Do you wish your landscape more closely reflected your style or the style of your home? Is your landscape a hodgepodge of materials that lack rhyme or reason? Do you keep landscape and garden images in a wide variety of styles and designs hoping to implement them on your own landscape? The following tips will help lead you to a better result.
Search for specific images that reflect your personal style. Next, take photos of the style of your home’s architecture and interior. Keep these at hand throughout the design process.
Now prepare a simple site-analysis plan by drawing the basic layout of your home and property. Note all your property features and environmental impacts on your yard. Consider sun direction, shade areas, prevailing wind, terrain, drainage to and from your property, noise, view corridors and open vistas, property lines, easements and utility lines.
You can now plan function zones. Put entertainment zones near patio-door areas and keep other areas of your yard open for passive activities and other design features you might want to have. Plan for indoor-outdoor living spaces. Try to keep activity areas and passive zones connected physically with hardscape materials or visually with plant material.
Plan areas to group plants with similar water and sun needs. Soil in shady and low-lying areas will stay wet longer after a rain or watering. Group thirstier plants in these areas and drought-resistant plants in sunny locations.
Continuity is the key to success. The more design elements you can use that reflect the architecture and interior of your home, the more cohesive the entire design will be.
Richard Risner, PLA, ASLA
Principal Landscape Architect