Landscape design, a combination of art, culture and nature, bridges the gap between garden designing and landscape architecture. It is a profession which is practiced by landscape architects or designers and focuses on both designing of an entire property, including a building and gardens, and only garden or park designing. Landscape designing focuses on horticultural, aesthetical, environmental factors and the practicality while designing any project.
Traditionally, designing of a landscape, entire property or just a garden, requires the designer to plan and analyse with the help of a detailed drawing specifying the placement of every plant, monument, fountain etc. But, experienced designers can design on the go, by looking at the ongoing project and deciding the things that can be added or removed for functionality or aesthetic purposes. For an inexperienced designer, who is going for a designing project for the first time, it can be an overwhelming task considering all the options that are available.
1. List of Needs and Wants- For a proper planning of how your landscape should look like, it is important to make a list of things or functions that you would like to include in it. These may include- a vegetable garden, play space for your kids, space in the garden or patio for relaxation and family gatherings.
2. Plan around a Focal Point- All good gardens are focused towards one point or may also have multiple focal points. This focal point can be a tree, a series of plants or shrubs, a fountain or a structure or ornamental piece of some other kind. This will direct you towards a point and eases the movement through the garden by giving something to move or focus toward. The focal point should also be something that is strikingly and surprisingly different from the rest of the garden.
3. Observe the Sun and the Wind Patterns- Place the patio on the west so that it gets a lot of afternoon sunlight or little afternoon sunlight for you to relax in, depending on what the requirement is. If you want to place a fire pit in the garden, you must try to place a point that is away from the wind. Also, you must find appropriate solutions for the problem of the sun and wind changing at different times of the day or even the year.
4. Scaling and Pacing- Having done a good scaling and pacing of your backyard or garden will give it a pulled-together look. You must incorporate variations in the garden in terms of different shapes and sizes of structures, fountains or even trees. Geometric lines and curves, both should be used while designing the basic essence of your landscape. Having a curved path in a rectangular or square garden gives it an edge or vice versa.
5. Plan for Equipment Storage and Access- Plan in advance where you would want to place your shed for storing your grass mower, stump grinders etc. Do not be in a hurry to decide, leave a couple of areas untouched for any future change of plan or new addition.
6. Add Movement- Having a static garden is like having a painting which is great as a wall hanging, but a garden needs movement and life. For this purpose, add water fountains or simply a small pond in the middle of the landscape. Other things that can add movement to your garden are adding flowers to attract bees and butterflies, adding grass that sways in the wind or even, having a play space for your dogs or kids.
7. Open-Mindedness towards Future Changes- You must have an open-mind to change aspects of your garden as time passes, in order to include something extra as per requirement or as per changing seasons or garden trends.