Not all landscapes need an overhaul. Many are quite nice, showcasing great structure, unique plants and year-round interest. However, sometimes a landscape needs a little nudge, a small tweak to bring it to its full potential. Here are three design ideas that can easily transform a landscape.
Ditch the lawn path! As we are forgoing the lawn for gardens, many homeowners use their old lawn to act as the new garden’s walking paths. The problem is it’s difficult, if not time consuming, to keep a sharp edge on a grass path. If the path is narrow and often used, it’s apt to show signs of wear. Over the years, as the path is edged and the garden matures, the once smooth lines of the path are lost and its messy appearance distracts from the beauty of the garden. This is why we prefer a path with metal edging and finished with crushed stone or brassfield fines. A simple path material change can make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden.
What a dramatic difference this new gravel path made when we removed the lawn. Clean lines prevail!
Lighting We often see lighting used to accentuate trees and interesting architectural features of a home. However, in the garden, sometimes all that is needed is soft lighting to illuminate a walk, a curve in the path, a seating area or chase away dark shadows in the landscape. Looking out to the garden at night and seeing it gently illuminated is attractive and lets us enjoy the garden late into the evening.
Focal Point A lush, expansive garden can leave the viewer unsure as to where to look. By nature we like to have focal points, or areas within a large space to stop and rest our eyes. A focal point, or place to pause in a generous garden, can be as simple as a stone bench, a large boulder or an open space in the garden with a decorative urn resting on a bed of gravel. By creating ‘rests’ in the garden, we give the viewer time to appreciate what they are seeing without feeling overwhelmed.
The lights along this stone stairway give a feeling of warmth from the cold, even before you enter the home.