Tag : landscaping
Tag : landscaping
Like a molding strip or a border on a wooden floor, creating a frame around a space, however subtle, brings it into focus.
You can make an edging using a border of boxwood or other low hedge, cobblestone or brick, pressuretreated lumber set lengthwise, roofing tile, plastic edging, or even just by spading an edge to separate bed from lawn creating a continuous and distinctive line around a pool of space.
right • A “river” of lawn edged by cobblestones is reinforced by a band of double white New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri).
left • A stone retaining wall acts as an edging between a hillside of roses and a sidewalk. An errant rose bough cascades down to the street level, bringing a delightful blurring to the border.
above • Extruded concrete curbing creates a clean, flowing edge for this stabilized soil walkway. Concrete is fed into an extruding machine, then compacted and fed out through the chosen mold with control joints cut every 3 ft.
Just as piping or a band of grosgrain ribbon provides a clean finish to a seam on a dress, so an edge in a garden acts as a way to detail a design.
• A spaded edge is the least expensive and often the most satisfying option you have for outlining your garden bed or lawn.
• Respade your edge as necessary to keep it looking perfect.
• Many stone edgings work best when built with a deep, long footing that keeps them from moving during winter’s freeze and thaw cycles.
• You can set them deeper by placing them on edge.
• A low boxwood hedge edges a formal garden, underscored by the strip of flat fieldstone at its base.
• Cut stone curbing marks a clear separation between the lawn and a hedge of geranium in flower.
A gateway marks an opening in an enclosure and a threshold into the landscape. Designed thoughtfully,it can beckon to a stroller to enter the realm within.
Sometimes gates are designed to look continuous with their neighboring fence, built of the same materials and patterns in order to blend in with the surroundings. Piers, special columns, or a change in height, style, or color are all ways to turn a break in a wall or fence into the highlight of an enclosure.
Building a pergola or trellis overhead can also help distinguish an opening from its surroundings. Also when planted with a flowering vine that tendrils above, a gateway provides visitors with a delightful garden experience.
right • Handsome finialtopped wooden posts interrupt this continuous line of pointed pickets. Diagonal bracing keeps a gate’s frame square to the post so it’s easy to open.
A subtle but important detail is to place a large threshold stone under the gateway opening to indicate that this is a place to pause and appreciate the landscape ahead.
In addition when possible, locate any steps away from the gateway opening since stepping up or down while operating a gate can be tricky.
right • An inexpensive splitrail fence backed with welded wire fabric provides a clean enclosure for this horse paddock.
right • The handsome wooden gate marks the entry to a stone staircase. The retaining walls are made of rough stone that contrasts well with the smooth painted finish of the gate.
below • The patterning of this fence and gate provide the structure for growing hops vines (Humulus lupulus). The path material flows out below the gate, indicating where to enter.
Finally, Fences need many posts in order to support them and keep them standing (especially when on a curve, as in the example shown).
Why not have them do double duty and use one, or even many, of them as a birdhouse as well?
They are particularly important as handholds in periods of inclement weather and as we age. They can help lead a visitor physically and
visually into a landscape, or can seem to disappear to allow us to appreciate the view beyond.
Railings can complement adjacent gardens. When painted a similar color to the house body or trim, they extend its presence into the landscape. When stained a natural color, they tend to blend in more with their surroundings.
right • This wooden railing meets the building code while allowing a view of the landscape beyond.
This handsome painted handrail is angled so that one can easily slide a hand along it down the long flight of stairs. With stairs, steps, or other level changes, the design of the handrails should follow the slope at a consistent height from the ground or staircase. The vertical rhythm of the railing contrasts with the horizontal lines of the stone wall and stairs beyond. This creates a sense of cohesion between the different materials, without too much repetition.
below • These stainless steel railings seem to disappear into the landscape. Contemporary cable systems have changed the way we enjoy our decks.
Railings often are designed with a pattern or repeating rhythm that can be a strong element in the landscape. When surrounding a deck, many railings interrupt our view of the world beyond. However, new stainless steel or cable systems provide enclosure while seeming to disappear from view. Always check local building codes to learn the particular conditions height, opening size, and materials for which a railing can be installed.
right • A painted wooden handrail helps people navigate this angular walk down the stairs. A closet pole or dowel attached on the inside offers a handhold along the way and gives the clematis vine a little more room to grow.
