Landscape Designing

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There really is very little difference between your landscape designing and any of the visual arts, you know.Your canvas is bigger, and your painting and sculpting tools are larger, but the basic guidelines are much the same.

It will help to think like that as you’re working on your landscaping. You don’t have to be a professional landscape architect with a degree inlandscaping, either.

If you’ll just read the following seven guidelines, you’ll see how garden landscape designing is not only easy, but makes sense as well.

And, if you need a little help on things like getting started, rock work, ground preparation, backhoe work or things you don’t feel comfortable with or have time for, click the image below. Fill in your zip code, explain your needs and get up to four free quotes from licensed professionals in your area. Fast, guaranteed work!

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Whether you choose to do the work yourself or get help, it’s a good idea to commit your plans to paper before you go too far, as hours or evendays can be saved by doing this as one of your first steps.

Feel free to print the following guidelines (for personal use only, see Disclaimer) and have fun!


Relax. Remember; its actually easier to get complicated than simple. Really. Understated elegance rules the day … in art as well as landscaping. Choose a few colors, maybe two or three (green doesn’t count) and start your brain. The simplest landscape designing incorporates evergreens that bloom. Use the color of the seasonal bloom in the overall plan.

Decide how the color will fit into your hardscape plans, too. This means all the rocks, gravel, wooden objects (decks, etc.) or whatever inanimate things there are. But, remember the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Simon.


One of the main reasons I believe that doing a sketch, as close to scale as possible, is to see the balance of your landscape designs better. There are two kinds of balance; Asymmetrical—the most complex—and Symmetrical.Asymmetrical deals more with thecomfort of the design. Does anything bother you? Are you pleased at several angles of viewing? There are very few set-in-stone rules here.

There’s still balance though, but it comes at you in a different way. For instance, if your landscape designs have a rock walkway going up on the right side you might consider balancing that with a rock feature on the left. Or consider balancing a delicate lace leaf maple with an outdoor art work. How about a rock waterfall as a focal point and balance that with vibrant color, or plants with variegated leaves.

Symmetrical, on the other hand, has rules. Basically, one side is the mirror image of the other. More or less equally spaced matching elements of the garden design. With a garden equally divided, both sides could share all or part of the same shape, form, plant height, plant groupings, colors, bed shapes, theme, etc.

Of course its more complicated than that, but not much. If you purchased 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 (or any number divisible by two) of all your hardscape andsoftscape items (i.e. all your landscape designs elements, living or not) and divided them in half and planted them more or less opposite each other you’d have a “by the book” symmetrical landscape. Build a stone path up the center and there you have it.

If you could sit on you back porch or deck and draw in perspective what you’d like that yard to look like from that particular angle, you’ll be light years ahead of most.

So ….. why not give it a try? Grab a pad, a pen or pencil and give it a go. No matter how the drawing turns out, it’ll give you ideas as to what to plant (tall evergreens to block neighbors, colorful ground cover to show off a hill, etc.) and where to plant.

As to your overall landscape designs, drawings are not art, they’reinformation. Don’t get precious with them or feel like you can’t revise by drawing over something or erasing and going in another direction. You will, after all, someday throw that work of art away.

If you’re considering real original art, such as a sculpture for your pool or landscaping, peruse the works by world famous artist Jan Maureen White. Wonderful works of art for sale uniquely designed by one of the top sculptors in New Zealand.


As with any work of art, color adds the dimension to the work. In landscaping, this is where the brush meets the canvas. Do you know that bright “warm” colors, such as reds, yellows and oranges appear to “come at you?” Really. Especially on a bright day. These are great colors to show off, or increase interest in a water fall, a work of art, etc. The eye is naturally attracted to these colors. Hmmmmm … is that the reasonadvertising signs, real estate signs and police and emergency warning lights are these colors?

Cool colors, on the other hand (like greens, blues and grays) tend to recede. Use that to your advantage in creating depth. These colors also have a soothing effect and can create an atmosphere of serenity. Mix warm and cool colors or blend them together (reds to oranges to yellows to greens to blues for instance) for unusual and planned effects. Color shouldn’t be everything to your landscape, but it shouldn’t be an afterthought either.

What home remodeling or improvements information are you looking for?. Try a local BING search of our site for your answers. The search box is in the right column, just enter your search term & CLICK!


The KISS principle applies here, too. It is good to have variety, but too much variety and your hard-worked-expensive-time-consuming landscape

designs project looks cluttered and unplanned. Better to be simple. That said, too few elements might be, well … boring. Its up to you, though to make the ultimate decision, but remember, it may be easier to addthings after you’ve lived with the landscape designs for a while than rip things out and replace them with whatever later.

Don’t be afraid to repeat. Repetition is easy on the eye and has an organizing quality to it. A few items, grouped and repeated could keep the landscape interesting and allow for growth and additions. Whether you’re landscaping the traditional way or xeriscaping, meaning to use plants that require less or nearly zero water, the idea is to blend the aesthetic with the practical.

And, speaking of drought tolerant plants, check out the in-depth look provided by our friends at DROUGHT SMART PLANTS on all things water wise! Here you’ll find everything you need to know.


Size does matter. I mean, in landscaping as in art, varying the size of the objects next to each other is a way of involving the viewer. Proportion has a LOT to do with our size. We judge things according to how tall we are or how close we are to something. For example, New York City is huge if you’re standing in Times Square, but tiny if looking at it from the moon. Or, if you’re like me (under 6 ft.), doorways are plenty large, but to Magic Johnson they’re small.

A large sculpture, meant to be viewed from a distance might not “fit” in a small enclosed area, such as a courtyard. A small water feature might get lost in the back of a large yard. Landscape designing can have small features, but keep in mind the overall impact your efforts will bring. Proportion is relative and your goal is to be thinking of size and size relationships as you make your landscape designs, plans and installations.


Transition means change. How are you going to get from the bushes to the rock feature? I mean visually. Either abruptly or gradually are your choices. Surely you’ve seen landscaped property that gently led your eye around and made everything look like its supposed to look (whatever that means). You actually stopped, took a moment to just stare at one area then another … then another. How the landscaper transitioned between element A and element B probably had something to do with it.

So, decide early if you’re going to have gradual and/or abrupt transitions and where. And, decide early if you’re going to landscape the traditional way or native gardening and travel a more green & eco-friendlydirection. The point is to have a cohesive landscape from border to border. You usually cannot plan to landscape an area of the yard and leave parts totally wild.

Of course, if you could figure out a way to transition from your planned area to the wild area with plants, hardscape items or fencing you’ll have a much better looking yard and a much better feeling about yourself.


Herein, my friend, lies the goal of all your landscape designing endeavors. A harmonious flow of color, interest, design, character and style. In paintings, harmony is something that convinces you that it all makes sense somehow.

One way to produce harmony is by creating a theme. And one of the simplest ways to create your theme is by using a little art or garden decor. Something you’re interested in or have a passion for is best. Remember; your landscaping is a reflection of you.

For more information and ideas, search landscape designlandscape planning or landscape themes using the Bing Custom Search Box on the right side of this page. Also, for instruction and videos (amateur and professional) search Youtube using any of these keywords or ideas you’ve seen above.

… for any questions, concerns or problems on a remodeling or landscaping project, just click the carpenter’s pencil above. We’ll get back to you within 48 hours with solutions or advice on where to get solutions.
We never charge for help or advice!.

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Updated: November 10, 2015 — 11:10 pm

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