To archive a successful design you must incorporate hardscape with softscape.
Hardscape is the proper use of stone walls, concrete or brick patios, tile paths, wooden decks and wooden arbors including home accents such as water fountains.
Softscape is composed of living, growing objects like plants, shrubs, flowers, grasses.
Form: The shape or structure of a plant or object is its form. Even though you may be painting a landscape on canvas, it is still much the same when creating your new yard or entrance to your business. Form is the consideration of shape of a plant or tree, the pattern of its branching, the size and shape of it leaves, to the number of and size of its blooms. This also holds true with the application of the hardscape. The size of pavers, or use of block versus stone are elements of form.
Texture: Generally texture is added to a garden with plants. However, texture can also be created using hardscape materials. Texture is a visual impression of the combination of plantings to achieve a desired effect. The contrast of leaf sizes in bedding plants can create depth to the design where space is limited. With hardscape the use of crushed stone verses a walkway paved with brick or stone create a different feel to the space.
Line: Often line refers to the structures within a landscape—think of the edges of a walkway or flower bed, or the perimeter of a patio or deck. If you are trying to create a defined space or an inviting entrance line is what creates a natural flow that is perceived by the eye to give you direction. Eye movement is unconsciously influenced by the way plant groupings fit or flow together, both on the horizontal and vertical planes. Use of hardscape to define the edges of an area, or the use of straight lines versus soft curves draw you into a space very differently
Scale: In outdoor design, scale refers to the size relationship between elements within the garden and the surrounding spaces. One of the most overlooked, but important elements is scale. A tall fence located next to a small structure can make the home or building look smaller. It is a matter of proportion. The use of a combination of hardscape offset with plantings can create a feel for the area that the owner is trying to achieve. For example make a small yard feel larger and still offer privacy from neighbors.
Color: The proper use of color set the tone of the landscape. Do you want to excite the viewer, as business would want in their entrance, or do you want to create a calm oasis in your back yard. Proper use of color influences your mind to change its mood without you even knowing it is happening. Hardscape also plays a role in setting the mood or tone of your space. Bold colors of brick, and pavers can set off an otherwise calm area and make it feel out of sorts with itself. Also, as hardscape ages it changes color, so the types of material used need to be considered for the long term appeal.
Armatures make most of their mistakes in not understanding the proper mix of the 5 elements of landscape design.
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