Landscaping 101: Making Your Landscape a Worthy Investment for Your Home

A clean kitchen, excellent furniture, top-of-the-range appliances, and creative design are not only elements that make up a pretty house. Outdoor structures and plants also make a great impact on the overall appearance of a property.

Landscaping changes the look of the outdoor environment, not only for homes, but also commercial and recreational properties. Landscaping is not just a form of gardening by putting up pretty plants and shrubs and trees, it requires knowledge of the area and making use of it in the most efficient way. This involves both science and art – observing the land and coming up with a good design. A good landscape artist knows how to best blend natural elements and industrial construction.

Landscaping improves the land and its uses. A design can improve a patio or a terrace, providing space to entertain guests. Planned spaces can make room for vegetables, utilizing your garden better and increasing energy efficiency. Adding trees in a systematized way can reduce energy costs inside homes or other buildings. Trees can also be shields from the cold during winter.

Landscaping may be costly but it also adds value to a property. It can add make a property stand out and give its owner a sense of pride. It is an investment that can cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars depending on personal preferences. The expense doesn’t end there, though. Landscaped properties have to be maintained regularly in order to keep the look consistent as time passes. Aside from the plants, owners also have to invest on pesticides, decors, and fertilizers. Also, it also requires investment of time and effort. Constant, proper care includes weeding, watering, pruning, and even harvesting of any produce. Landscaped areas with decks and patios will also require repair and cleaning over time.

The landscape business is not only beneficial to land and property owners. Landscape artists and architects also benefit. In a 2010 survey, the reported median pay for landscape architects was around $62,000, which is definitely above the usual household income. It was also projected for this industry to grow to 16% until the year 2020. Whether you work for a company or are a freelance artist, this is a good career to consider.

Working in landscaping requires full time attention. It can be demanding and mentally challenging. An artist can use computer software like CAD to plan out a project, but they have to be creative and able to think outside the box when planning a design. Positioning elements like trees and shrubs is very crucial to any landscaping project. A careful study of the environment and preserving natural resources is also required.

Overall, we can assume that landscaping is hard work, both for the artist and the customer. Like most things, there are advantages and disadvantages. Signing up to do professional landscaping on your property may require a lifetime commitment and investment. The key is to find an artist who understands your demands and has the creativity to transform your idea into a work of art.

A Well-Balanced Home Landscaping Design

One of the basic principles of all art forms, design, including landscape design is balance. It serves as a point of equality. Despite being somewhat insignificant in landscaping, there is actually more to it than just that and it will be explained in much simpler context in this article.

A garden or landscape that is made with equal size would feel and look naturally balanced. However, there are a lot of gardens and landscapes that does not have symmetry in both shape and form. These are called asymmetrical or abstract gardens that usually do not follow the natural balance. Their landscaping usually relies on other things to have balance and harmony through unity of some point. Most often, having no balance is related to having no repetition. To repeat similar elements such as plants or rocks all over the landscape allows the unification of areas towards one another. This can be accomplished with as little as repeating one matching plant group in terms of color or decoration.

Placing too many or non-matching elements all over a landscape design will certainly create a lack of balance. It will usually show as clutter and unkempt when the plant grows. Plan for less during the early stage of your design and just try placing a few matching plant groups all over the garden. It is important to keep the decor matching to the minimum as others can be added later.

There are many landscaping questions regarding the shape of the design. Shape is something that is distinctive to every design that will follow all your paths and visions. However, a shape or form can still be filled with elements and yet will still be dull, void, loud, cluttered, and unbalanced. Balance does not necessarily depend on shape. It can but usually it does not. Never get too attached on trying to achieve balance simply by trying to make things even in shape as all landscaping designs do not follow bilateral symmetry.

Landscape design is regarded as an art form as it deals with all the principles that all other art forms use. Repetition, unity, as well as balance are the major principles of art that go together side by side. The use of repetition is employed by architects in their design or windows, doors, fixtures, trims, etc. with having the same style, shape, and size. Try to visualize how your home would be if each and every door, door frame, windows, and fixtures were made with different sizes and shapes. Surely it would feel somewhat uncomfortable and chaotic. This is the same as with landscape design.

Consistent repetition is required to create balance, appeal, as well as comfort in a landscape that lacks it. In truth, balance can be achieved with as little as placing two matching elements on both side in creating both unity and consistency. Balance is easily achieved through softscape such as plants, ornaments, lawn, decor, etc. However, you should also try to consider having some hardscape such as walks, driveways, necessities, fences, walls, raised beds, and boundaries in your design.

Stone Tile Decor Works Indoors or Outside

Nothing signals stability and permanence in a home like stone. When properly installed, stone tiles can last for years. There’s a reason all those kings and knights from days gone by built stone castles!

In modern homes, stone tile d├ęcor on walls create particularly attractive accents for large rooms, generously portioned baths, and patios. They make a wonderful offset for other natural materials like granite, brick, and wood. Stone fireplaces, for example, make great centerpieces to complement (and help warm) living rooms.

Outside the home, stone provides a protective yet complementary border for lawns, gardens, and pools. They can be used as a decorative floor in lieu of concrete around pools, on patios and on walkways.

Best of all, stone comes in an almost unlimited variety of colors, textures, and shapes. You can find stone tiles that fit almost any home, from a desert oasis to a mountain getaway. High-end townhouses built-in or near urban centers feature stone to underscore the luxury element.

Before You Buy, Get a Quality Stone Installer

Installing stone can be heavy, time-consuming work, particularly for large projects and by people with limited experience. It’s a good idea to use a reputable, experienced stonemason for the job. Many of them work closely with interior and landscape designers and understand what the result is supposed to look like. Guesswork is eliminated.

Lots of stone retailers and wholesalers offer an array of natural materials such as granite for countertops, travertine for showers, and more. They may even have installers on staff to simplify the task and offer one-stop shopping for homeowners.

Pre-installation work includes selecting tiles or slabs. You may want your designer to be involved at this stage since he or she may have a specific kind of stone in mind with the design that you have approved.

Stone installation is achieved with methods that vary depending on where the stone will go. Outdoor paving stones can be set with sand and other materials, while mortar is preferred for landscaping tiles and grout for indoor flooring.

Stone Installers’ Tricks

Most people who have attempted to install stone tiles to match a specific design or pattern will agree that it’s more difficult than the online videos show, particularly if you aren’t an experienced DIY-er.

Here are a few things professional installers will do to make sure your project is done according to plan:

  • Check tiles for quality and use fit
  • Cut tiles with precision
  • Sort tiles to consider how to lay them in a way that enhances the appeal of variations that are inevitable in natural stone
  • Know which stones need which installation method

Installers can even mix grout to match or blend with tile; a very skilled professional can even minimize the appearance of grout. Grout coloring can also be enhanced to give an accent or contrast with the stone.

Finally, all stone needs to be sealed to prevent stains, particularly in high-traffic areas where resealing may be necessary. Your installer can help you determine how often this will be needed.