Many of us would love to own a home with a beautiful and relaxing garden. But most of us don’t know how to do that. In this post, we are talking about the essential tips on landscape design. Hop on and enjoy this comprehensive guide!
Landscaping is part of the architecture, and home design for it gives a different touch to your outdoor space. It is a science and an art of modifying visible features of a land to make it look appealing and inviting.
Landscaping is helpful for aside from adding beauty to your homes; it can also help lessen noise and heat. It can affect the heating and cooling of the environment around your house.
It might be hard for some to create the ideal landscape design, but with the aid of experts and with inspiration from the existing landscape, you can come up with an idea on how to groom your yard.
Our post is divided into helpful sections on everything you need to know about landscape designs. This aims to answer all your questions on how to start and maintain your garden landscapes.
What’s The Value Of Landscaping?
A home with a good landscape design can increase curb appeal and instil a stronger sense of pride in the appearance of your home. But that’s not all it does. It can provide monetary value.
Landscaping can increase the value of your home, too. According to Dr Leonard Perry, an extension professor at the University of Vermont, a proper landscape design can add up to 14% to a home’s resale value and speed up the sale by six weeks.
It can also save you money by reducing energy costs throughout the year. In the summer, trees can block the sun and provide shade to the home. In the winter, bare branches can allow the sun to peek through.
Strategically placed bushes and another shrubbery can reduce heat loss by blocking cold air from getting in the home or helping insulate the foundation. Proper landscaping around the home can also provide absorption, which prevents water from collecting around the foundation, which can cause costly damage.
When getting started, the question is clear: How do you section and divide your yard to create a compelling modern space? The possibilities are endless, and while this fact can be comforting to some, it is overwhelming to others. How do you design an entire lawn and garden in a stylish, purposeful way?
Do not hesitate to bring in a landscape designer for this leg of the journey. There are plenty of other details that you can handle yourself, such as planters, edging and sculptural elements. However, if you are the DIY type and want to tackle the entire thing with the help of friends and family (or if you’re looking for ideas to pass on to the experts), take inspiration from the images below! At MJS Construction Group, we offer a wide range of duplex build.
Incorporate Needled Evergreens for Year-Round Greenery
Valued for their year-round beauty, needled evergreens can add both texture and colour to a drab winter landscape. Needled evergreens can have blue, green, or even yellow needles that can add a lot of interest.
The Eastern White Pine, for example, is a magnificent tree with beautiful bright green needles. While some consider it messy in terms of dropping needles or its cones, it can make a big statement in a bleak winter landscape. Spruce and fir trees, with their shorter needles, are another attractive option blending different shades of greens and even blue tones.
There are also needled evergreen shrub options you might consider as well. Some types of arborvitae, yews, and cypress are also good options. Then there are also dwarf versions of needled trees which can offer some excellent vertical, ornamental accents. Some options include the dwarf pines, spruces, hemlocks, and cypresses.
Don’t Forget About Broadleaf Evergreen Varieties.
While evergreens are often thought of in terms of the needle-bearing varieties, evergreen shrubs also include broadleaf varieties like boxwoods, hollies, some forms of laurels, and rhododendrons. These plants have lush year-round greenery and also bloom in other parts of the year, giving them a wide variety of interest and appeal, regardless of the season.
There are also some great broadleaf tree varieties of hollies and Southern Magnolia, which hold their leaves in the winter. There are many colours, and textures, as well as varying shades of green that can add a lot of interest in the winter and throughout the remainder of the year.
Get the Best of Both Worlds With Semi-Evergreens
Plants that briefly shed their foliage in winter but rejuvenate quickly, or those that only shed some of their foliage, are sometimes referred to as semi-evergreen. For instance, Nandina varieties can retain a good fraction of their leaves or even hold their flowers later and are therefore considered semi-evergreen. They can also turn colours. The Blush Pink™ Nandina, for instance, turns pink, or even red, during colder months, adding a pop of colour that looks beautiful as an accent to your winter landscape.
Some Viburnum varieties, such as Leatherleaf, are also semi-evergreen. This shrub has a blue-green appearance and is coarsely textured, hence its name. Some species of Azalea are semi-evergreen.
