DES Permitting is just a part of “Lakeshore Living”in New Hampshire

Whatever you can dream, we can create. Here’s the catch. It has to be within the limits of what DES...

Read More >

Comments

Awesome Blog, very informative thank you for sharing
6/21/2022 4:04:44 AM | Reply
Jay
Thank you for sharing
6/17/2022 5:09:48 AM | Reply
Jay
Thank you for sharing
6/17/2022 5:09:25 AM | Reply
A good website with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for making this web-site, and I will be visiting again.
4/19/2022 2:58:38 AM | Reply
Very great information here that is helpful to all thank you!
4/14/2022 2:40:02 PM | Reply
Great information. I hope that there's more to come. By the way, please do visit our website to know more about our affordable landscaping services in Milton, ON.
4/8/2022 11:01:28 AM | Reply
Thanks For Sharing!
3/29/2022 8:35:24 AM | Reply
Jon
Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including: living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly called gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.
3/11/2022 9:03:56 AM | Reply
Thanks for the share. This was quite interesting!
3/1/2022 12:11:53 AM | Reply
Great post!! thanks for sharing.
1/28/2022 2:29:36 AM | Reply
Great article. Thank you for sharing!
1/27/2022 12:35:30 AM | Reply
I have been looking for a post about this topic, thanks for writing about this! Definitely will recommend this article to anyone looking to complete their own residential landscaping.
12/23/2021 8:58:23 PM | Reply
Nice Blog! Thanks for sharing. You might want to check mine at Landscape Remodel.
12/6/2021 5:50:37 AM | Reply
Indeed informative blog thank you for sharing You might want to check mine at Landscape Remodel.
11/28/2021 1:41:01 AM | Reply
I have been searching about this! thanks for sharing the before and after , these types of content should get appreciated because it can inspire the commercial landscaping .
11/25/2021 3:24:57 AM | Reply
Page 1 of 13 FirstPrevious [1]2345 Last

Post a Comment

Search Blog

Subscribe to Blog

Name

Categories