Your yard should be more than functional hardscaping with some plant life around it. The most attractive yards feature landscaping and hardscaping that work in harmony. Below are some ideas for creating that sense of cohesion between the two.
Mixing styles may seem counter-intuitive to creating harmony. However, your home and yard are unlikely to adhere to one style perfectly, so mixing it up in the garden can help the landscaping as a whole work cohesively.
For example, formal landscaping utilizes symmetry to create a manicured effect. Such formality is fine for a palace garden, but that aesthetic might be too rigid for a neighborhood home. So consider adding informal touches to your yard. For example, choose plants that grow in profusion and plant them asymmetrically to border a symmetrical walkway.
Utilize Natural Features
Your yard should have characteristics unique to its own space. Whether those features consist of a slope or a special tree, utilize them to create harmony with the landscaping. For example, rather than try to make a special tree work with an outside landscape design, draw attention to the tree with a surrounding planting bed and a path that leads by the tree.
Another way to utilize natural features is to use materials that are native to your area. For example, flagstone quarried in the Southeast often features charcoal, dark red, and slate blue coloration. Therefore, if you use this flagstone in Alabama, it should provide a more cohesive effect than flagstone quarried in another region.
Choose a Color Palette
Have a color palette in mind as you plan your landscaping. The palette can be driven by the native stones you've chosen, as well as the hues in the façade of your house.
For example, you could choose an analogous color scheme. This type of color scheme uses colors that are near each other on the color wheel to create a sense of harmony. Purple, red-purple, and red are three colors that could form an analogous color scheme.
If you choose this color scheme, you would first choose plants in these hues. You might also have some red in your native rocks. You'll want to spread these colors out throughout your yard to create cohesion. Place lighter colors in dark corners and vice versa to balance out the natural light and shadows of your space.
Create a Sense of Flow
One of the purposes of hardscaping, especially walkways, is to encourage people to move from one place to another. The presence of the pathway itself is a good beginning, but it doesn't necessarily create a sense of flow. Instead, you should incorporate different landscaping and hardscaping elements to create that feeling.
For example, if you want to encourage people to move from the sidewalk to your entryway, consider laying a path that widens to become part of your entryway. Such widening provides a welcome to visitors. Likewise, consider adding a planting bed to one side that echoes the landscaping in your front yard to create harmony between the two.
Blur the Borders
Another way to create cohesion between the landscaping and the hardscaping is to transition between the two by blurring the borders. The above-described planting bed is one way to create that sense of transition.
Another method is to let plants spill over the hardscaping. You can utilize spiller plants in concrete or stone planters or let border plants creep over the edge of the walkway. You can also use stone elements, such as birdbaths and fountains, to draw the eye to the landscaping.
Design a yard that creates a sense of harmony. Consult with the landscaping experts at Chandler Landscapes, Inc.