Wall define a space. Whether they are freestanding, to screen or divide a space, or retaining, to create levels in your garden, in addition walls make landscapes more interesting and dynamic. You can sit on them, install plants that will climb up them, or create curves and angles with them. There are a multitude of contemporary and traditional products to choose from. Use a licensed contractor to install walls that are higher than 24 in.
• Available in an array of earth tones, also with textured, flat, or curved face
• Easy, modular installation
• Maintenance free
• Capstone necessary
• Clean, contemporary look and virtually any color possible
• Concrete block or poured internal wall requires professional installation
• Stucco mustreapplied over time
• Timeless appeal and colors are limited to clay and gray tones but don’t fade
• Create a variety of patterns like running bond and basketweave, or jack-on-jack
• Taller walls should be installed by a professional
• Thin stone installed onto concrete base gives the look of natural stone, but is easier to install and less expensive
• Capstone necessary
• Variations in size, coloring, and stacking styles
• May require professional installation
installed with or without cap, with or without mortar
When designed thoughtfully, your lawn can function as an open-air room that works as well for lounging and entertaining as it does for play. Grassy areas are a place where kids can kick a ball around, play tag, make a fort, or do somersaults. As with a glade in a forest, a lawn also serves to bring light and air into the property. Design your lawn as a “pool of space”– a continuous surface that is framed, like a swimming pool, by a clear edge. This will turn what seemed like leftover space into a handsome focal area of your landscape.
above • When crisply defined by a path, curb, or metal edging, a panel of lawn creates a geometric open space that provides a handsome frame for the house and a place to play in the front yard.
right • Grass underfoot can serve as a verdant terrace for garden furniture and al fresco dining.
above • A grass bocce court edged in boxwood serves both as playspace and verdant corridor terminated by a handsome Chippendale bench.
This grassy oval acts as a visual relief space in the midst of abundant plantings.
A swimming pool can be designed as a handsome horizontal focal point around which the surrounding spaces are organized. Most pools are formed from concrete shells topped by stone coping that acts as a frame for the water. If the pool is painted a dark color, like gray or black, the water reflects the sky; if painted turquoise to match the sky, then the two can seem to meld together as one. Both are attractive effects. These days, pools are usually formed using a concrete Gunite® method that allows different shapes and edgings to be created. Another important development in pool design is the automatic pool cover that works on a rectangular-shaped pool to keep children safe, intruders out, and evaporation to a minimum. Shallow wading pools and swim spas bring the right amount of water into small backyards.
Because chlorine by-products have been linked to higher incidences of asthma, miscarriages, and cancer, new greener methods of disinfecting pools are also changing the way people swim. Ozonators combined with in-floor cleaners keep water clean with a minimum of chemical treatment. Saltwater pools are also popular, designed to reduce micro-organisms to a safe level. Ultraviolet disinfection systems add a layer of protection by oxidizing organic contaminants.
Swim spas are small pools built for exercising against an artificially generated current. This pool is set into a freestanding limestone wall that supports a small raised terrace area.
right • With the press of a button, an automatic pool cover glides into action tion. Not only is increased safety a big benefit,but limiting evaporation also means water is conserved. Using less energy to run the circulation system and reducing overall maintenance are also pluses.
below • This swimming pool is designed to look like a natural pond. A hillside of shrubs and trees, with abundant plantings in poolside pockets, transforms this space into a verdant oasis.
For those living in northern climates, a hot tub is one of the best ways to relax in the out-of-doors, especially in the dead of winter. Others tout the therapeutic benefits from the spray jets that can be set to massage different parts of the body. With temperatures as high as 105°F, these small pools can be built of wood with staves (like a barrel), concrete Gunite, or one-piece stainless steel or acrylic and are powered by wood, gas, or electricity.
Solar hot water systems are also possible in certain climates. Whatever style hot tub you select, make sure to locate it close to an area in your house with a bath or changing room. While some people prefer to place it under cover of a roof or pergola, others like to use it as a nighttime retreat under the stars. When easily reached, a hot tub acts as a warm and comfortable “away room,” even in the most inclement weather.
