Garden Design – Planning – Aesthetics Are Important!
This article considers some of the elements crucial for an effective aesthetic design of your landscape.
Cooler colors such as blue, purple, deep red and pastels recede thereby making your yard seem larger. On the other hand, hot colors such as bright pink, orange, yellow and white jump at you and make distances seem shorter. A trick you can use to make your yard seem larger is to plant the hot colors at the entry and cool ones at the far end of the yard. You can also do the opposite to make large spaces seem smaller. Plant hot, bright colors on the far side of the yard where they will jump out at you. One thing you should try to do is use colors from the same palate. So use bright orange and yellow flowers at the back of the yard and softer pastels near the entryway.
As mentioned before, manmade objects carry a great deal of weight in gardens because our eyes immediately pick them out of the all the hustle and bustle. For example ever notice how a pot or a stone wall will leap out at you in the middle of a teeming garden? So when it comes to decoration with manmade objects, less is plenty. Gargoyles, fountains and birdbaths are fine but try to space them out with shrubs or kinks in the path so they don’t dominate the entire scene. While deciding what goes where, try placing them down and then leave your yard for awhile. Come back later to see if they jump out at you, if they do then you have way too many items.
Your fences, decks, patio, walkways, trellises, walls and any other hardscapes of your yard design are just as important as the plants. Remember that you will have to see these elements essentially naked in the off season when all the foliage has dropped off the plants so soften them with some perennials that can serve to camouflage the hard edges. A deck may look fine in the summer surrounded by blooming flowers and shrubbery but completely hard edged and lonely during the winter months with no foliage to soften it.
Another consideration regarding your hardscape is of course cost. The individual physical components such as bricks, benches, fences, lumber and statues can be quite a bit more costly than plants. However, the value they provide in transforming a ho hum garden into a wow one always makes them worth the investment. Still not convinced? Your choice of low quality, cheap materials now will come back to haunt you later when you realize maintenance and labor will cost you far more in the long run than any meager savings you may have gotten in the beginning.
A more subtle design consideration is rhythm. This refers to using gradual transitions to create a smooth pacing in your yard. For example, placing 20 foot tall palm trees next to a small flower bed, which is next to a small birdbath is disjointed and just plain sloppy. Choose combinations of elements that work together in size, texture and color. A great example is the combination of the bright hues of sword-leaved irises, vertical ornamental grasses and decorative columns. The striking colors and vertical theme serve to work together to create a rhythmic flow.