Your Full Guide to Landscape Design Essentials and IdeasPublished: 16/11/2023 | Updated: 29/11/2023
Imprinting order and intention on an outdoor space to make it say exactly what one wants it to say is the essential distinguishing feature that makes landscape design what it is.
Of course, a professional landscape design is important for curb appeal and comfortable use, but with an understanding of the basic elements of the garden design process, you can make your outdoor spaces perform any function you want.
That's exactly what this article is for! You'll find an introduction to the principles of landscape designing, some tips to get you off the ground, and a few fun ideas to inspire you.
Landscape Design Essentials
Landscape designers and architects work around any new construction so easily that it might seem easy, but there are a lot of principles and essentials combined and at a move that results in landscapes looking so harmonious.
Of course, we're only scratching the surface here, but those principles should make you understand how a landscape plan works better so that you can better think of what you want for your landscape design and how it might be achieved if possible.
Order and Balance
Order refers to how different elements in a landscaping project are arranged in relationship to each other and the wider landscape around them (house, neighborhood, etc,).
Symmetrical or asymmetrical order and balance are created through repeating and breaking patterns in precise ways in the landscape.
Order and balance are a big part of why a landscape can feel crammed or roomy, without relating directly to size.
Landscape architects usually outline the blueprints to maximize the practicality of it within the space and designers do the same with the other existing elements within the landscape like functional plant placement.
Color and Visual Weight
Color and texture have a much larger effect on the overall landscape design than you might expect. The different combinations and patterns of the same colors alone could create widely different effects, let alone the choices of different colors.
Depending on whether they're cool colors or warm colors, where they are on the color wheel, and the shades, and the shade patterns, various effects of space and order can be created.
That doesn't mean only the colors of plants or decorations in the garden, but how the colors mash with the environment around the landscape, whether natural environments like stones and grass or the house and outdoor furniture.
Proportion and Unity
While the order has the wider landscape in mind, the proportion is specifically about the relationship between the different landscaping elements with the buildings, walls, and the wider environment.
Unity, on the other hand, refers to the overarching design that is most effective in creating a sense of harmony between the parts and the coherent whole they make. It's one of the most important things to have in mind in the design phase.
Have a Planting Plan
As touched on in the previous point, having a plan for your plants is very important. Pots and plant material as well as colors are very important when you get to choose plants.
However, it's equally, if not more, important to know how you'll distribute your plants and according to what plants. If you're working with a landscape designer, then make sure that part is in mind during the design process.
And if you're simply buying a new batch of plants you're excited about, make sure to have a plan beforehand according to the previous principles, whether they're plants for your backyard or front yard.
Landscape Design Tips
Now that you know the main principles that any landscape architect or designer works around for a professional landscape design, here are some landscape designing tips to ease your way into making your landscape the most beautiful and functional it can be and increase curb appeal with any means you have.
Plan Around a Focal Point
It's easier to design your landscape around a single focal point rather than start from scratch with no idea where to begin. That focal point would help direct everything else away from it, creating a natural flow to lead the way in your landscape design.
That focal point could be one large specimen, a pool, a fire pit, or an outdoor living area.
Consider Common Themes
Working on your design ideas in your outdoor spaces according to an existing, common theme will help ease your way through the process.
Great common themes include cottage gardens, Mediterranean gardens, classic gardens, modern and contemporary landscapes, etc. Each is characterized by specific motifs, colors and color schemes, furniture styles, etc. which would be easy to recreate once you know what they are.
Don't Forget the Front Yard in Your Plans
A landscape isn't just the backyard. The front yard is equally important, if not more when it comes to curb appeal. This also includes any other part of your property that isn't your house, i.e. side yards, drive-throughs, and pathways.
One of the most important principles that we've mentioned is unity, and that means having an overall design plan that takes the front yard into account and recreating the same patterns, motifs, and color schemes,
Keep Environmental conditions in mind
We've mentioned how environmental conditions affect the garden design plan regarding the wider landscape and buildings. And while this is essential to any good garden design plan, it's also important to note natural eco conditions when planning your landscape.
For example, plant selection is an important part of landscaping but you have to keep in mind whether those plants can thrive in your zone or not, even if they perfectly complement the idea you have in mind.
Working alongside the natural weather conditions rather than against them will lead to better and more effectively implementable design ideas.
Consider Your Outdoor Activities
A good landscape design is as functional as it is beautiful. If you don't take into account what you and your family do in the house and plan around that, the design plan will most likely end up as a failure that will get sidetracked.
Any activities or yard games should have a plan to work around them not the other way around. That way you can have an actual outdoor living space.
Plan for the Change of Shade Patterns
This is about color schemes specifically. Because plant colors are incorporated into the larger color schemes, it could be an unpleasant surprise during seasonal changes of colors when you find the color scheme not working.
Have it in mind and plan for it when you're selecting colors and plants and test how viable the landscaping ideas you have in mind are.
Landscape Design Ideas
You now know a lot about how landscape design planning works and are more prepared to test out different garden design ideas.
Those suggested landscape design ideas are versatile and work in different landscape design plans.
Outdoor kitchens make some of the best landscaping ideas out there. When it comes to aesthetics, they're very versatile, with a lot of choices. And they're very practical in creating a functional outdoor living space.
With an outdoor kitchen, you don't only increase the curb appeal of your home but also make every moment spent in it much more enjoyable. The place becomes more accommodating to parties and large numbers of guests, as well as for fun family outdoor moments cooking and eating together.
They're also good in that they reduce traffic in your house's kitchen during large family functions and allow more people to join in the cooking.
Like outdoor kitchens, vegetable gardens work great because of how well they combine functionality with aesthetics.
A kitchen garden can work in nearly any landscape design, even in a small urban garden. Planting your food isn't just good on the health level, but also the financial one.
Planting your food can also create a very homey and cozy garden, with a lot of colors and textures and quite a bit of change year round for your garden to also feel fresh.
An outdoor fireplace can be a stunning focal point in your landscape design. With various designs, shapes, and sizes, it's also not hard to incorporate a fire pit in any landscape design.
It makes the outdoor space more warm (literally) and livable, creating an atmosphere that's easy to gather the family around.
Add Water Features
Water features are easy to go for to get an elegant, timeless touch to your landscape. Whether that's around your patio or deeper into the landscape, a water feature midst some stunning shrubs and trees can elevate a landscape design.
Like with other design ideas on the list, there is also enough variety that it's guaranteed to find something that works for you.
Go for Sustainable Design
As consciousness and awareness of the ecosystem around us rise, more and more homeowners opt for a sustainable design. Whether that's a water-conscious design or fighting erosion design, many sustainable ideas easily combine beauty with eco-consciousness.
Approaching a landscaping project for homeowners can be an overwhelming process, even with the help of a professional landscape designer. While this article won't make you a professional landscape architect, it will help you reach much more satisfactory results alongside a professional for your outdoor space if you understand the principles that make up landscape designs.
It'll also help you make minor changes on your own and keep up maintenance afterward. To reach professional landscape designers who will go out and beyond to get you the exact landscape design you want with all the tiny details that make it up, with a 3D rendition of it before implementation, sign up here at Shrubhub.