The path to a spa should be easily maintained and shoveled. Putting hooks nearby for robes or towels is a small but important detail. It’s also a wonderful viewing position to look out on the rest of your landscape, so installing night lighting can enhance your hot tub experience.
top right • This in-ground spa, complete with automatic cover, incorporates hydrojets that ease back and neck pain. This mini-pool is also the focal point of a hedged garden room.
bottom right • Portable home spas are easily available and quickly installed onsite. Measuring about 71 ⁄2 ft. square, they can be eyesores in a landscape if not thoughtfully designed. This hot tub sits adjacent to the house on a throne-like deck and terrace.
There is a freedom that comes from showering in the out-of-doors. For those lucky enough to have a pool or pond on their property or a beach nearby, it’s helpful to have access to an outdoor area to clean or towel off before setting foot inside. A simple showerhead, some paving underfoot, a way to drain the water, and a screen or fence for privacy that allows air to circulate easily are just about all you need.
right • Placing an outdoor shower right under a porch ceiling and on an exterior wall is a great way to use leftover space while ensuring privacy, whatever the time of day.
botoom right • This charming spiral shower shields the body while allowing views out. And it looks like fun.
below • Air circulation is always important to consider when installing an outdoor shower. Slats break up one’s view while allowing cooling breezes within.
Much like a porch, a deck is a floored structure that adjoins a house, but without the overhead protection of a roof. Because they perch on top of or at the edge of a landscape, decks can seem to float on high, perfect for basking in the sun or relaxing under the stars. Some decks sit on supporting posts; others cantilever beyond. When designed thoughtfully, railings not only protect people from falling over the edge but also enable viewers to see through to the landscape below. Make sure to adhere to local building codes as you design your railing. Standard heights, spacing, and diameters of openings create a belt of safety around your deck.
right • Stainless steel cables strung between supporting posts enable loungers to view the landscape beyond.
below • Roof decks bring us right up under the sky. Here, a fireplace provides warmth and a dancing focal point.
below • Thick stacked-stone piers provide a stable base for this cantilevered deck, in stark contrast with the thin stainless steel railings and staircase.
On this deep, narrow lot in New Haven, Conn., multiple utilitarian functions are achieved in a carefully planned design. The pergola-shaded deck, located just off the kitchen, offers space for outdoor dining and entertaining. Privacy—and air flow—are maintained by the inclusion of a high slatted fence that abuts deck and house, and a stainless steel cable fence enables diners to look into the sunny patio and garden four steps below. The backyard contains a shade garden under a mature tree and raised vegetable beds tucked behind the garage. This small back yard, designed by AKV Architects, uses every square inch to turn a once-derelict space into an urban oasis.
above • Aluminum dining chairs and table nestle into the corner of the wooden deck. Slender white columns not only provide structural support for the pergola overhead, but also act as fence posts for the high slatted privacy fence on the property line.
right • While the house hasn’t changed much, the backyard has. An unpainted wooden pergola supported grapevines, but no back door provided access to get there.
below • A high horizontally slatted wooden fence brings both security and privacy to this urban backyard. To the left of the deck, a door replaces a window, making the flow between inside and out smooth and efficient.
A patio is an outdoor living space that sits directly on the ground. Often built adjacent to a house or other structure, a patio is usually made of some kind of paving material that makes a clean and level surface underfoot, allowing for easy movement of furniture and people. in addition Patios are defined as paved areas that adjoin a building, but they also include mosaic-filled courtyards at the center of a complex of buildings. Favored by southern climates as a means to regulate sun and shade throughout the day, these courtyards bring light and air and offer a realm of quiet solitude for their users.
right • Gravel works well as a patio surface, particularly when used on a rooftop as an inexpensive solution to drainage and weight issues.
Categories: Open Air-Rooms
Driveways and garages among the most utilitarian of landscape features are not necessarily the most attractive, but thoughtful design can make them downright beautiful as well as useful. If you are starting from scratch and can choose where to situate a driveway or garage, weigh the options very carefully you will live with these choices every day. Where possible, locating the garage close to the kitchen of your house makes it easy to move kids, groceries, and trash between buildings. If unattached, building a roofed connection between garage and house keeps the path between the two dry and safe, especially in winter. Consider the shape of your driveway a curved drive in front of the house can make the most of an underused front lawn, or straight shot down the side of the property can be tucked out of the way, with access to side and back doors.
