What Makes a Landscape Beautiful?
There is a reason some landscapes stand out as being especially attractive. What is it about those landscapes that make them beautiful and can you incorporate those elements into your design? We’ve listed some of those characteristics below.
Create your own list by looking at some of the most beautiful landscapes and making a note of what it is about each landscape that impresses you the most. Then think about using those elements in your own landscape.
Landscape Should Be in Harmony With Your House
Landscapes that have nothing in common with a home look out of place. If your house is painted with red’s or blue-green’s, look for plants whose foliage or flowers are similar or complement these colors. The same is true with hardscape: if you have brick wainscoting on the exterior of your home, look for pavers and other hardscape that complement and enhance the brick.
And create a landscape that reflects the style of your home. For example, succulent and cactus gardens may enhance a Spanish-style home, but can look out of place with a Craftsman.
Finally, the size or “scale” of just a few elements of the landscape should be proportionate to your home. For example, most of your plants will probably be low (say, 2 feet tall or less), but the front of your home will likely be something like 12 feet tall or more. Create a bridge between these two scales by adding a few small trees or large shrubs if you don’t already have some. Adding them near the far right and/or left side of the house will also soften these edges of your home.
Change the Elevation
Use devices such as fake boulders and/or mounded soil here or there to break up the flatness of the landscape, it will make the landscape more attractive and interesting.
Normally it looks boring when plants are arranged in straight rows or square sections like a Midwest wheat field. The exception is homes that have major square or rectangular architectural features that can be duplicated in and reinforced through the landscape. So think about adding curves to your planted areas and walkways.
Kiss: Keep it Simple, Silly
A lot of people with successful L2G projects recommend keeping the design simple. A simple design is less time-consuming to make and the landscape will probably be easier to install and cost less. A simple design can also look more attractive; conversely, too much complexity can make the landscape look confused and chaotic. You can always add more complexity to your landscape in the future.
Some of the most beautiful landscapes use only a few different kinds (species) of plants: one or two species of groundcover and a few shrubs. And, for the most part, plants are organized by species, as opposed to mixing the plants about helter skelter.