Landscape Planning and Design: Finding the Right Style for You




Have you ever wanted to upgrade your landscaping but have no idea where to start or what to envision for your home? Landscaping should be designed in conjunction with the home’s shape, size, and color tones through various styles that serve a need or deliver a desired ambiance. It depends on particular goals and preferences when designing the lay of your land, but ultimately your landscape should be a place to escape.

First, determine the scope of the scape. Homeowners should map out a plan whether tending to the front yard, back yard, patio, or garden. Establish your landscaping strategy in advance to stay organized and adhere to a reasonable schedule and predetermined budget. Pay attention to detail and have a well thought out strategy before planting a seed or breaking ground.

If this is the first time you’re approaching landscape design, it’s wise to source some guidance and direction from experienced experts. Research the Web for inspiration, answers, and steps to get started. Google and Pinterest on demand to explore the possibilities that might fit for your abode. Consult with friends, neighbors, nearby nurseries and garden stores, or local landscaping services to review ideas and initiate the process.

What’s in it for you?


For some, landscaping can merely be an obligatory maintenance issue that requires upkeep and anticipated expenses. For others, landscaping reflects a lifestyle and garners a green thumb responsible for setting the mood and revamping the residence.

In the Home & Garden genre, landscaping is essentially the treatment of one’s yard with maintenance, improvements, updates, and added touches to spawn plant life, preserve nature, and establish aesthetic appeal. It integrates plants and flowers, natural and man-made components, and shaping the terrain, plants, and structures for practical purposes or charming appeal.

First, determine what to grow and choose flowers, plants, and elements that will sustain in the environment and satisfy your soul. Take a bird’s eye view of the entire lot. Designate specific areas to landscape, especially if kids and pets demand an open lawn area that caters to year-round activity.

Will the design require an open area with adequate sun exposure or will you be concentrating more in a shaded section? How will temperatures and precipitation affect your plan? Are you seeking more privacy or attempting to spark some curb appeal? Do you intend to grow herbs and veggies or create a welcoming environment primed with principles for relaxing, socializing, or entertaining? Are you seeking a small, subtle upgrade to your yard or do you want to be the nucleus of the neighborhood?

So what constitutes a landscape?

The ultimate design when revamping a landscape depends on the individual, but the common guideline is to create a setting that evokes emotions, develops a natural extension to your home, and models an inviting, intimate atmosphere. Some homeowners will offer an experiential landscape look that mirrors their lifestyle and personal passions. Foodies might focus on a garden of the freshest herbs and vegetables. A yogi striving for meditation and relaxation might be inclined to create a zen-inspired serenity garden. A man who models himself as a Grillmaster might host an outdoor culinary haven.

In general, a landscape comprises some important areas in and around the yard:

Lawn – Arguably the primary focus of any yard, green grass requires maintenance and upkeep to keep up with the neighborhood and maintain a well-groomed exterior.

Flower and Garden beds – Plants, herbs, and veggies can be grown directly in the ground or within raised garden beds. The presence of flowers, shrubs, or potted plants makes a landscape lush and colorful. Raised beds keep gardens under control as plants are positioned within a defined space. The structure is aesthetically pleasing and the elevation limits the emergence of weeds and plant disease from pests and bacteria.

Traffic and Transportation – The pedestrian portion is equally important so consider the condition of driveways, sidewalks, paths, and pavers. The edges of these walkways often include fresh-cut grass, stones, hedges, and trees that give a nice, natural contrast.

Added Amenities – Many landscapes include complementary bells and whistles to set the mood or separate your yard from a cookie-cutter configuration. These may entail the addition of arbors, fences, gates, and gazebos. Birdbaths, bird feeders, ponds, and fountains offer a nice aquatic effect. Artificial grass, fire pits, patio furniture, and hammocks enhance the outdoor experience. Installing a wet bar, outside TV, and Surround Sound stereo system might make your landscape the life of the party.

What are we working with?


Determine specific locations to be landscaped and take the steps to understand and optimize the process. What might work for your property depends on several criteria.

