Landscaping Techniques to Beautify Your Yard
Landscaping Harrisburg PA technique makes your garden or outdoor area look more beautiful, and some also have practical benefits. For example, a well-placed hedge can boost curb appeal and reduce noise from street traffic.
To create a landscape that feels natural, avoid straight lines whenever possible. Instead, use curves and rounded edges to add some interest to your design.
Color can have a dramatic impact on the landscape. Whether as a unifying element or a way to draw attention to an important feature, this technique is a valuable tool in the landscape designer’s kit. Color theory is a learned skill, and landscaping professionals use it to create balanced and harmonious color schemes for plants and hardscapes.
The color wheel is a helpful graphic for understanding how different colors work together. It shows how primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) combine to create secondary and tertiary colors. Colors that are across from each other on the color wheel are complementary and provide a bold contrast. Colors that are next to each other on the wheel are analogous and create a sense of harmony. For example, the colors of burgundy “Redbor” kale and white sweet alyssum are analogous.
Flowers provide the primary source of color in a garden, but plant foliage also contributes to the overall color scheme. For example, a landscape using predominantly warm colors, such as reds and oranges, can be balanced with greens or blues.
The texture of plants and hardscapes also contributes to the overall feel of the landscape. For instance, a rough-textured shrub can be balanced with a smooth brick path or boulder. This helps to create a sense of scale in the garden, which is important for creating a sense of harmony.
In addition to color, the size of plants and the height of their flowers are also important elements to consider when designing a landscape. Large plants can be used to provide scale and make small gardens seem larger, while tall plants can act as a focal point or be framed by lower-growing plants to create depth.
In a landscape, “form” refers to the shape of plants and hardscape features like paths and retaining walls. A balance of shape provides an attractive three-dimensional quality to a yard and can help draw the eye from one area to another. Form can be as subtle as rounded shapes that soften the lines of a hardscape element or outdoor structure or as dominant as a tree that towers over a bed of shrubs.
Form also influences the overall character of a landscape. For example, straight lines provide structure and formality and are often associated with symmetrical balance, while curves create relaxation or a more natural ambience. Lines can be used vertically to emphasize a particular feature, horizontally to add movement and interest, or diagonally to separate two areas of the garden.
Landscaping techniques also consider scale and pacing, with a variety of plant heights, textures, and colors throughout the garden. A good mix of repetition and new elements helps prevent the landscape from feeling stale or overdone. In fact, Lipanovich recommends adding a few new elements each year to keep the garden fresh and interesting.
Landscapers also take into consideration the benefits of their choices, from environmentally friendly hardscape materials and non-toxic preservatives to pollinator-friendly plants that support the ecosystem and reduce the need for pesticides. And of course, a well-groomed yard improves the curb appeal of a home, which in turn can help with resale values.
But the benefits of landscaping aren’t just a financial investment; they can also have a positive impact on the environment by reducing carbon dioxide emissions and creating more oxygen. In addition, using native plants and trees reduces the need for chemical fertilizers, while water-retaining mulches prevent soil erosion. And don’t forget that a lawn absorbs 12 million tons of dust and dirt annually, helping keep the air clean.
In landscape design, lines can have a powerful impact on the overall composition. Lines can be curved, straight, or horizontal and can shape informal garden beds or add interest to pathways. They can direct the eye, creating a sense of movement and bringing the viewer into the landscape, or they can create a sense of rest or majesty.
The form of the landscape is influenced by its lines, which can be either actual (created by plant or hardscape edges) or perceived (implied by three-dimensional shapes like bushes and flowers). Lines can also be grouped together in a mass to create a focal point or to soften the look of a particular part of the landscape. For example, a grouping of plants with varying foliage heights creates a sense of depth and interest.
Color is another element that impacts the way a landscape looks. Warm colors like reds and yellows make objects appear closer, while cool colors like blues and greens create a sense of distance. Color is also affected by the time of day, with sunlight making it more saturated and intense.
Proportion is the size of an object in relation to other elements in the landscape. When the proportion of one element is off, it can distract from the overall design. When an element is too small, it can become lost in the landscape; when it is too large, it may overwhelm. Landscapers use proportion with both plant and hardscape elements to create a balanced, aesthetically pleasing design.
Repetition is an important element that adds a sense of unity to your landscape design. The repetition of plants, colors, textures, and lines can create sequences, patterns, and rhythms that draw the eye throughout the garden or landscape. Excessive repetition can lead to monotony, but the right amount of repetition can bring harmony and focus to a landscape. For example, planting a series of three matching knockout roses or placing a trio of identical pots along a wall are simple examples of repetition.
The size of landscape elements is also an important aspect of repetition. The size of a plant should be proportional to the size of the surrounding landscape elements. Proper proportion can also help establish balance in a landscape, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical.
Lines in landscape design are an essential part of the overall design. The use of straight or wavy lines can give a landscape a formal, ordered feel that draws the eye toward a focal point or directs the eye in a certain direction. Conversely, a landscape with wavy or meandering lines can be more relaxed and inviting. One way to add lines to a landscape is by using a repetitive structure such as a trellis or pergola.
The use of color is another important landscaping technique. Warmer colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges can be used to bring an object or area of a garden to the foreground. Cooler colors such as greens and blues can be used to create a sense of distance or depth in the landscape. Color can also be used to draw attention to a particular feature or object in the landscape by surrounding it with bedding plants that are richly colored or by creating a walkway made of contrasting colored pavers.
Drainage is an often overlooked aspect of landscape design, but it can make or break the success of your yard. Over time, water puddling and drainage problems can lead to soil compaction and root rot in grass and shrubs and even damage the foundation of your home. To remedy drainage issues, you can add organic matter to the soil or install subsurface tile drains. These solutions will typically involve digging a trench and then installing perforated pipe underneath the soil surface. These pipes will route excess soil water away from plant roots. This type of landscape drainage solution should always be considered in consultation with a licensed professional, but if done correctly, it can provide long-term and effective solutions for wet areas.
Another option is to redirect downspout drainage by burying corrugated plastic drain tiles or by creating a swale in the lawn, which will disperse or direct the drainage from the yard to a planting bed. A swale can also help with erosion control, especially if it is surrounded by plants that are well-adapted to periodic wet conditions, such as willows or red-twig dogwoods.
A less expensive and labor-intensive solution is to create a simple swale in the lawn that is carefully graded to direct the surface drainage. This can be accomplished by digging a shallow trench that has a slight slope and filling it with gravel, then placing a layer of perforated drain pipe on top of the gravel to whisk away excess water. The swale can be covered with plants such as ferns or water-loving perennials to further improve the look of your landscaping. The swale must be installed before sodding or seeding, but after the landscaping is established, it will provide an effective and long-lasting drainage system for your lawn.