Essential Guide to Custom Landscape Design

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 12:39 PM

What Is Landscape Design

Custom landscape design is the art and science of creating and arranging outdoor spaces. Its primary goals are to increase the functional and aesthetic value of natural spaces. By creating a balance between the two, a quality landscape designer can turn anyone's landscaping dreams into reality.

Softscape vs Hardscape

There are two segments of landscape design: softscape and hardscape. Softscape is the use of living elements in landscaping. The term applies to flowers, trees, and even mulch. Softscaping also involves plant maintenance activities like mowing, grading, and weeding. Hardscaping uses non-living materials like stone and wood. Common hardscaping projects include walkways, patios, and retaining walls. Hardscape also describes the creation of water features and swimming pools.

The 6 Principles of Custom Landscape Design

1. Balance

There are many stylistic directions a designer can take on a custom landscape design project. Symmetrical or asymmetrical? Functional or stylistic? Controlled or freeform? Balance involves creating harmony between these contrasting styles to meet your unique needs.

2. Scale and Proportion

Scale and proportion are all about size, the size of an element by itself and in relation to its surroundings. Scale compares the measurable size of one object to another. Proportion also considers the size of multiple elements. However, proportion is relative. There is no hard-fast rule for proportionality. It all depends on the eye of the designer and the circumstances of the project.

3. Enclosure

Enclosure addresses the degree of segmentation within a space. A space's enclosure affects whether a yard looks more natural or domesticated. An enclosed yard feels familiar and secure. On the other hand, a less enclosed space feels more open, connecting with the natural landscape surrounding it.

4. Sight Lines and Focal Points

Custom landscape designers use sight lines and focal points to direct your eyes when viewing a space. An open sightline with few focal points makes an area feel larger and more expansive. Barriers like fences or hedges can cut off sight lines. Limiting a point of view makes a yard feel more segmented and personalized.

5. Rhythm and Emphasis

Rhythm is all about repetition in a custom landscape design project. Emphasis disrupts that rhythm, grabbing attention by creating intrigue. In the image below, the repeated rows of low shrubs and hedges establish a rhythm. The rhythm established by the short hedges is then interrupted by the tall Eagleston Holly tree, creating contrast.

6. Unity

Unity is where it all comes together. A designer creates unity by using all hardscape and softscape elements to create a cohesive idea. Unity could be found in a minimal yard framed by holly hedges or a diverse forest of colorful plant species. When a designer uses every aspect of an environment to paint a complete picture, they create unity.

Get a Free Custom Landscape Design Consultation

Ready to love your yard again? Greenscape Design has helped hundreds of clients create the outdoor space of their dreams for over a decade. We work one-on-one with clients to execute their custom landscape design vision. Send us a message or call (225) 333-9680 for a free consultation from an expert designer. We can't wait to hear from you!


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