Depending on the brick and mortar already in place, you’ll want to consider hardscape options such as wood, brick, concrete, or stone. These make up the walls, steps, platforms, and pathways that support the lush life within. Softscaping pertains to the natural living environment thriving in the yard’s flower beds, gardens, pots, and planter boxes.

Landscapers will often color-coordinate hardscaping components like pots, pavers, sculptures, and structures. The living portion may have a similar sequence of plants, shrubs, and flower beds. Landscapes look soothing with soft, warm red and orange hues while greens and blues give distinct dimensions. Speaking of dimension, lines and layers lay the groundwork for design and definition in the yard. The arrangement shapes the look of the land whether in symmetrical patterns or contrasting layouts.

It is vital to understand the environment and it’s recommended to landscape locally. An area in the hills with natural lush foliage will require a completely different landscaping protocol than a dry region like Arizona. Flowers and plant life vary as much as local fruits and vegetables. Unless you’re a seasoned gardener with extensive experience, landscaping with exotic species and variables beyond control can mean more headache and hassle for your gardening goals.

Who’s doing the dirty work?


Landscaping duties entail applying concepts and ideas in one’s mind to the physical practice of putting it all together. It requires an assortment of tools and equipment in addition to a skilled support team to handle the manual labor. Request estimates from numerous landscaping companies. Designers, contractors, and garden experts are apt to identify and recommend best practices to employ on a per-project basis. Understand what you’re getting yourself into and make sure to save some funds for furniture, lighting, ceiling fans, artwork, and additional amenities that will bolster the beauty outside your home.

While you may outsource the bulk of the project, keep in mind the maintenance and upkeep thereafter. How much time do you want to commit? Light landscaping might be sufficient for some, while others diligently detail each part of the process. Whether hiring a landscaping service or going at it alone, you’ll need to have hands-on control over tasks like watering, weeding, feeding, mowing, pruning, and planting. On a positive note, aside from honing one’s horticultural hobby, working around the yard can be a substantial source of exercise.

All Things Considered


Seasoned horticultural homeowners might have a clear vision and possess the creativity to add beauty and charm. On the other hand, those with a lesser green thumb may rely on research to find a certain style that aligns with their home and decorative taste.

A uniform theme will contain a consistent plant arrangement, structured set-up, and cohesive color scheme. Enjoy a landscape of harmony when everything aligns to promote good vibes, relaxation, and a release from reality. Make life and landscaping easier on yourself. Let your tools do the work, utilize your sprinkling system, plant what works for the region, and install structures that are built to last. An ideal landscape organizes all elements in a way that fits seamlessly, has balance, order, and proportion. One will sense the serene setting when the layout of sturdy structures and pots blends well with the natural, calming plants and florals. Use neutral or contrasting pots and pieces that align with nature and create a relaxing ambiance that embraces the outdoors. Rearrange these versatile components from time to time for ever-evolving appeal.

Blooming on a Budget


While it can be costly to redesign your yard, there are steps to take that can save costs upfront, and throughout the season. Planting perennials assures you bring back plant life the following year. It saves time at the start of each season and alleviates annual costs of restocking and replanting.

It’s prudent to pick plants that are accustomed to the area. Native plants will require less watering and can essentially fend for themselves. Local flora will thrive in an environment tailored to help it survive. The visual appeal is peaceful, natural, and inviting for all to embrace.

It’s always nice to reduce water usage and minimize weeds, two of the primary benefits of mulch. Cut expenses and take an eco-friendly approach by substituting mulch with shredded leaves, grass clippings, or pines. Lightly spreading these greens around an area will provide a boost of nutrients and natural charm without breaking the bank on store-bought mulch, fertilizer, and plant food. Furthermore, you can help preserve the planet by recycling and reusing scraps of food and plant and garden debris. This yard waste transforms into compost and serves a variety of environmental functions.

Planting herbs, fruits, and vegetables is often a hobby but also fulfills a necessity. Not only will one save on weekly grocery expenses, but it often seems to taste better when reaping the rewards of food sources that are legitimately homegrown. A garden that yields enough to share with friends and neighbors might label your landscape the best on the block.

