Landscaping 101


Do you think your yard or patio area could use a little makeover but you don’t know where to start? We’ll go over a few landscaping basics to help you get the wheels in motion to transform your outdoor space into one where you will be eager to show it off! 

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Your wishlist and budget are connected so think about the non-negotiables but also have some flexibility. How often will you use the area? Do you have pets or children who will need some space to run? Do you want a vegetable garden and/or fruit trees? Will your seating area be covered from the elements or open air? Drawing a sketch of your space and adding in the features and details that you are considering is an excellent exercise to get your ideas down. 

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Consider the seasonal elements. Do you really want your seating area to be on the sunniest side of your house when the summer heat is in full force? Where can you place your grilling area or firepit so that it is out of the wind? There are many ways to create barriers so that wind is less intrusive- as well as to create shaded areas for those sunny patio days but using the seasons to your advantage is never a bad idea. Follow the flow of water and make sure you take that into consideration to prevent pooling- or worse, flooding. Even the best-laid plans can be derailed by the changing of seasons if you don’t take the proper precautions. 

Size and scale are often over or underestimated. An oversized porch on a house with a small yard for instance can look out of place by swallowing up much of your usable yard space. Over the course of a few years, a pair of oak trees will create a heavily shaded backyard, but blocking out the sun may not be what you’re going for if you plan on doing any gardening. Small planters set against a large house can look comical and detract from your aesthetic. If you have a larger home, choose planters (and plants) that are also large and terrace them away from the home. This creates consistency and a cohesive overall flow. 

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Using color, contrast, light, balance, form, rhythm, pattern, variety, and unity will ensure an interesting and visually pleasing landscape design. Color and contrast can be achieved by choosing flowers and plants that will complement the color of your house for example. Form can be established in your hardscapes such as stones, terracing, pathways, and the manner in which the plants are placed in and around these features. Rhythm is accomplished by following a common theme such as planting the same variety of flowers in multiple places throughout your property or choosing a specific style of patio furniture that appears in various locations.

Creating your ideal outdoor space is so exciting! We are always eager to hear all of your ideas and to help turn your sketches into reality. Now that you know the basics, let’s get started!