If you don’t have the luxury of selecting the location of your driveway a nd garage, make the best of the existing plan by using plants to soften their appearance and make them part of the landscape. Add paths where needed to enhance access. The appearance of a garage can be altered with paint, different roofing material, or “jewelry” such as light fixtures, to better match your house and landscape. Driveways can be of varied materials. Look for waterpermeable options that reduce storm-water runoff; these can be among the most affordable paving options and include grass, gravel, stone, recycled plastic grid systems, permeable asphalt, pervious concrete, or good old-fashioned paving strips.
top right • Here, the clean flat roof and wide opening of the attached garage meld well with the attractive terrace-like paving of the driveway.
bottom right • A garage can double as a guest house or apartment under the eaves.
This one sits far enough from the mainhouse to enjoy privacy and views.
On this central Ottawa (Canada) property, the detached garage and unavoidably long driveway presented a design challenge. Designer John Szczepaniak solved the problem by integrating the garage into the garden with an attached arbor and seating area; thus, the garage takes on the appearance of a charming garden building rather than a purely utilitarian structure.
The interlocking pavers of the driveway were set in a pattern that highlights the entrances and walkway along the side of the house. A small footbridge was built to link the driveway with an existing deck and create a distinct entrance into the oasis-like back garden.
The paving pattern of the driveway and the railing of the footbridge mimic the design of a large window at the back of the house, marrying details of landscape and architecture.
below • The driveway elegantly mirrors architectural features of the house, with pavers laid in a pattern that marks entry zones. Also the artful plantings of grasses such as feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’) help to bring the driveway into the landscape.
below • An ornamental grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Autumn Light’)is repeated on each side of the garage, while low ground covers tickle the pavers. The arbor over the driveway allows a curtain to be drawn across it during parties, providing additional entertaining space in front of the garage.
below • The arbor attached to the side of the garage creates an intimate seating area perfect for viewing the garden and a water feature.
Like many once-common things whose modern-day replacements proved expensive or environmentally unsound, driveway paving strips are back in vogue.
Paving strips are bands of paving materials just wide enough for a car’s tires and can be made of recycled, poured, or dimensional concrete, thick stone pavers, cobblestones and brick, or gravel.
In addition, The strips surrounds can be planted in low, tough ground covers that can stand heavy foot traffic as people get in and out of vehicles. Best of all, these plantings act as pervious sponges so that water runoff doesn’t overwhelm storm drains in the street.
1. Pavers are interplanted with flowering moss (Sagina subulata) and periwinkle (Vinca minor) with its resilient darkgreen foliage and cornflower blue flowers. 2. Concrete paving stones and tidy grass planting strips complement this house’s neat lines. 3. Long slabs of poured concrete present a clean appearance when highlighted by mounding ground covers that surround stepping stones of recycled concrete. 4. Beachside communities use local crushed oyster shells as a sustainable path and driveway solution.
In order for a garden to work well, it has to work as one whole unit. If you remember back to our very first design principle, Shape, we discussed the importance of viewing the garden as a whole entity.
This is critical for any design. Just because you have existing elements in your garden doesn’t mean they should be in any way separate from the changes you make as the garden develops. Survey the garden and draw up a scale plan.
When you have everything plotted onto paper and can see an aerial view for garden, look at the empty spaces. So, are there clearly defined spaces, or an irregular smattering of plants and features dotted about? If you have lots of things dotted about without much clarity, as a result you have half the answer. What you need to do is to work out how to bring clarity and balance into the garden.
If that isn’t the case, try to detach from what is there now. Don’t think about all your favourite plants in the border on the right hand side . Be objective – is what is there on the paper working? And if not, why not? You need to be honest with yourself first, then work out what you can do.
in addition if you are totally against moving something, that’s fine. Just because something isn’t working, doesn’t necessarily mean you have to move it; re-shaping and linking into other features often works well. There are occasions when something simply is in the wrong place. Then it comes down to a judgement call; can and do you want to live with whatever the ‘it’ is that’s in the wrong place? The example shown below is a simple makeover.
The patio and main shrub borders have stayed in place. The lawn has been shaped and has a brick edge to define the shape. One shrub border has been trimmed back a bit on the right hand side.
A few stepping-stones link the patio to the newly shaped lawn and a bench has been added as a focal point in front of the large shrub border on the top left.
At a later date, the patio could be re-done and perhaps a semi-circle shape could be cut into the lawn to add more interest and shape. But for a makeover, which has only involved reshaping the lawn and removing a few shrubs, also adding some features, it’s totally transformed the look and feel of the garden.
