Like most home-owners, you envision your home surrounded by beautiful lawns, lush green, bright colour, and tantalizingly tranquil spots to relax. Unless you’re an artist or designer, however, you might not know the details of what you want, much less the steps required to actually achieve it. Before you drive yourself crazy looking through several catalogues worth of fountain designs, deck colours, or flower types, it’s a good idea to thoroughly acquaint yourself with some landscaping basics. Become an active participant in your landscape projects to better communicate with the landscaping company that will realize your visions.
What Should You Consider When Creating a Landscape Design?
- Functionality – Your landscape design should reflect your lifestyle, incorporating elements that will best serve your needs. Before planning the details of your landscape design, think about what you really want from your outdoor space. Do you want to grow vegetables? You’ll need to set aside a space for a vegetable garden and pay attention to water and irrigation. Do you have young children? You might want a space to play catch. Is your main purpose to entertain? Consider installing a space to cook, eat, and socialize outside. With this in mind, be sure to utilize nature your advantage. Direct sunlight can be great for pools, but not so great for outdoor summer barbecues, while strong wind could wreak havoc on a fire pit. The best landscape designs work with, not against, your natural environment.
- Focus – What’s your favourite part of your backyard? Maybe you have an interesting sculpture or a particularly twisted, old tree with a lot of character. Establish a focal point, or a series of well-orchestrated focal points, and organize the rest of your landscape around it. Distinctive focal points are one way to individualize your design, create contrast, and build a theme for your entire landscape. If you aren’t enamoured by any one piece of your yard, look for inspiration in other homes or in catalogues, and find something special to build your exterior around.
- Layers – When getting into the nitty-gritty of your landscape design, imagine your space as four layers organized by height. Tall elements such as trees help to create a background and a structural framework for your outside. Consider the purposes you’d like your tall elements to serve such as shade or privacy. Mix evergreen medium-height shrubs with those that lose their leaves in the winter for all-year appeal. Medium to low elements may be low-growing shrubs or perennials. These are important to cluster together rather than spread out across the whole landscape. Low-growing flowers often change every few years or by season.
- Scale – Your landscape should tell a narrative. Lead people through the space by varying sizes, shapes, and colours. Both juxtaposition and repetition are important to creating a beautiful, unique landscape design. Although people often focus on colour, the texture and shape of plants are important and interesting features to keep in mind.
- Cohesion – The best landscape designs utilize cohesion but don’t overdo it. Repeat elements such as texture, colour, or shape without letting your design become too cookie-cutter. Unity is best achieved by massing plants together in odd-numbered groups rather than spreading them across your land. Add something unexpected, a personalized touch that puts your stamp on the design, and keeps it from looking like every other backyard in your neighbourhood.
- Landscape contractors can help you to implement your plan by providing their design and installation expertise, knowledge about water, drainage and upkeep. The professionals at DonRos Landscape Construction have been bringing to life the dreamscapes of Thornhill and Richmond Hill home-owners for over 20 years.
Contact us today for landscape design in Toronto