Landscape Design – Well Balanced Home Landscaping

Balance is a principle of all art forms, design, and even landscape design. It implies a sense of equality. And while there may be just a little more to it, this is how I explain it to make it easier for first timers and do it yourselfers to understand.

A garden, landscape, or any form of equal proportions would naturally feel and look balanced. However, most gardens and landscapes are not exact or symmetrical in shape and form. They’re asymmetrical and abstract in form and are often without any natural balance of their own. So landscaping often relies on other elements to create balance and harmony through unity.

Many times, a lack of balance is directly related to a lack of repetition. Repeating alike elements such as plants or rocks throughout the landscape will help unify different areas to each other. As little as one repeated matching plant group, color, piece of decor, or hardscape can accomplish this.

A lack of balance is also created by placing too many or all non matching elements throughout a landscape design. This can sometimes seem cluttered and unkept when it grows in. In the beginning of your design, plan for less, place just a few matching plant groups throughout the garden, and keep decor matching and to a minimum. You can add more later.

So many of the questions that I receive about landscape design deal with the shape of a design . Shape is unique to each design and will ultimately follow all necessary paths and your visions. However, any shape or form can be filled with elements and still be either dull, void, loud, cluttered, and unbalanced. Balance isn’t necessarily dependant on shape. It can be but generally it’s not. So don’t get too hung up on trying to even things out entirely by shape.

Landscape design is an art form and so it deals with “all” the same principles that other art forms use. Repetition, unity, and balance are all principles of art that go hand in hand with each other.

Architects use repetition in design by making doors, windows, fixtures, trims, etc. the same sizes, shapes, and styles. Imagine how your home would feel if every door, door frame, window, and fixture  were of different sizes, shapes, colors, and types. It would be uncomfortable and chaotic.

And so it’s the same with landscape design.

In order to create balance, appeal, and even comfort in a landscape that is lacking, we need to create some form of consistent repetition. As little as one matching element placed on opposites can create a sense of unity and consistency.

It’s easiest and most often created in the softscape (plants, ornaments, lawn, decor, etc.). However, it should be considered in the hardscape (walks, driveways, necessities, fences, walls, raised beds, boundaries, etc.) of your drawn design plan.

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Landscape Can Drive Up Home Values

The look of your lawn and garden may be the first and perhaps the most lasting impression people have of your home and property. Landscaping plays an essential role in enhancing its beauty and increasing the value.

Fortunately, homeowners can turn their own landscapes into works of art at an affordable price.

In recent years, many companies have begun to introduce more varieties of bagged rock and mulch. A new line of decorative rock and stone from Vigoro offers landscaping enthusiasts 26 varieties of bagged products in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

Decorative landscaping stones and mulches are not only an excellent way to beautify and accent garden beds, ponds, driveways and walkways, they also provide natural benefits to the soil and plants. These benefits include controlling and reducing erosion, retaining moisture, controlling weeds and insulating the soil.

Here are a few tips on choosing and applying mulch:

  • Choose mulch that is long lasting and not easily washed away.
  • Pick mulch that has a loose structure to let water pass through quickly.
  • Apply mulch in late spring. This helps reduce soil temperature and save water.
  • Apply fine mulches one to two inches deep. Coarse or fluffy mulches should be put on three to four inches deep.
  • Apply mulch evenly and level it with a rake or your hands.
  • Wet thoroughly after applying mulch.
  • Pull mulch a few inches away from plant stems and tree trunks.

To further control weeds and keep plants healthy, there’s a new mulch called Vigoro Mulch with Weed Stop. It’s the first to contain pre-emergent herbicide, controlling unwanted weeds for up to four months yet allowing bulbs, established flowers, shrubs and trees to thrive. This mulch is certified by the Mulch and Soil Council as only containing natural forest products.