Landscaping Tips

When you want to create a beautiful and functional landscape, the task may be overwhelming. Before the first shovel of soil is turned, close your eyes and picture your dream garden. Begin by asking what are your landscape goals. Some of the common reason to landscape include:

? Create privacy

? Invite entertaining

? Provide recreation

? Modify the climate

? Beautify the property

? Grow a kitchen garden

? Attract wildlife

? Reduce water use

When a landscape is thoughtfully planned, it does more than beautify the property: It can provide a recreation area and places to entertain. Well placed trees and shrubs can cut down on heating and cooling costs. A good design can also add more living space to your home in the warm seasons and provide a window to the natural world during colder months.

Following are some landscape design basics that apply to all designs. Every good garden design owes its effectiveness to certain basic design principles. These rules apply to all levels of gardens, from a simple garden border to an elaborate classical design. Remember, in any well-designed garden no one feature, plant or structure is completely dominant. Instead, all features work together to establish a sense of unity.

A. Repetition. Repeat certain plants, textures or colors.

B. Simplicity. This is the result of constraint. It keeps your design from being cluttered and unfocused.

C. Unity. A unified design ensures that the garden reads as one whole design rather than a hodgepodge of separate elements.

D. Scale. Scale refers to the balance between sizes of various elements, which includes the house, walkways, paths, fences, garden beds and plantings. No one element or feature should overpower all of the others.

Donna Evans is a landscape designer and website designer. Donna along with her husband own, Gizmo Creations LLC,, works with residential property owners and commercial property owners to create landscape designs that provide beauty and functionality to the site's owners. As well as having a landscape designer, the company has a licensed landscape architect on staff. In addition to working with nearby property owners, Gizmo Creations also does on-line landscape design through their site at, Donna also teaches an on-line landscape design course. For information about the course go to More articles on landscaping and sample plans can be seen on the website.

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