Plants With Fruit Add More Appeal
Some winter landscaping plants produce berries and other fruit that hangs on, even in the winter. Fruit can be anywhere from oranges to yellows or reds. One such option is the flowering crabapple trees such as Harvest Gold Crabapple. What makes this particular tree uniquely beautiful is the fact that it produces attractive yellow fruit that can brighten up a landscape.
Varieties of holly, such as Viburnum and Coral Berry, also make nice, colourful options. Winterberry hollies, which are in the shrub category, lose their leaves but retain their berries, making for a beautiful display, especially against the backdrop of needled evergreens or atop snow cover. Besides, Winter King Hawthorn, which is a small tree that produces bright red berries, is another great choice.
Beautiful Bark Adds Interest
The bark or even “bark habits” on certain trees can add some appeal to your winter landscape, as well. Plants with exfoliating bark, such as the Paperbark Maple, create a unique look. As the cinnamon-coloured bark on this tree begins to peel, it reveals new bark underneath, creating a lot of visual interest.
Bark with larger spots is another great way to add some colour and texture to your landscape. Bark can be quite colourful. London Plane trees have an interesting bark that can be olive, tan, and white. And Red Twig Dogwood can add a real burst of colour with this shrub’s bright red branches, whereas Yellow Twig Dogwood has stand-out yellow branches.
Incorporate Witch Hazel for the Wow Factor
A plant that flowers in winter may sound like a misnomer, but there is a plant that can bring you some winter flowers. Witch hazel is a flowering shrub that will still hold onto its blazing yellow flowers, even into the late winter.
Sometimes referred to as the “Queen of Winter,” witch hazel is not only a brilliant colour but known to have a pleasant citrus smell. Adding this to your landscape can brighten things up on those dreary winter days.
Ornamental grasses can be another valuable addition to your winter landscape by adding texture and even some colour. Shades of bronze, gold, russet, and tan can liven up your landscape when incorporated throughout the space. When planted in close proximity to evergreens, ornamental grasses can add some nice contrast.
The look of tall grasses rustling in the winter breeze can also add some active interest and sound to an otherwise quiet landscape. However, be aware that too much wind can cause them to break off and blow around. Choosing to leave ornamental grasses up over winter may mean a little bit of extra clean-up come spring.
Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Your front yard is the first thing people see when they pull up to your house or drive past it. It’s the first impression people may have of you as a homeowner. Luckily, there are several ways you can beautify the landscaping at the front of your house. Here are a few ideas.
Play With Color And Texture
There are a few ways to add colour to your landscaping, including with plants, pots or planters and stones or pavers. When choosing new hues, consult the colour wheel and think about how you want to feel when you see the outside of your home.
To feel calm and peaceful, you may want to use cool colours, like blues, greys and purples. To feel excitement and energy, you may want to implement a scheme that uses warm colours, like orange, red and yellow.
Another strategy is to use complementary colours, which are opposite each other on the colour wheel. For example, red and green are complementary colours, as are orange and blue and yellow and purple.
As for texture, play with different mediums. You can do this by mixing bold, crisp or spikey plants with soft, airy or feathery plants. You could also mix in wood plant beds or benches, stone gravel or sleek, metal lawn fixtures.
When playing with colour and texture, don’t forget to think about those of the home itself. You won’t want to stray too far from them.
Get Creative With Greenery
You can use greenery to add even more visual interest by filling in bare spots, adding dimension and creating a green backdrop for colours to pop from. Greenery requires less maintenance. Adding shrubs and trees to your yard can add more shade and provide more privacy.
To get creative with your greenery, consider pruning your shrubs into various topiary designs. For bare areas with tons of shade, plant hostas, which are shade plants that come in a variety of shapes and sizes and range in colour from dark green to yellows and blues.
Add Tasteful Decor
You can spruce up your front yard just by adding stylish ornaments and interesting features here and there. A few examples of popular lawn decor include:
- Garden statue
- Small water feature
- Wagon wheel
- Garden pedestal
- Small windmill
- Gazing ball
- Decorative lantern
Just be careful not to go overboard. There is a fine line between tasteful and tacky. Choose one or two decorations from the list and make sure they are smaller in size.