Select a style that suits you

When exploring diverse landscape designs that enhance homes and yards all over the world, note that many homeowners will incorporate characteristics from multiple styles to create an atmosphere and fulfill mood-setting intentions.

Cottage/English Garden


Some homes are conducive to certain styles. An English Garden style usually features flowers and perennial plants that return year after year. In this cottage-like landscape, plant life floods the garden in various shapes, sizes, and species. Multi-colored flowers are usually planted densely and somewhat scattered in all directions achieving a bountiful botanical garden. The planting or purchase of flowers and greens can spread over several seasons while blooming and blossoming with bright colors and vibrant appeal. This “cottage in the country” feel might be accentuated by white picket fences, arbors, ponds, streams, and bridges.


Also known as a California or Mediterranean style, this style focuses on natural plant life that grows on its own and symbolizes the beauty of the region. With a wilder, more informal arrangement, there is less hands-on attention required. When landscapes encompass native life, they adapt to the climate and need less water, food, and day-to-day maintenance.


These landscapes have a more orderly, refined feel. Envision a modern setting of clean, symmetrical rows, patterns, or sequences of well-manicured plant life. This style demands significant time and dedication to maintain shrubs and foliage in a well-groomed, often geometric, array. One might find benches or fountains blended within the grounds.

The most courageous of these courtyard curators might demonstrate topiary practices, which precisely trim and prune plants and hedges to create boundaries, signage, or distinct designs. Some efforts turn out to be complex, imaginative works of art. Consider a colorful Country Club logo carved in grass, the botanical Disney characters sprawled around Magic Kingdom, or a front yard that Edward Scissorhands put his blades upon!


Yards featuring plant and flower beds with rounded edges have what is known as an informal landscape. The plants are seemingly scattered in no particular order. While the look will seem well-maintained, its boundaries are less controlled and can tolerate kids and animals trudging through. Loose, free-flowing plants, tall grass, and soft colors and accents might resemble a coastal, beachy vibe.

Asian-Inspired Landscaping


Often arranged with areas of rocks, sand, flowing water, and pruned plants, these landscapes have a calming, Asian-inspired appeal. For example, a soothing natural Japanese Zen garden contains natural elements aligned with artwork and sculptures that bring a serene, soothing setting to life.


A tropical landscape style contains bright, fragrance flowers and peaceful ponds or streams that invoke a sense of beauty and tranquility. It often comprises plants, flowers, and food sources that attract various species of birds and butterflies. Birdwatching can be an enjoyable hobby and many welcome the feathered fliers around their homes. Fences or boundaries of trees and shrubs will minimize noise and make a more intimate setting.



This landscape style is ideal in dry, desert-like climates where irrigation is less in demand and many plants survive with low levels of water. Arid regions like the Southwest flourish with cacti, succulents, various flowers, and gravel and sand that appeal in beauty and appease in water storage. These desert landscapes portray a minimalist effect with solid texture on the ground that keeps costs and maintenance demand reasonable.


As defined by its name, organic landscapes are orchestrated to minimize chemicals and toxins around the yard. Natural fertilizers can help preserve plant life and combat pests without dousing the digs with hazardous products.



If space is limited but there lies potential in particular places, a vertical landscape can incorporate pots, towers, and even old paint cans hung by wire that climb up a fence or fixture for a nice, natural atmosphere.


In summary, landscaping is an endeavor that homeowners can be proud of and that bypassers can appreciate. No matter if one approaches it as a dreadful, mandatory chore or a natural canvas open to creativity, the final result improves the health of the yard, enhances the property’s curb appeal, and boosts the resale value of the home. People are putting more and more time and money into their homes and landscape designs continue to evolve in popularity, technology, and creativity.

Add personal touches that evoke emotions and fulfill your goals. Prepare a place to chill in peace or construct a bountiful garden that satisfies your dose of daily veggies? Many landscaping layouts can be achieved depending on the gains and goals desired by the homeowner. Developed with an open outlook and a little TLC, lush landscapes will garner a well-deserved return on investment and create a serene scene for everyday enjoyment.

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