Landscaping Harrisburg PA designs are created by combining the soft elements of your garden with the hardscape, or non-living aspects. Effective landscaping design involves the use of basic design principles such as unity, balance, line, texture, and transition.
Use straight lines sparingly in your landscape design to create a more organic look. Rounding out a paved pathway with grass or flowers creates a natural flow and adds visual appeal.
Color is one of the most noticeable aspects of landscape design. It can set the mood for a garden by evoking emotions and creating an atmosphere. It is usually among the last considerations for a designer after solving functional needs and creating movement in a space.
The first step in choosing colors for your garden is to understand the color wheel. It illustrates which colors contrast and which harmonize with each other, so you can choose the right colors for your design. Many landscape designers use the color wheel when laying out a planting plan, coloring in the plant material in place to see how it will look as it is installed.
A second consideration is the use of complementary colors in a design. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and are thought to be pleasing because they highlight and intensify each other. Examples of complementary colors include red and yellow or green and purple.
Shades and tints of a color can also have an impact on your garden design. Shades are darker versions of a color created by adding black to it, while tints are lighter versions created by adding white to it. For example, pink is a tint of red, while maroon is a shade.
Another important aspect of using color in your garden is understanding the importance of scale and pacing. The use of large plants and trees to create a focal point can help balance smaller plantings around it. Likewise, the repetition of plants and colors in a small area can balance a larger space by making it feel more cohesive. However, this principle must be used carefully, as too much repetition can make a garden feel stale and dated.
The form of a landscape design refers to the shape and size of the plants and hardscape elements. It can be as simple as a geometric or freeform design. Geometric designs use clean lines and more organized forms, such as square hedges, walkways that run at straight or right angles, and symmetrical flowerbeds. Freeform designs, on the other hand, use more organic or natural forms like flowing walkways, meandering lines, and trees and shrubs that follow their own shapes and contours.
The proportional relationship of various landscape features in the design is important for balance and flow. Tall people and children perceive space differently, so it is essential to take this into consideration when planning your landscape design. Proportion also includes the relative size of different building structures, plant sizes, and areas of plantings compared to areas of hardscape.
The line is another major component of form. It can be real (actual) or perceived (implied). The lines in your yard affect how the eye moves through your landscape. Straight lines are structural and forceful, creating a formal character and guiding the eye to a focal point. Curved lines create a more relaxed, natural character and often lead the eye to hidden views.
Rhythm is the design principle that creates movement and flow in your landscape by using repetition and spacing. For example, using the same type of plant or lamp post in several places throughout your yard creates a rhythm that draws the eye. It’s important to note that repetition should not be overdone, or it can become monotonous. It is also a good idea to mix in some new elements to keep things interesting.
The line of a landscape is how you move your eye throughout the space. It can be curved, straight, diagonal, or even wavy. The lines of a design can be used to frame a view, draw attention to a specific part of the landscape, or create visual balance. It is important to consider all the different types of lines, as they can impact how you feel in the garden.
Unity, simplicity, variety, balance, sequence, and scale are all considered principles of design. They are the foundation of any landscape design. They guide the designer to create a balanced design and ensure it will work once installed. These principles are not only applied to plant selection but also to the hardscape features of a project.
The overall style of a landscape can be formal or informal. The design theme can be inspired by the architectural style of a home, or it can be more eclectic and juxtapose different styles. For example, a country cottage may be well-suited to a more naturalistic landscape design with soft lines and native plants, while a traditional brick home would be better served by a more formal style that uses clipped hedges of boxwoods or yuccas.
The line design principle can also be achieved by using repetition at a regular interval to create rhythm. For example, planting a row of perennials in front of a pathway can create a rhythmic effect with the repetitive form of each plant. This can make the pathway feel more organic and calming to the eye. The same principle can be accomplished with hardscape elements as well by repeating the vertical forms of structures such as fences or pillars.
While color and line tend to get the most attention, it’s important not to overlook texture when designing a landscape. Whether it’s plant foliage or hardscape elements, texture creates an eye-catching contrast that adds depth and excitement to any garden. The roughness or smoothness of the individual outlines of plant leaves, pavers, or other landscape materials is what defines texture. The textures of plants and materials are accentuated by light and shadow, so be sure to consider how they’ll appear from various angles.
The way we perceive a landscape’s texture is also influenced by distance. For example, a fern’s fine, feathery texture is obvious up close, but at a distance it takes on the appearance of a dense ground cover with a coarser texture. In addition, the branching structure of a tree or shrub can affect its texture. For example, tightly branched trees produce a heavy effect, while loosely branched ones like magnolias or hollies seem airy.
Contrasting textures also make for interesting combinations. For example, the wide leaves of mondograss look handsome next to broad-leaved heucheras, Carissa hollies, or oakleaf hydrangeas. Similarly, the rough surface of rock walls complements large-leaf hostas, Rhus typhina, or magnolias, while flagstone patios and entryways complemented by wrought iron fences are perfect for a more moderately textured planting.
Texture is a powerful element that can transform any landscape, adding interest to any planting and creating a sense of balance and harmony. By understanding the different aspects of landscape design, homeowners can enhance their properties by combining the best of each element to achieve a style that satisfies all their desires. Then, by incorporating these concepts into their landscaping projects, they can enjoy the benefits of a well-designed landscape—from curb appeal to personal wellbeing.
When designing a landscape, it is important to keep proportion in mind. Proportion refers to the overall size of a landscape and the size of individual components within it. Proper proportion creates a harmonious whole that is visually interesting and engaging. When a landscape fails to convey proper proportion, it may look unbalanced and chaotic.
A common way to achieve a good sense of proportion is through the use of transition. These design elements allow you to change the shape, size, and direction of a garden without destroying its harmony. For example, by using a variety of plants in different shapes and sizes, you can create a visual balance that is pleasing to the eye.
Color is another important element that can help you establish the right transition for your landscape. Bright colors, such as oranges, tend to advance and make objects seem closer to you, while cool colors like blues move away and can create a sense of distance. Using these colors in conjunction with each other can make your garden feel balanced and organized.
Adding walkways, steps, and other landscape stairways to your property can also be a great way to add a visual transition. This can help define the areas of your garden and make them more accessible for you and your guests. We often recommend the installation of lighting along these walkways, which not only helps guide your guests to the correct areas of the garden but can also illuminate the surrounding plants and trees for a more beautiful effect.