Take Care Of Your Lawn
Wouldn’t you hate for all of these landscaping ideas to go to waste? That’s what could happen if you don’t take care of your lawn. You could have the best-looking yard on the block, but if your grass is dead, overgrown or overrun by grubs, even the best landscape design will look like a mess.
Taking care of your lawn should be a top priority. That means keeping it watered, cutting it at least once per week, weeding, raking leaves and getting rid of lawn grubs.
That may also mean cleaning up after your pet, throwing away litter and making sure your kids pick up their toys before coming inside for the day.
Backyard Landscaping Ideas
Backyards provide additional space to enjoy parts of your lifestyle outdoors. Just as there are several ways to design your front yard, there are several ways you can beautify your backyard’s landscaping and even increase its usability.
Make It Functional For Multiple Purposes
Before you start working on your backyard landscaping, brainstorm how you want to use your space. Maybe you want to use it for summer bonfires, cookouts and barbeques, or maybe you want to give your pets room to run around. Or, maybe you want to install a swimming pool, playscape or trampoline.
If your yard is big enough, you could use your backyard for multiple purposes. Once you have a few ideas, you’ll need to strategize ways to use the space to accommodate as many of those interests as possible.
Almost like a game of Tetris, you’ll need to rearrange the features to get the most use out of your space.
Upgrade Your Patio
A back patio adds usable space to your yard and tends to be on a typical home buyer’s wish list. Because of this, patios can add more value to your home.
If you already have a patio, consider adding a few accessories that will help increase its usability, like a fire pit, built-in grill or pergola. You could also add more landscaping around it to make it more attractive, block out some of the suns or add some privacy.
If you don’t have a deck, consider building one with pavers, poured and stamped concrete or wood. Just keep it in proportion to your yard. If you have a small yard, design a smaller patio, so it doesn’t take up your entire space.
Design Your Dream Garden
The perfect garden is one that shows off your personality and allows you to tend to things you truly care about. The reason for your garden doesn’t have to be showing off your green thumb. Gardens are therapeutic and fun. They can help you save money and protect your home.
They can also provide a haven for wildlife, promote pollination and conserve resources. Here are a few garden ideas to consider when planning yours:
- Flower garden. One of the most popular types of gardens, flower gardens are filled with colourful florals that require regular tending. These gardens can attract birds, bees and other insects, provide free sources of lovely summer flower bouquets and make your yard smell fresh and flowery while adding pops of colour.
- Fruit and vegetable garden. These gardens allow you to grow your produce, which saves you money at the grocery store. With a fruit and vegetable garden, you won’t have to worry about salmonella outbreaks or harmful pesticides getting into your body from your produce. Just beware of hungry animals who’ll use your garden as their produce aisle, too.
- Herb garden. This type of garden can also save you money because herbs can be pricey at the grocery store, and you often have to buy a bunch when you only need a pinch. Herbs aren’t just easy to grow; they also make your yard smell good, and your food taste even better.
- Butterfly garden. One of the most beautiful types of gardens, butterfly gardens are filled with vivid florals and colourful butterflies. These gardens are meant to be a sanctuary for butterflies, offering a place to feed, rest and lay eggs. These spaces require plenty of sunlight and plants that provide shelter, water and food for butterflies and caterpillars.
- Water garden. Also known as aquatic gardens, water gardens typically contain a water feature that houses various types of aquatic plants. These gardens require a water source, like a pond, pool or fountain and floating, submerged or marginal plants. Water gardens often include fish, snails or turtles.
- Fairy garden. These playful gardens bring magic for all ages and require little maintenance once completed. Made to house fairies, these gardens are filled with small plants, gnomes, fairies and tiny homes for them to live in. They often include moss, sea glass or stones, and small, glittery accessories. These are great gardens for small spaces.
- Rain garden. This type of garden is effective in diverting water from your home. It helps collect water runoff and filter it back into the ground. This type of garden consists of layers of mulch and soil and native plants that tolerate water and are used to the local soil. Your yard should slope away from your home and into the rain garden, located at least 10 feet away from the house.
Depending on what type of garden you choose for your home, you’ll need to think about your space and whether it’s fit for the type of garden you want for your home. Where is the plot of land located? How much sunlight does it get? How much room do you have? What type of soil does it have?
