Getting Started with Landscaping

Before you jump into a landscaping project, it’s good to have a plan. Once you’ve determined what landscape design elements you think will work best for your outdoor spaces you can start to see the project scope, budget, and timeline. Having a solid plan will assist you in deciding to DIY or hire a professional landscaping company.

Hiring a Landscaping Contractor

What’s great about hiring a landscaping company is you have professionals planning and completing your project. And while landscaping companies can be a good option for all project sizes and budgets, they’re especially helpful with bigger landscape needs.

But hiring outside help can have its drawbacks as well. In many cases, hiring professional landscapers comes at higher cost than the DIY route—you can even run into situations where you end up going over your budget as project scope, materials, and hours change. In addition, you could encounter weather delays, company staff changes, and other unforeseen work interruptions that can change your timeline.

If you’re thinking about hiring a professional company to do your landscape design, be sure to shop around, research companies, and check online reviews. This can help you find the right professionals to help you with your project and stay within your budget and on your ideal schedule.

Basic Landscape Design Elements

Thinking about what landscaping you want on your property? Though you’ll probably have your own unique ideas for how you want your yard to look and what features you’ll want to highlight, there are a few simple architectural elements you’ll want to incorporate into your landscape.

Line

If you’re looking for ways to make your landscape stand out, emphasize lines in your design. Lines create focal points with landscape objects like a water flower garden by naturally creating pathways for the eye to follow. Whether it’s a perceived line (i.e., several objects in a row leading to a location) or a physical path or walkway leading to the feature, lines provide direction for your landscape design.

Form

Form helps you achieve your desired landscape aesthetic by highlighting the three-dimensional elements of objects to create a visual theme in your yard. Looking for a more welcoming, cozy feel? Rounded plants and curved walkways give your landscape a sense of fluidity that feels more intimate. Or maybe you’d prefer a more traditional, formal look? Rigid structures and straight lines can convey formality and provide clear distinctions between outdoor spaces.

Color

One of the most important design elements is color, which helps set the theme for your landscape design. Warm colors such as red, yellow, and orange create excitement and make objects feel closer. On the other hand, cool colors like blue, green, and purple offer a more tranquil feel. You can use colors in unity to convey an overall look or in contrast to create depth and separate different areas of your yard.

Texture

Most commonly found in professional gardens, texture adds variety and visual interest to your landscape. Stems, leaves, trunks, and flowers all have different textures (i.e., coarse, medium, fine, heavy, light). Similarly, pavements, water features, and other hardscape materials incorporate different textural elements into the look of your yard. You can even mix different textures to create depth and balance in your yard.