The landscaping around your yard plays a huge role in how the overall exterior of your home looks. Tidy landscaping increases your property value and also makes your home a more appealing place to live. Everyone has different tastes in landscaping. Some like flashy flowers, while others prefer everything to be green. No matter what your taste, however, you should be sure to incorporate these five elements of modern landscape design into your plans.
1. Hard Surfaces
Contrary to popular belief, landscaping is not just about the plants. Modern landscapes almost always contain some sort of hard elements, too. This can be a brick wall or a stone seating arrangement -- anything to break up the greenery and add some permanent structure to your backyard. Many homeowners like to build raised beds against their home. The stone or brick surrounding the beds is considered hardscaping, too.
Classic, grayish concrete looks nice if your house has a more industrial vibe, but for more eclectic spaces, you can have the concrete painted or even go with colorful bricks.
2. Balanced Colors
You need to be careful not to fall into the trap where everything ends up the same shade of green. This gives your yard a very monotonous look. If you like color, you can break up the monotony with a few flowers. You don't even have to use a lot. Just a few pots of pansies or petunias set here and there can make your space much more attractive.
If you don't love color, try just choosing several different shades of greenery for your yard. Pale green plants, like hostas, can be a nice contrast to darker green plants, like evergreen hedges.
3. Clean Lines
Make sure that your landscaping design has a simple geometry to it. In other words, you want everything to line up and be square to another element. Place beds perpendicular to one another, rather than at odd angles. If you make your beds rounded, make all of them rounded; a few round edges look funny if the rest of the landscape has clean lines and sharp angles. It's easier to make sure your landscape design is geometrically sound if you draw it out on paper before planting anything.
4. Water Efficiency
A good landscape is one that you can care for easily! Make sure you choose plants that are native to your area, and you won't have to water as often. Sedums and sage species do well in areas where rain is scarce, for example.
Additionally, consider having a landscaping expert come install a permanent water system, such as drip irrigation or some built-in sprinklers. With such a system in place, you won't have to drag a hose across the yard each time you want to water your gardens.
5. Activity Inclusion
Think about how you plan on using your backyard, and then make sure your landscape design accommodates those goals. For example, if you want to barbecue in the backyard, you may want to include a central concrete patio in your design, and then plant flowers and other plants around it. If you want the kids to have space to play ball, you should make sure the middle of the yard is open -- and so forth.
Designing the perfect landscape takes time and talent, which is why there are people who do this professionally. If you are thinking or re-landscaping your yard, contact landscape designers and ask them to work with you on a plan. The end result will be a much cleaner, useful yard that increases your property value and coordinates with your house.