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Landscaping Tips

You're useless, admit it. You're not tech savvy, artsy, dynamic – and what's worse, you feel incompetent. Well if this truly defines you, then landscaping your property could be a disaster.

First of all, a house and its landscaping should be harmonious with each other. Achieving such harmony is sometimes possible intuitively; but if you're more serious about complementing your house with your landscaping, you really need to take matters to the next level – landscape design. Landscape design is an art form.

Learn The Basics
To start, a DIYer must learn the basic design elements that make for successful landscape design. Once these fundamental elements are learned, more intricate design principles can be carried out in the yard.

These are the basic elements of landscape design:

  • Scale
  • Form
  • Color
  • Line
  • Texture

You should consider these five elements when designing the hardscape and softscape of the property. Softscape consists mainly of gardens, shrubs, lawns and trees while hardscape is the elements of your property that can't be moved around, such as the position of the house and boulders. We will discuss form, texture and line. Color is pretty self-explanatory. Scale simply refers to the size of one component (such as a tree) relative to an adjacent component (such as a shrub).

Form is defined as a plant's shape and the structure of the plant's branching pattern. Trees, for example, come in many shapes, such as columnar shape trees and globular shape trees. There is also a great range in structural pattern, such as the stiff, upright branches of a European poplar to the droopy structure of the weeping willow.

The texture of your landscape is a visual matter, namely how the surface of the landscape object is perceived relative to the surrounding objects.

Line refers to how the viewer's eye moves or flows over the arrangement of plants and borders. Eye flow is influenced by how plant groupings fit together on a vertical and horizontal plane.

Principles of Garden Design
There are three principles of landscape design that contribute to the 'feel' of the landscape — proportion, unity and transition. All your landscape plants should be arranged so that they conform to these three principles. Propertion refers to the size of the individual components, such as the landscape plants, or groups of components giving a sense of proportion in the landscape. Proportion is very similar to the element of scale.

Remember, landscaping is an art, so be creative but also be realistic in your goals.

Hammer Need more landscaping tips? Visit our Landscaping forum and talk to other DIYers who are landscaping their property.