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Adventures in Landscaping – Creating the Perfect Concept

It has been said by leading landscape architects that the one thing you should always do when planning your landscaping concept is to think of the exterior of your home in much the same way as you do the interior. In other words, your landscape will be made up of several ‘rooms,’ each serving a purpose. Just as you have a kitchen, bathroom, living room and bedrooms in your home, each area of your lawn and garden will serve a different purpose.

In order to make that happen, here are a few tips on creating the perfect landscaping concept.

Paper and Pencil Always Helps!

In the beginning, you will want plenty of scrap paper to begin taking notes of what exactly you would like to accomplish. Do you merely want a tidy lawn devoid of a garden area or are you going to want garden out buildings that are constructed in such a way as to add to your landscaping architecture? In fact, there are even buildings that serve a function as well as being part of the decorative scheme of your landscaping and these should be plotted into your drawings as early on as possible.

When you have placed your buildings where you want them on your graph, you can then begin to think about the kinds of plants and shrubs you’d like to add. For example, today there are lovely and highly innovative greenhouses that lend themselves nicely to the ‘feel’ of your property. These can be used to grow the plants you will eventually use in your landscaping or you can use them to grow fruits and vegetables for your table. In either event, they are architecturally amazing to look at but serve a specific function as well.

Images above – Tiny House: 360 Villa by 123DV Modern Villas

Separating the ‘Rooms’ in Your Drawing

One thing you will almost certainly notice is that as you begin planning the various rooms in your landscaping concept, they will morph and change as you begin creating. Take time to actually visualize how you want your property to look. Will you have a pool or a patio that you need to plan into your landscaping architecture? These are probably going to be as central to your concept as your garden buildings will be, so make sure they are plotted exactly where you want them. In so doing, you can begin to visualize how to blend them together with the creative use of horticultural design.

Also, are you looking to divide your rooms in a linear geometric pattern or will you be using curves where one area literally ‘melts’ into the next? Some people love those stark, straight lines that lend a more formal aspect to their landscaping whereas others like curved areas that are less formal and more comfortable in their appeal. This is one of the issues many people have with contemporary interior design in that those straight lines are anything but soft and comforting. Perhaps this is why so many homes today are being built in a more traditional design. Keep this in mind when planning the various areas of your lawn and garden.

To Everything There Is a Season

Borrowing from the Biblical passage from Ecclesiastes, there really is a season for everything and that should be kept in mind when planning your landscaping concept. There is a purpose for each and every aspect that you are creating, whether it is functional or decorative, there is a reason why you are incorporating that area into your plans.

Even so, there is no reason why functional areas can’t coexist with decorative aspects. It’s all in how you place them and add features which help them blend, one area to the next within the natural topography you have to work with. For example, a lovely garden fountain or waterfall would be ideally placed just outside a shaded area that leads to a rather forested part of your grounds. If you have thick trees, the landscaping you use leading into that area should make sense. You wouldn’t want to place your pool or greenhouse in this area because you don’t want shade to obstruct the sunlight necessary for their function.

Finally – It’s Time to Build Your Landscaping Team

If you are happy with the concept you’ve designed and are ready to begin work, it helps to know exactly what kind of outside help you’ll need. Will you still need a landscaper to draw out your final plans so that other professionals can follow them or are you satisfied that any landscaping contractor will be able to work from them?

Don’t rely on your local telephone directory when it comes to choosing people you need to complete your project. Check them out online, contact references and always take the time to look at photos of projects they’ve completed. If you plan your concept ‘room by room,’ then you can even hire each contractor as they are needed. In the end, you’ll have a totally unique landscaping design that fits your home and lifestyle to a T.

Just make sure to plan and plan again so that when work commences, you will know what to expect. There’s nothing like a landscaping concept you’ve planned yourself and soon you’ll be able to see the product of your efforts. At the end of the day, your quiet enjoyment is what it’s all about anyway so design a concept that ‘feels’ right and you are sure to be content.

Images above – Guaparo House by NMD Nomadas

Bougainvillea Row House by Luigi Rosselli Architects

Piza e Vino Restaurant by Inhouse Brand Architects