Designing a landscape can be a lot of fun, but it is also daunting for some people. One way to look at your yard is to think of it as a blank canvas, and the plants are your paints. Each variety of plant has their own unique feature and come in several different sizes, hues, and textures and can be used to create beautiful compositions. The question is: which plants do you choose for your landscape and where do you put them? Here are a few tips to consider before making these important design decisions:


One thing that can make a yard stand out over all the others is when it is cohesive. This happens when elements are repeated throughout a space or are designed to compliment each other. This can mean using the same type of shrubs in two different locations of the yard, or planting a cluster of large-leaf shrubs in the back row of a border with small-leafed shrubs in front. It could mean planting Blue Fescue grass in one corner of the yard because it compliments the Blue Spruce tree on the other side of the yard. By repeating colors, shapes, or sizes in a single garden you are connecting the spaces and telling a visual story.


While using patterns can help move the eye through a space, you can choose plants or objects that actually move themselves- or don’t. A wonderful example is when a clump of soft flowing grass is planted next to a sturdy boulder. The grass sways in the wind while the boulder behind it provides visual stability. The two elements contrast each other to create an eye-catching composition!  If you live in a particularly windy location you can choose to use the wind to your advantage and plant large swaying beds with gently bending branches and quivering leaves. Willows and Quaking Aspens are especially known for this type of feature. If you prefer to leave a portion of your garden feeling more still, consider planting conifers such as a Cypress tree or Dwarf Alberta Spruce. You can also plant low-growing coniferous shrubs next to decorative boulders if you want a really sturdy, timeless look.


As you dream up your perfect landscape try to think about what general theme you want for the space. Themes can encompass entire yards such as creating an entirely natural look with natives, or installing only tropical and exotic plants.  You can also stick closely to a style such as English Cottage or Californian Desert. 

A single garden can also be broken up into several smaller themes: a flower bed with only white-blooming flowers, a pond area surrounded with exotic water-loving plants, or a bee’s paradise of colorful wildflowers in a grassy field. Keep in mind that all of these different compositions still need to work visually with each other and not compete. That’s why having an overarching theme is important- even if you don’t stick to it one-hundred percent, it helps to unify the landscape. If you would like to know more about how to beautify your landscape feel free to contact us at 503-284-3557 to set up an appointment with a Blessing Landscapes representative. The first consultation is free and they can help walk you through the process from design to installation!