Landscape Design Ideas Guide

When you are looking for landscape design ideas it is wise to keep in mind that good landscaping can significantly improve your home’s appearance by adding style, livability and personality. You will not be able to create a design until you understand why you are landscaping your property. Some research will provide many exciting ideas and produce a landscaping plan that will result in a satisfying project.

There are many different designs that can suit the different features that make everyone’s yard unique. Trees, shrubs, plants, sun plants, and ground cover are a few ideas you will want to consider. You must be realistic about the amount of work and energy you are prepared to expend before you decide on your plan.

Home improvements can be very expensive and you must start out with some definite landscape design ideas or you will wind up spending much more than planned, and waste a lot of extra time before finally finding one you like.

Landscape design is generally considered to be a part of the larger field called landscape architecture. A great way to add character and enhance your property is with an attractive landscape. You need to get started on your project now to make your landscape design a reality. Soon your landscape design ideas will come to life before your very eyes.

Visualizing our finished project is usually difficult for most of us by just looking at a layout, and there are some excellent programs that can make it much easier to design your landscaping. Most of the original software was developed for professional landscapers. They have now been modified for the beginner who want to do-it-themselves, and you can find many do-it-yourself design programs on the internet that are reasonably priced. These programs allow you see a virtual picture of your design and enable the user to make your changes come to life. You can import a photo of your home or building in many of these programs and it will design the landscape around the photo.

Most of the programs will offer advice on using and placing different elements into your design. Your landscape will always change with time and these programs can allow you to visualize what it will look like in the future when the plants and trees have matured. Online design programs that allow you to design your landscape online are very popular, and are less expensive than the software you can purchase.

What is the best type of landscaping design for your yard? Plant selection should be the first part of your design because it is what catches the eye in each of the four seasons. Looking through home improvement and landscaping magazines is always a good way to get fresh ideas.

Properly landscaped yards can increase the value of the property by as much as 15% in some cases. Utilize all your ideas by thinking through your landscape design ideas.

The Delight of a Courtyard Landscape Design

Court Yard. The very word stirs the imagination. What comes to mind when you think of a courtyard? Is it a royal garden? A secret place? A sanctuary? Even an outdoor sitting room or retreat might be imagined. If your garden or the architecture of your home includes a courtyard take advantage of this delightful feature. The landscape design details of your courtyard garden lend themselves to a bit more punch than the rest of your garden.

Designing a courtyard landscape is as easy as a-b-c: Develop a design, designate a focal point and fill in the spaces with plants according to the scale of the garden.

Because the courtyard is such a special feature of your landscape, the design aspect is the most important step in your landscape design. Even before making design choices it is important to research appropriate plants for your area, designs that complement your architecture, and ideas that stem from your imagination and desire for your courtyard use. Even if you plan to install the landscape yourself, you might want to consult a professional landscape designer for this phase. Unlike the rest of your garden, a courtyard must be a little more permanent, so carefully plan your courtyard landscape design.

Move on to the next step, designating a focal point only after the design has been carefully planned. When choosing the focal point for a courtyard landscape design, you have much more choices than simply plants. True, a beautiful fruit tree with a circular border, or a flowering weeping cherry might be exactly what your design needs. However, you could also choose from a number of other plant designs such as an herb garden or a mossy path leading to a quiet but beautiful sitting area. Perhaps a water feature; either a reflecting pool or a fountain, will provide the atmosphere you desire. Even a formal or informal sitting area, a grill or a comfy hammock could provide an inviting focal point. It might be a good idea to allow the expert designer who is helping you with your plan give you suggestions about the focal point, helping you coordinate the mood of your courtyard and the scale of the space.

The final step, choosing and installing the right plants and other details to fill in the rest of the space is actually the most rewarding. It is exciting to watch everything come together and see your dream courtyard come alive. A courtyard landscape design provides ample opportunity to add small details or features that will coordinate, yet provide the unexpected. Perhaps a strawberry border to the edge of a flower bed, or a small bronze sculpture, or even a rock garden tucked into a corner will deliver that extra touch that makes the design. When choosing the fill in elements of the courtyard design, remember to select the largest plants first to anchor the design, and then fill in with smaller. The focal point and the large plants should be carefully selected for their permanent home, but the smaller plants can be changed or moved seasonally. Don’t forget to include some container plants as well that can be transported to different areas of the courtyard for different uses.