It really can be as simple as re-shaping your lawn and borders that can create a dramatic improvement to how your garden looks. It’s easy to underestimate just how important shaping the space is, it really does account for 60% of garden design success, if not more. The modern courtyard garden plan below shows how simple box shapes have created the design.
Finally the plants go in the areas that are left either side of the boxes. In this garden, added interest, is created by making the left-over shapes raised planters.
Categories: front yard landscaping
There is truly no place like home. It is where the essence of our life is nurtured and grown. Every part of a home therefore is special to us. Everything right from the tallest of roofs to the smallest of bricks is equally important.
Why then should we compromise on the way our front yard looks? Why should we not have a beautiful front yard built using some really good front yard landscaping ideas? Why cannot we have a front yard that should be the pride of not only our home but also our neighborhood or colony?
The advantages of well designed, neat front yards
For one, it makes the house looks better. Not only does 45% of the exterior look and design of a house come from the way its front yard looks; a good front yard makes the house’s feel much better. Our front yard landscaping ideas aim to do just that. Also, surveys have stated that almost 33% of homes with unkempt, untidy front yards put guests off. This means that a bad front yard is not only trouble for you; it is trouble for those who come in to visit you. A front yard designed based on good front yard landscaping ideas is also a plus for all business companies and organizations. A bad front yard, unlike a bad backyard is much more dangerous. It spoils even a very well-designed, good looking building and turns clients away psychologically.
Front yard landscaping ideas can turn things around. If you have a front yard that’s been uncared for or if you plan on changing it, all you need to do is contact us. We will make sure that your front yard will soon be the benchmark against which all yards are compared.
Front yard design ideas – doing what we do best
We would like to make our intentions clear. Firstly, we are not providing front yard landscaping ideas for money or profit. The importance of a well-kept front yard or the satisfaction that owners get when they see their own front yard looking beautiful and comforting is music to our ears. We specialize in remodeling the front yard.
This means that if you have finally decided to get rid of the old look and build a completely new front yard that will give new life to your home, we are the people you need to contact. Our front yard landscaping ideas coupled with our excellent faculty will in no time turn your old, rusty yard into a yard so amazing, people will want to come and live on it. No matter what the size, no matter what its location, all you need to do is contact us. We will bring in the front yard revolution for you with our amazing front yard landscaping ideas.
We also have built a network of organizations, all part of the landscaping business have graciously agreed to provide necessary things for a front yard at great discounts.
Remember, any home deserves a good piece of land to compliment it. And with our front yard landscaping ideas, you can be assured of getting only the best.
Categories: front yard landscaping
Front yard provides an entrance to your home and creates curb appeal. You can easily express yourself and your home in a decent manner with the help of front yard landscaping. If you want to make an impression of a warm welcome, you should have an attractive front yard landscaping. One should feel comfortable while entering your home.
The front yard of your house makes the first impression about you. There should be colorful flowers in your garden of the front yard. These flowers can be lined along a sidewalk or the path to your door on the porch. Flowers planted in nice beds around your front door are sure to be a pleasure to any first time visitor.
Your front yard should be properly bordered with shrubs and trees. Shrubs play an important role to make things look neat and organized. However a proper care is required to maintain the shrubs. You can consider using fruit trees or dogwood trees also in your front yard which may spread sweet and pleasant fragrance for you and visitors.
Porches are considered important place by many people. How the front porch can be made beautiful depends upon its dimension. Benches and tables may be used to create an inevitable and warm look and to add comfort. For making look of porch more charming ,you can consider plants and flowers to add colors and depth to your front porch. In most gardens, a climbing path is made so as to make a railing or arch way.
Your sidewalks or paths must be kept neat and clean and well maintained. In most homes, the sidewalks made of concrete or other kind of decorative stones or rock are considered the best. You can make it central point of your front yard. A little pond in front yard can be a peaceful addition to your paths or you can plan a fountain with some bricks or stones as borders around to have a classic appearance.
In nutshell, a sincere advice for landscaping the front-yard of your house is to always keep it uncomplicated. It should not look like a tropical forest or that it makes visitors feel like they are confused to search for your front door. It doesn’t matter what design you select for your yard, just make sure you keep it neat and in hygienic condition so that you are pleased every time you walk on the path to your front door.
Categories: Front yard landscaping ideas