April 3, 2007
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Many elements that are found in both landscape design and art, are also used to create a beautiful yard. This article will go over the basics, so you can get started.Color
Colors, especially from flowers, should work together to add life and energy to your garden. Here are some popular ways to use color:
Line refers to the movement your eye takes as it looks around your landscape, both horizontally and vertically. For example, one line in your yard is the edge of your flowerbeds, but another line is made by the tops of a group of shrubs. Straight lines feel structured and stable, while curved or free flowing lines give a sense of whimsy and grace.Form
In landscaping, form is the shape and structure of your plants. Plants can have shapes that are upright, spreading, weeping, columnar, oval… Different forms create different sensations. Upright, columnar shrubs have a stately look, while round, close-to-the-ground shrubs look playful and welcoming.Scale
Size matters, but in landscaping, size matters only in relation to a plant’s surroundings. That’s the definition of scale. An example of this is how small plants make larger plants look even more impressive when they’re side by side.Landscape Design PrinciplesTake the art basics above and use them with the following landscaping principles to create your own beautiful yard.Unity
The most important thing is that everything in your yard feels like it belongs. Unity can be achieved in many different ways—through repetition, balance, proportion and transition.Repetition
Using the same type of flower, shrub or tree across different parts of your lawn is the best way to create a sense of unity. But it doesn’t have to be the same plant—create repetition with color, line, form or scale. But be careful, too much repetition can lead to a boring landscape.Balance
A good yard layout feels balanced, with an equal amount of visual interest on each side. The easiest way to achieve balance is to create a mirror image of your landscape design on both sides of your yard.
You can also create balance with a mix of flowers and shrubs. First, split your yard in two. Then even out one aspect of the visual interest on one side, like a large tree, with a separate element of equal interest, like colorful bushes, on the other.
Proportion is the use of different sized plants to create a unified and interesting design. In a good design, all the elements are in proportion. A single geranium would look out of place in a large, empty flowerbed, but looks wonderful in a pot by the front door.
In a well designed landscape, your eyes should move smoothly across the yard. To achieve this, colors, shapes and heights of the plants in your yard should change gradually.
With these principles in mind, take a walk around your yard to get inspiration. Then go to a local garden center and pick out plants that will work well together to create a unified, beautiful landscape in your yard.
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We've all seen the black and white comedies where the guy is walking through the yard and then boom, he steps on the rake and it slaps him in the face. As funny as that might seem, it can really be frustrating to try and locate your garden tools when you've forgotten them in the yard. Take some florescent spray paint and just put a little bit on the handle. As bright as this color is no matter where you've put it, you'll be able to locate it. Now here's a couple of other tips that you want to use for your garden tools that will keep them in great condition long after your garden has come and gone. After your garden season take some sandpaper, and sand the wood down wherever its been worn away from all its use. Then take same polyurethane or spar urethane and spray it down and that will keep the wood handles in great shape all year round. The metal tines on all your tools can get rusty. What you want to do is take some machine oil and put in on a rag and wipe down all the metal. Make sure you do these tips to your garden tools before the end of the garden season, and next year, when it comes time to plant, your tools will be in great shape.
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