Yard Basics

Landscape Plans

Landscaping your yard can seem a little overwhelming but the final results are very rewarding.  Creating a space where you can relax and enjoy the colour and beauty of plants within the landscape.

Here are three elements to garden design that can help you create the landscape you've always wanted.

Line

Line is important in garden design because it helps you create physical and visual movement. Every part of the landscape involves line - sidewalks, driveways, fences, pathways, trunk of a tree, and outline of a plant…… The eye follows lines in the garden so it’s important to consider the lines you are creating and where you want eyes to move.

There are different types of lines, each achieving a different effect.

  • Straight lines - create a sense of order and crispness that is more formal. They encourage movement and direct your attention to a focal point.
  • Curved lines - are relaxed and restful creating an informal look that encourages slower, casual movement.
  • Intersecting lines - create pauses, change the view or direction it causes a hesitation.

Lines can be created with plant material, hardscaping and furnishings. Always ensure the lines produce the physical and visual movement you desire.


Texture

Texture is important in garden design because it helps you create physical and visual movement. Texture relates to the shape, size, coarseness or smoothness and weight of the foliage. Texture is used to provide interest and contrast in the landscape. Foliage, flowers, bark, branching habit, size / shape of leaves create texture.

Plants are described as being coarse, medium or fine textured. Coarse texture stands out more, while fine textures are less dominant and bring together designs.

  • Coarse Texture (high contrast) - large, thick leaves, irregular margins, deep venation, bold colours, variegated colors, irregular forms, thick stems / branches, branches with spines or thorns. Plants are described as having a looser form.
  • Medium Texture - most plants fall into this category. They have average sizes leaves and stems, smooth edges, typically rounded or mounding habit. Medium textured plants help unify coarse and fine textures.
  • Fine Texture - small delicate foliage, thin stems, narrow leaves, small flowers, long stems, narrow trunks. These plants have airy, light, vining growth habits.

Texture affects the perception of distance and scale. Coarser textures makes areas seem smaller, finer textures make areas seem larger. A well designed garden will incorporate a variety of different textures to provide interest and contrast.


Fragrance

Fragrance is often forgotten when designing gardens but a great element for adding an extra dimension. Scent is the most sensitive of our senses and emotions are triggered by it. Fragrance helps to create a mood or a sense of time in the garden.
Fragrant plants should be placed near pathways, entryways or patios so the scent can be appreciated.


Colour

Colour is a key element in design and evokes the greatest response. Colours can create feelings of warmth or coolness.

There are three different ways colours are displayed in gardens:

  1. Monochromatic - designing with one colour and adding an occasional splash of colour
  2. Natural - using harmonies of colours that mimic nature - meadows, wild flowers
  3. Artistic - using the colour wheel to create (paint) a picture

Choosing colours in a garden is purely personal but here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Warm colours (red, orange, yellow and combination thereof) make plants feel closer, makes your space feel smaller
  • Cool colours (Green, blue, purple and combinations) recede or feel farther away, can make your space seem larger
  • Colours that are opposite on the colour wheel are considered complimentary (yellow/purple, orange/blue…) these parings create vibrant displays.

Fragrance and colour are elements in design that expand your senses.