Updated Mar 13, 2023
Updated Mar 13, 2023
Curb appeal is everything when it comes to your home, but it can be challenging to determine where to begin, especially if it’s never been a top priority. If you’re completely new to landscaping or just want to get some fresh ideas, keep reading to learn how to get your front lawn and backyard looking like it was designed by a pro.
There are four main landscape design elements you should keep in mind when beginning to design your yard: lines, mass, form, and voids.
Lines help create a focal point and physical flow throughout your outdoor space. For example, emphasizing clear, horizontal lines through straight paths and rectangular furniture will help make your yard feel broader. You can distinguish vertical lines in your space by using tall bushes or trees that will carry your guests’ eyes upward and give your front lawn or backyard a more expansive look. Straight lines can give your yard a much cleaner and formal appearance.
On the contrary, using curved lines in your landscape through winding paths will keep your guests constantly gazing over the area. These lines can also provide a more gentle and natural look, creating a more relaxing and soothing environment for you and your guests.
Before choosing which lines to emphasize, think about how you want your yard to look and feel.
Mass is the act of measuring the visual size of your space in the form of areas that are occupied by an object, such as your patio set, a fountain, or shrubbery. Find a balance between having enough open space in your outdoor area and enough mass to occupy the space.
When thinking about form, consider the shapes of individual objects in your yard or garden and the style of your home. Again, this is all about balance and finding shapes that complement each other. For example, if you have a mid-century modern home, rectilinear forms will complement this style more so than a Mediterranean-style home, which would benefit from soft shapes like circles or triangles.
Empty spaces, or voids, also play a role in your landscape. You want the voids to balance out the mass and unite individual components. When you start your landscape design, intentionally lay out the voids, then fill in the rest of the area with your landscaping designs.
In addition to the basic elements of landscape design, consider these additional factors:
Make sure you know exactly how much you have for your landscape design and how much each item costs. From mulch, shrubbery, and flowers to a patio set and paving features, the more detailed you are in your budget, the fewer financial surprises will arise throughout the implementation of your design.
Are you planning on redesigning your front yard or backyard? How much foliage is already there? How much sun hits the area you’re designing? These factors will play a huge role in the budget of your landscape, the types of plants you want to include, and where you want to place certain design pieces, like a fountain or patio set.
What does your current yard look like and what is the overall style of your home? You want your landscape style to match that of your home and, depending on your budget, you want to find a happy medium between the landscaping you currently have and what you plan to add or take away.
The type of plants you choose will mainly depend on where you live (your climate zone) and how much maintenance you want to perform. For example, if you live in Zone 3, yarrow, floss flowers, and red maple are all viable suggestions. However, if you live in Zone 9, you’ll find that Japanese Maple, African lilies, and agave are more suitable.
When choosing plants, you’ll also want to consider whether or not they’re toxic (this is important if you have pets or small children).
When planning out your landscape, know your limits and don’t take on anything more than you can handle. For example, if you’ve never added pavers to your yard, you may want to table that idea for another time or hire a professional service to help out. When in doubt, start small with your lawn and garden changes and add to them on an ongoing basis.
If you’re just starting out, try to avoid these common mistakes made by beginner landscapers:
Just because you’re making small changes to your landscape doesn’t mean they won’t have a huge impact. Here are a few landscape design tips for beginners:
Having a healthy and green lawn is a huge part of creating a beautiful landscape. TruGreen is our top recommendation for professional lawn care services. TruGreen offers fertilization, weed control, aeration, seeding, and more, all implemented by trained professionals. This company is one of the oldest, most trusted, and widely available providers on the market. To get a free quote, fill out this form or call 1-866-817-2172.
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