Landscape Design Basics: Everything You Should Know

Landscape Design, Sedona, AZ Whether you have a sprawling countryside estate or a cozy urban courtyard, thoughtful landscape design can transform any outdoor space into an extension of your home's living areas. Well-planned landscaping increases your home's curb appeal and value and provides beautiful scenery to enjoy indoors and inviting spaces to relax and entertain outdoors.

With some basic design principles and careful planning, you can create a functional, visually appealing landscape design tailored to your needs, aesthetic preferences, and lifestyle. Here, the Green Magic Landscaping, LLC, team discusses the landscape design basics every homeowner should know.

1. Define Distinct Outdoor Rooms

Just as your home's interior is divided into separate rooms for different uses, your landscape should have dedicated areas or "rooms" serving various purposes. This creates organizational and intentional flow between spaces. Commonly designed outdoor rooms include kitchens, dining areas, conversation pits with fire features, play zones for kids, relaxing lounge spaces, water features, and garden rooms.

2. Use Hardscaping and Plants to Establish Borders

Hardscaping elements like decks, patios, walkways, walls, and fences help define the boundaries and transition between outdoor rooms. Planting techniques can also delineate the parameters. Sculptured boxwood hedges, flowering borders, and decorative boulders or logs can outline rooms, while planters provide movable barriers.

3. Layer for Interest and Privacy

Multi-dimensional, layered landscaping adds depth, texture, and year-round interest. Start with vertical anchors like trees and large shrubs along the perimeter and property lines to add structure, shade, screening, and a privacy buffer. Next, you can add small flowering trees and mid-sized shrubs for pops of color and screening between rooms. Finish with flowering perennials, annuals, ornamental grasses, and groundcovers that create visual interest in the foreground.

4. Incorporate Focal Points

Every well-designed landscape should have at least one or two focal points that immediately draw the eye into the scene. These focal features anchor the space and serve as the main attractions around which the other elements are arranged. Potential focal points include specimen trees, sculptural plant groupings, ornamental boulders, architectural elements like pergolas, water features like fountains or ponds, customized putting greens, outdoor fireplaces, or kitchen areas.

5. Consider Traffic Flow

You want landscaping that not only looks beautiful but feels intuitive to navigate. Map out ideal traffic patterns and movement between crucial areas, designing paths and walkways with adequate width (5-6 feet min). Leave enough room for future growth of plants. Place seating areas directly off walkways instead of having people trample gardens and ensure easy accessibility from the house to outdoor living zones.

6. Use the Right Plant Selections

Plants have varying needs for sun, soil, and moisture. Evaluate the sun/shade exposure, soil conditions, and irrigation access of different zones to determine suitable plant varieties. Consider native species that are naturally adapted to your area's climate. Factor in maintenance needs - have a mix of high - and low-maintenance plants.

7. Balance Softscaping and Hardscaping

Softscaping refers to the living, planted components, while hardscaping encompasses the non-plant materials. Both softscape and hardscape elements are essential for a well-rounded landscape design. Too much hardscaping can feel harsh and sterile, while an abundance of plants alone can look messy and overgrown, so balance the two by using plants to soften hardscaping borders and add textural contrast to decks, paths, and walls.

For information about our landscape design services, please call the Green Magic Landscaping LLC Sedona team on 928-202-2036. You can also email us through this Contact Us form, and we will contact you to discuss your project.
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