If you are a ‘do-it-yourselfer,’ and you plan to accomplish a lot of the digging and planting securing the help of the landscape designer will save you time and trouble in the long run. They will help you make sound decisions based on their training, knowledge and expertise, eliminating the risk of having to re do the work in the near future. To save money, you might even consider sharing the responsibility of your courtyard landscape design with a professional landscape designer. Whether you do the entire job yourself, or you hire a designer, a court yard landscape design will bring you pleasure for many years to come.

5 Broad Purposes of Landscape Design

Defining the purpose of landscape design is a redoubtable undertaking, as it requires synthesizing the many explanations of the phrase that seems as vastly different as the number of landscapes. So much so that presenting a summary of outdoor design philosophies becomes a bewildering task. To simplify matters, however, I have placed the different approaches into one of five categories.

At its most basic level, landscape design serves nature. The writings of most landscape designers include concepts related to sustainability, ecology, and natural preservation. This aspect of environmental design is concerned with issues such as insuring proper drainage, preventing soil erosion, creating an outdoor milieu that will last through time — as did the natural setting before man altered it — and more poetically, being “responsive to the nature of the site.”

At a more abstract level, most but not all landscapers talk about bridging the gap between man and nature. Some planting designers employ contrasting language to describe this function. One artisan mentioned combining culture and nature. Another refers to the reconciliation between man and nature. Another designates the purpose of landscape design as blending “manmade buildings into the natural setting.” Another nature artist talks about “blending man’s technology into the natural setting.” An Islamic environmental designer describes the need to maintain “fluidity between internal and external space.” While some outdoor site planners give equal importance to culture and nature, some give more weight to one or the other. On the side of nature, one site designer describes the need to strengthen the client’s “sense of connection to nature.” Another emphasizes the importance of “deepening the connection between people and their land.” On the side of technology, some practitioners see nature as serving man-made structures. From their perspective, landscapers should ensure “a beautiful setting for a building,” “protect the home from the wind,” or in the words of another planner “create a beautiful environment around the building.”

Many environmental engineers emphasize the artistry inherent in their profession. A Harvard trained landscapist calls nature a palate with which she creates her works of art. Reading about what the various practitioners have to say you will find numerous references to “creating beauty.” In practicing their craft, some designers focus more on the beauty in nature and talk about, “evoking the beauty of the natural world.” Others, like the Harvard trained landscapist, focus more on creating a work of art and describe what they do as creating a “manifestation of art that can be lived in and enjoyed.” The two views, however, are not mutually exclusive. An Islamic landscaper revealed that artistry is only one of the means she employs. While using “the principles of art and beauty” in her work, she is first and foremost guided by the religious principles found in the Koran.

Some designers focus extensively on the client’s perspective. They describe this aspect of their work with phrases such as “expressing “the client’s vision,” evoking the beauty of the natural world in ways that are “responsive to the… client,” or considering the landscaping ” needs of the user.” At the same time, many designers emphasize the practical benefits their work bestows upon clients. These boons include “providing the necessities of modern living;” providing “comfortable seating, scenic and seasonable variety, practical areas for family leisure, child play, entertainment, play space;” “shaping the land for people to use and enjoy;” “giving occupants a healthy breath;” and “creating an inviting and soothing atmosphere.” A few landscape designers, such as Michelle Derviss, focus on the importance of evoking a strong emotional response in visitors to their sites. In designing her projects, she wants to engage “all the senses and creating an emotional response within the garden setting.” Her goal is to “inspire the heart, imbue the senses, and inspire the eye of the beholder.”

Finally, some landscapers, such as the Islamic designer Emma Clark, see landscape design as transcending all of the fore mentioned considerations and serving a religious purpose. She uses Islamic teachings to bring out the “spirit of the place.” However, she emphasizes that her goal is to bring out a spirituality that is innately present in the spot, a landscape that is “totally at home in its environment.” In like manner some site engineers create gardens that serve as sanctuaries or places of meditation and contemplation. In this regard they offer a retreat into nature such as Ralph Waldo Emerson talked about in “Walden.” But perhaps they have progressed beyond the man machinery conflict found in Walden in that their intelligent retreats are engineered by the landscape designer to provide sanctuary within the context of modern living.