1. Home
  2. Advice
  3. How-To Videos
  4. Landscape Design Basics
  • Landscape Design Basics

    Designing a landscape is similar to decorating your home: think about things like color, texture and functionality.

    Landscape Design Basics

    • Designing a landscape is similar to decorating your home
      • Think about things like color, texture and functionality
    • Choose a foundation "piece you love" and build from it
      • In the home, people may do this with a sofa they love or maybe a family heirloom like a wardrobe
      • Your landscape may already have the "piece you love," like a mature tree or even a row of hydrangeas
      • If you don't have anything you love in your current landscape, start by choosing something you love at the garden nursery
      • Once you have that foundation piece, start to build your landscape around it
    • Design In Layers
      • Layer 1 – Tall
        • The tallest element, most likely a tree, should be in the back of the landscape or used as a focal element
        • Your tall plants or trees can serve a purpose – ask yourself these questions:
          • Do they need to be tall enough to create a green screen?
          • Do they need to act as a wide block?
          • Do they need to provide shade?
      • Layer 2 – Medium Height
        • This is where the bulk of shrubs fall into place
        • Make sure you are varying evergreen shrubs that will have foliage all year with deciduous shrubs that drop their leaves in winter
      • Layer 3 – Medium to Low Height
        • This is typically low-growing shrubs or perennials like heuchera and hostas
      • Layer 4 – Low Height
        • This is the layer where annual color typically gets planted and usually where you can add a seasonal punch of color
      • Fall/Winter
        • Asters, Pansies, Violas, Ornamental Cabbage & Kale
      • Spring/Summer
        • Petunias, Marigolds, coleus
    • Design in Repetition
      • Just like in your home, you want to create some repetition in your design
      • Repeat Colors
        • Create a good design by repeating colors
          • For example, pair a pink blooming azalea with a hellebores variety that is cream and has pink speckles in the flower's throat
          • It doesn't have to be completely matchy-matchy but you want to repeat some colors for cohesiveness
    • Repeat Patterns & Textures
      • Most people don't think about a plant's pattern but each plant has a unique leaf shape and structure
      • For example, camellias and magnolias both have large, waxy leaves so if you add in another plant with a smaller variegated leaf, the entire arrangement will pop

    Landscape Design Services If you're not ready to channel your landscape design talents just yet, Pike Nurseries can help:

      • If you're working on a small area or adding to an existing landscape, bring in a photo and our associates can help you choose the right plants
      • If you are looking to redo a larger area or even your whole landscape, Pike Nurseries offers landscape installation and design services

    See more articles about: Seasonal Decorating, Gardening for Beginners, Outdoor Living, Landscape Design