Important Elements of Landscaping

Landscape design is the addition of plants, changes to the terrain, and construction of structures like fences, decks, retaining walls, or water features. It also involves regular maintenance to keep the property healthy and looking good.


Form themes include geometric shapes for hardscapes and curvilinear designs for plantings. There should be a smooth transition between the various forms in the landscape. Contact Y&L Landscaping for professional help.

Color is one of the most important and challenging elements to work with in landscape design. It can draw the eye and highlight a specific area, create focal points, balance and harmonize spaces, and change throughout the seasons.

Different colors evoke distinct emotions and have a variety of effects on the people who use and enjoy them. Warm colors like orange, yellow, and red can boost energy and excitement while cooler colors like blue, green, and purple encourage relaxation and calm. Understanding these differences and using them strategically can help a landscape designer achieve the desired mood for a garden.

Landscape professionals also consider the relationship between color and form in a planting. Plants come in a wide array of shapes and sizes from the tall, imposing structure of a tree to the delicate branching pattern of an evergreen shrub. Choosing the right combination of flowers, plants, and trees can help a landscape design create a unified appearance.

Another important consideration is color harmony, or the way that different colors relate to each other. Typically, a landscape designer will want to avoid extreme variations in color. Too many different colors can be overwhelming to the eye, and they may compete with each other instead of blending together smoothly. The use of a color wheel is often helpful when planning a landscaping color scheme.

In addition to coordinating colors, the landscape designer should also consider the colors of buildings and other hardscape features. This is especially important if the landscaping will be around a house or other building. The designer may choose to match the building color and extend it into the yard, or they may choose to contrast with it for dramatic effect.

Finally, the landscape designer will need to think about the sky. This can make or break a landscape picture. A beautiful blue sky with white clouds can enhance the beauty of a landscape, but a cloudy or threatening sky can detract from it. A good landscape designer will be able to find the perfect balance between land and sky.


Landscape lines draw the eye through a space and influence the way we perceive it. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal or curved. They can be real (actual) or perceived (implied). Using lines correctly can emphasize or de-emphasize features in the landscape and create visual rhythm and balance.

Lines can define plant beds and hardscape elements such as walkways, fences or patio pavers. They can also help separate or tie spaces together. There are three types of landscape lines: bedline, garden line and hardscape line. Bedline lines are created when the edge of a garden or planting bed meets another surface material like turf, groundcover, mulch or gravel. Garden lines are created when a plant or structure reaches out beyond a landscape feature like a pathway, driveway or fence. Hardscape lines are created by the edges of built structures such as buildings, walls and patios.

Straight lines give a sense of function and stability; they are linear, direct and can be seen from afar. They often appear in formal gardens and symmetrical landscape features. They can be accentuated with repetition of plantings along their length or by repeating patterns in the landscape materials themselves.

Curved lines add an informal, natural and relaxed character to a landscape design. They can be smooth and flowing or more rugged and organic. Garden paths and plant bedlines that follow a curved line are often used to create these types of lines.

Upward lines accentuate a vertical element such as tall trees or structural features such as arbors and make a landscape feel larger. They can also be calming and restful when viewed from a lower vantage point.

Horizontal lines pull the eye across the landscape plane and can make a space feel larger. They can be calming and restful or they can be used to divide or tie spaces together. Low lines can be used to define a garden, a pathway or a seating area and are often created with low garden walls, walkways or hedges.

In the commercial landscape, sight lines can be used to guide visitors through a property or around a large site. Specimen plants, unique trees, water features or seating areas can all be used to create dramatic sight lines. Limiting long views and incorporating multiple focal points throughout the property will help create a more calming and enjoyable experience for customers.


When it comes to landscaping, most people think of color first, but texture is an equally important part of the design process. Texture is not only the physical feel of a plant, it also impacts the way plants interact with light and shadow in the landscape. Using both coarse, medium and fine textures in the landscape can create a range of visual effects that help to make a garden or yard feel more interesting and unique.

Coarse texture is created by large leaves with bold outlines or deep veins, thick branches and twigs and rough bark. These types of textures create a dramatic impact in the landscape. Medium texture is often a result of the overall shape of the plant. It can be created by the combination of different shapes or sizes of foliage, but may also include varying textures and colors of plants in the same planting bed.

Fine-textured plants have smaller leaves and flowers, such as the fronds of grasses and perennials or the delicate petals of roses. The use of these plants can unify a landscape and add a touch of elegance to the garden. They can also be used to soften the hardscapes of a landscaping project by creating a backdrop for shrubs and flowering plants.

The subtle use of texture can also influence the perception of distance and scale in a landscape. By placing coarse-textured plants closest to the viewer, with medium textures in the middle and fine-textured varieties in the back, the garden can feel larger and more expansive. The opposite arrangement, where the coarsest textures are in the front and the finest ones are at the rear, tends to make a garden feel closed in and small.

While the most common ways to add texture to a landscape are through plantings, it is possible to incorporate texture into the landscape without adding actual plants. For example, if a homeowner has a smooth hardscape like stone or concrete patios and walkways, bringing in some pops of texture through the use of woven baskets, wicker furniture and heavy linen fabrics can provide contrast and balance to the space. The use of textured mulch or decorative stonework can also serve to complement the landscape while adding additional texture.


