#1. TELL A STORY
A landscape design is not about any one plant. Don't just think about focal points, think about telling a story. Like a good book, your landscape should flow from one interesting event to the next. A good story has a cast of great characters with variety, adventure, excitement, and perhaps a little mystery.
#2. GIVE YOURSELF SOME ROOM
Make your planting beds bigger! I know this can be difficult sometimes in smaller yards, but when the beds are only two or three feet deep, it forces all the plants into single file, straight lines like soldiers. Not only is this boring, it prevents you from mixing different groups of things together... there just isn't enough space! If you have the space, try to make beds at least five to eight feet deep at some points. In smaller yards look at the corners where you can potentially give up a little room. The extra space will allow you to put larger things in the back of the bed and smaller things in the front to give contrast and variety.
Don't be afraid of curves! Beds should have shape and variety. Beds can curve in and out to fit the contours of the house, or simply to add interest to a long fence line. Straight lines can also be used between curves to mix it up! Curves are where we want to add a focal point. In the deeper sections, we can do interesting, multi-layered plantings or even put trees. We can do whatever we want! Curves also help us to avoid the line of soldiers syndrome we discussed earlier.
Go ahead, google awesome landscaping or good landscaping. I bet most of the results you find will include a bunch of curves in their designs.
#4. GROUP(IE)S ROCK
Plant Group(ie)s that is...
Groups are the way to go. Group plants together for greater impact! Don't just plant one of this and one of that. Think about the big picture. From a distance, those onsey twosey plantings look like weed patches with too many colors and textures scrambled up together. Instead, take those plants that look good together and plant multiples of each. Some in larger sections, some in smaller sections. Try to use mostly odd numbers. With your larger beds and curvy shapes, this should be a snap.
#5. GREEN IS A COLOR TOO
Green is a color too! Too often we just focus on the individual plants and ask: "Is this plant colorful and unique?" and for a number of your plants, that answer should be yes. But take a step back after you've selected all your plants and look at the big picture. It's hard to believe, but with too many different colors, your landscaping could end up looking like a bad Hawaiian shirt.
#6. LET US DO IT FOR YOU
Still confused on what to do? Need help telling the story of your home? We offer a free landscape design service!
See www.faselandsons.com/freelandscapedesign for more details.