Every landscaping idea needs a spark of imagination to inspire it. A beautiful garden is very much like a fine painting, employing concepts of composition, balance and depth to create a living piece of art. Just as a painter stands before a blank canvas, anticipating the first stroke of the brush, sometimes all it takes to get started is to gain a bit of perspective.
Start by establishing the different points in the area from which the garden will primarily be viewed. For homeowners, back yards are most often viewed from a patio or deck. Front yards call for both “curb appeal,” from the perspective of the street, as well as a view from the front of the house towards the street. Viewpoints for businesses usually focus on curb appeal as well.
Keep these viewpoints in mind while landscaping, creating focal points that will draw the eye from the foreground to the background. Foregrounds call for features best seen up close. Background plantings and features serve to add a feeling of expanse or depth. While plants are typically the stars of landscape design, other natural elements can play important supporting roles.
Set in Stone
Landscaping ideas that include stone or rock can provide visual appeal to a garden and provide function as well. Paved paths not only direct foot traffic, they give a sense of movement and activity to a landscape, inviting visitors to explore the space. Paths also serve to define the decorative style of a garden. A straight paved path indicates formality. Loose pavers set in grass denote a more natural style. Loose pavers set in gravel fall between formality and informality. Gravel alone can give gardens an arid feel, when planted aside succulents or cacti, or an old-world feel, when edged with loose beds bordered with brick.
Water features are among the best landscaping ideas in garden design. A water feature provides a strong focal point to a garden, adds a compelling emotional component and provides an element of sound as well. A fountain, pool or waterway can add drama and importance to a garden, but water features needn’t be elaborate to be effective. A simple bird bath or a fountain bubbling out of a decorative urn can add interest to landscapes. Even features that hint at water, like a bird bath used as a planter, or a dry riverbed constructed with arranged river rocks, can add a feeling of refreshment to a garden.
The Height of Fashion
Providing a garden with varying levels of height is one of the simplest ways to add interest. Raised beds are a popular option, especially in landscapes that primarily feature flowers or vegetables. Neat and tidy raised beds are excellent for formal gardens, while beds that allow plantings to spill over containers or borders have a more informal feel. Raised mounds provide natural focal points in a landscape, lending gardens an organic look. Even lawns gain interest when allowed to grow in gentle slopes.