Create A Backyard Getaway
If you have a shed or other structure, use it for a backyard getaway. There are several ways to utilize a small structure by adding a fresh coat of paint to the outside and a little interior decorating to the inside.
Create a reading nook, artist’s studio, meditation space or game room. If you don’t already have a structure in place, you can buy a kit or prefab shed at home improvement stores or online shops.
Lighting on the focal point of your landscape architecture design can have a dramatic effect in the evening.
Once you’ve completed your backyard design and are well on your way implementing your landscape architecture, you’ll want everyone to appreciate the hard work you’ve put into making your backyard aesthetically beautiful. Landscape lighting will allow you and your friends and family to enjoy the outdoors at any hour, and in itself, the lighting can add a nice element to your backyard design. Here are some ideas for how to achieve perfection by adding landscape lighting to your backyard.
- Light the way. Use lights along your garden path to show people where they’re going. Make sure to leave space between each light so that the visitor’s eye is drawn down the path. Lights don’t need to be glaring, but they do need to give the visitor some parameters, so they don’t step on your flower garden!
- Mix and match. Put lanterns on the outside of your paths, but bistro lights on your deck, for example. Different shaped bulbs around your deck or patio can also provide interesting design elements.
- Coloured lights can add whimsy to your deck or patio; try to find ones that are all one colour, so it doesn’t look like Christmas in July. You can also find bulbs with interesting filament shapes, like these antique light bulbs.
- Backlight your furniture. Putting lights under your sofa and table to make them glow softly makes your patio look ethereal and also makes sure the lights won’t shine into your windows and keep guests and kids awake at all hours.
- Light a focal point. Putting a light behind or within a fountain or sculpture can light up the centrepiece of your landscape design. If you have an interesting sculpture, you can create cool shadows by playing with the angle of the light.
- Make it moonlit. Using a cool blue light shade in your garden makes space look like it’s lit in the moon. There’s a company that uses cooler temperature lights to make space look like nothing from this Earth.
- Add a fireplace or firepit. Even in the summer, having a fire late at night is a great way to bring the group together for s’ mores or late-night ghost stories. You can also add a wood-fired oven and make your pizza!
- Add lights in the pergola, and not just in the ceiling. Putting in some floor lights that crawl up the wall toward the reach of the ceiling lights is a great way to create a sense of drama and intrigue.
- Light the waterfall in your water garden, if you have one, to create a feeling of energy and motion in the evening. Having your guests gather around the pool that’s backlight amps up the tone of the party in no time.
How To Execute Your Landscape Design
There are many components of landscaping that can be achieved in a DIY fashion. However, some projects call for skilled professionals. Any projects that involve deep digging, permits, special tools and equipment and know-how will require you to hire the pros.
Landscaping can be a simple home improvement project that can add value to your home, enhance your curb appeal and become a beloved hobby for you and your family. While bigger projects may require the help of a professional, there are several DIY projects you can take on that make a big difference.
Tap into your creative side and see how you can transform your front yard and backyard landscaping into something you’ll love for years to come.
Choose a Company that Values Design for All the Seasons
An interesting winter landscape doesn’t happen by chance. It’s thanks to the knowledge and skill of a landscape design professional who knows a lot about winter landscape plants and their best placement.
Check out these great winter landscaping design ideas and plants for Northern Virginia. For instance, are some of these winter landscape plants placed near a window or other areas where they can be regularly viewed? Does the landscape design incorporate a good mix of plants so that the landscape is well-balanced? A thoughtful approach to landscaping means thinking about what your landscape is going to look like all year round, not just during the blooming season. Achieving this comes down to the landscape company that you choose.
There is no reason why you have to let Old Man Winter get you down. By looking beyond the average landscape company, which is only thinking about your landscape during the flowering season, you can have a yard that has year-round appeal. Your wise choice means you’ll get more than just the standard treatment of a landscape that’s only impressive a few months out of the year.
If you’re looking for a landscape company that will help you with winter landscape ideas, then we are here to help. There is absolutely no reason a winter landscape has to be boring. By working together on a great design, you can have an appealing landscape all year long.