Home is where the heart is. But a home is more than just a house, it’s got a front and backyard too, and they play a massive role in the look and feel of where you live. Designing your dream home shouldn’t stop at the walls. Landscaping is just as crucial in creating an appealing living space for both you and your guests.
To help get you started on your landscaping journey, we’ve compiled a list of the top landscaping design tips for the front and back of your home.
Before you embark on any landscaping project, you first need to understand the fundamentals behind landscape design: line, form, texture, colour and scale. Balancing these five essential elements will produce an aesthetically pleasing design that your eyes will appreciate, bringing harmony to your home and the spaces you occupy.
While that may sound like hyperbole, there is some serious science behind aesthetically pleasing design that we can’t get into right now, so we’ll just stick to talking about the fundamental principles of landscaping.
Think of lines like pathways; they control movement, and so should you. Just don’t restrict yourself to straight lines only. Curve them, cross them over, and interconnect them to outline the visual interest of the landscape. While straight lines are more formal, providing direction for your eyes, their curved brethren will give your landscape a more playful look and feel.
Hardscape materials like pavers, fencing, natural stone and vegetation such as hedges are perfect tools for creating lines in your landscape. Defining lawn edges is another excellent way to harness the design power of lines.
Ever heard that phrase form over function? Well, throw it out the window because landscaping allows for both. Regarding shape, form considers the height, width, length and overall size of an object, or in this case, a landscaping feature.
Positioning is also crucial, as some gardens can be more structured than others. However, playing with form doesn’t just mean controlling where your plants grow and how big they are. Letting your plants grow naturally (as intended) will play to the structure of your landscape as well.
It was a magical day when colour TV came into existence. It captures the eye and draws attention to the contrasts between them. Incorporating colour into your landscapes is one of, if not the most essential design principle.
Flowers and plants naturally feature numerous colours, with several varieties to choose from at your local nursery. Regardless, the most important thing to take note of is the seasons. It can be tempting to go for the most colourful flowers for the summer months. However, you’ll soon find an empty garden during winter, with not much in the way of colour.
Balance your garden with plants and vegetation that grow throughout the year for the gift that keeps on giving.
Think sandstone retaining walls, maybe a brand new deep blue pool, or floor tiling an alfresco dining area for hardscaping additions. On the smaller end of the scale, planters and pots at the front door are a welcoming addition to any front yard.
Better known as touch, this is what you can feel, both with your hands and with your mind. If something looks rough to you, it's likely going to feel pretty rough to your touch. Texture, of course, doesn’t just deal with how smooth something is. Texture can be described as hard, soft, delicate, coarse, heavy, light, sharp, blunt, and more touch-related adjectives.
Add an extra dimension to your landscape by incorporating different textures.
Similar to form, scale concerns the varying heights and widths of an element and how they compare and contrast with one another. In this case, your garden. Scale can be as simple as planting a flower bed at the foot of a massive oak tree to placing a single bench against a large feature wall with nothing else around it.
Essentially, it’s the overall design composition of your landscape. Playing with the size and scale of your landscape elements will introduce a new level of intrigue to your garden. Think succulent gardens or massive palm trees along the edge of a pool. With scale, you can bring so much to any landscape.
Welcome to your domain. Your backyard is yours to do as you please. But that doesn’t mean you’re above a few suggestions for making your garden truly spectacular. At least in your eyes.
Because, unlike curb appeal, backyard landscaping tips are for the eyes of you and your guests only.
Alongside a pool or a tennis court, a patch of lawn, maybe a flowerbed and an alfresco entertainment area, the backyard offers several landscaping opportunities for improving the look and feel of your backyard. For now, let’s cover some handy-dandy tips that will make your landscaping projects a breeze.
Moving garden debris like leaves, weeds, and small branches often involves multiple trips to the green bin. Use a tarp instead to move everything at one. You can even use it to hold soil and keep the grass clean when digging holes or excavating dirt.
Dirt and grime can build up quickly in outdoor areas. The quickest and easiest way to return your backyard to a fresh and clean state is with a pressure cleaner. Grab the gurney and get cleaning. Regular cleaning will help remove excess buildup and prevent tile stains.
What’s the main feature that you want to highlight in your garden? Is it that 100-year-old tree, or a recently installed water feature, or maybe it's the fire pit you’re thinking of adding.
Whatever you choose as the focal point, use your garden and the landscape to direct attention towards it. Make it inviting, make it tempting, make it however you want; it's your garden.
This one is all about curb appeal, the first impression that your home leaves on those who pass by. We’ve all seen the horror gardens on current affairs programs with metre tall grass, cracked pavements, a collapsed boundary wall and a front door that looks about as inviting as the sewer door. While it's unlikely you’re dealing with such a disaster of a front yard, improving your curb appeal is an essential part of any landscaping project.
Most homes have a driveway leading to a garage or carport, with the majority being made of either concrete exposed aggregate or bluestone due to their durability. While there’s not much you can do about the driveway itself, outlining its edges with shrubbery or plants is a great way to turn a boring slab of cement into a welcoming mat for your home.
The same can be said for your walkway. Lining the edges of the pathway with flowers and plants will create a more inviting entrance. You can also play with the form and shape of your pathways. While a straight path is more direct and formal, a curved or more textured pathway with stone tiles or pavers adds excitement, creating a more playful entryway.
Let’s cut to the chase; terraced gardens are a fantastic way to improve your front yard and your curb appeal. It can be as simple as adding a few hanging planters to your front door or as complex as a sandstone terraced garden with three levels, each with different flower beds with all different shapes and sizes. Whatever you decide, adding plants and flowers to your front yard will significantly improve the look and feel of your home.
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