Balance is an important element of landscape design that creates harmony and equilibrium in your outdoor space. It can be achieved through symmetrical or asymmetrical balance, and it involves the careful distribution of visual weight to make your landscape seem effortless. Symmetrical balance is the easiest form of balance to understand, and it involves creating a mirror image on either side of an axis. This type of balance works well with formal designs and helps evoke a sense of elegance and serenity in your garden or yard.

Asymmetrical balance is a little more complex, and it can be achieved through the use of curves and meandering pathways. This type of balance also works well with informal and rustic landscapes, as it can add a natural feel to your outdoor spaces. Asymmetrical balance can be achieved by using contrasting plant colors, textures, leaf structures, and sizes to draw the eye’s attention. It can also be accomplished through the strategic use of negative space and balancing asymmetry with proportion.

In both symmetrical and asymmetrical landscapes, it is important to consider the size of your plants and other features when designing your landscape. Proportion is a key component of balance, and it refers to the relationship between the size of your plants and the overall size of your landscape. When designing your landscape, it is important to keep in mind the scale of your space and the size of each plant when choosing the right size and type of tree, shrub, or flower.

Another important aspect of balance is achieving consistency and unity in your landscape design. A lack of balance can often be caused by overcrowding your garden with different plants, colors, and styles. Creating a uniform look in your landscape can help tie the design together and create a cohesive, intentional, and beautiful overall look. A great way to achieve this is through repetition. By repeating similar elements throughout the landscape, such as a matching group of plants or color or a hardscape feature, you can unify the design and create a sense of balance.

Crafting Meaningful Landscapes Through Thoughtful Design


The landscape surrounding your business sends a message to every visitor and employee. Learn how to craft a thoughtfully designed landscape that leaves your neighbors in awe. Contact Landscapers Baltimore for more information.

Like their fine art brethren, many craft artists find inspiration in their environment. From weeds to the vistas around their homes, they draw on natural materials to create meaningful objects.

Taking the Pulse of the Land

In the midst of headline-grabbing innovations such as self-driving cars, sleek virtual reality headsets and robots, it is easy to overlook the many instances of incremental innovation. These are the small, quiet advances that improve, advance and enhance the technology, products, services and brands we already have. And often, thoughtful design is the discipline that drives these improvements.

The process of designing landscapes that are not only beautiful but also meaningful and sustainable requires a deep connection to the land. This starts with listening to the heart of a place, observing what it has to say and then interpreting that message to create a unique, personal space.

Listening to the land can be as simple as taking a walk in your own backyard. By engaging with the physical features of your yard, you can gain insight into the nuances and character of your landscape, from the varying shades of green to the movement of water. This can inspire a broad range of landscape designs and strategies.

It can also be as complex as collaborating with others to ensure that conservation efforts are effective at a landscape scale. For example, public lands in the West are incredibly diverse, with multiple agencies managing working and tribal lands across vast regions. These lands have different values, needs and challenges. Effective conservation requires a multi-agency approach that recognizes the interconnected nature of these landscapes and seeks to engage all of the people who live in them.

One way to do that is by embracing the craft of repurposing found objects and incorporating them into the landscape. For example, artist David Gurney uses weeds such as purslane that grows in cracks on city sidewalks to make silver and gold jewelry. His work embodies the concept articulated by Arthur Koestler that “true creativity often begins where language ends.”

Another way to take the pulse of a landscape is by prioritizing sustainability. By choosing a plant palette that thrives in the local climate and implementing efficient irrigation systems, you can help to reduce your carbon footprint while creating a garden that delights in every season.

Creating Layers

Layering within landscape design refers to the concept of arranging plants by size and function throughout your yard. Large shade trees and shrubs should be planted in the back row of your yard, while smaller plants, such as perennial flowers or hedge material, should be positioned closer to the front. This layered look adds depth to your yard and generates incredible visual appeal.

Planting the lateral or meadow layer of your garden can also be an opportunity to add color, texture and interest to your landscape. Many newer gardeners can be intimidated by meadow planting, however, by learning about the basics of scene scouting and composition, these areas can be an ideal location to capture natural beauty and artistic expression.

The meadow and grasslands are often the result of a clearing for agricultural or industrial use and, as such, provide a unique habitat that supports an amazing array of flora and fauna. Meadows and grasslands typically feature grasses, perennial flowers and small bushes that can be used to create texture and balance within your yard.

These lateral or meadow layers also provide a great opportunity to work in the use of flowing water. A pond or stream can provide a focal point in your landscape, or, in the case of a fountain or waterfall, they can be utilized to create movement and a sense of drama.

Wet Edges – These wetlands and waterways are a favorite spot for many flora and fauna to find their happy place. From hunting perches, to nutrient pools or simply a place to get their feet wet without fully immersing themselves in the full forest or lake setting, these ecosystems are vibrant and full of life.

When planning your layered garden, it is important to consider the flow of water and sunlight throughout the year. It is recommended to select plants that are adapted to your local climate conditions for the bottom layer, utilizing evergreens or ferns as an example. This will help to maintain a consistently lush look throughout the seasons. For the middle layer, you will want to incorporate ground cover, flowering annuals or perennials and a wide variety of shrubs that are suitable for your soil type.

Embracing the Natural

When designing a landscape, it’s important to embrace the natural elements. This means using materials like stone and wood that speak to a sense of place and creating spaces that connect us with nature. It also means planting trees and shrubs that are native to the area, so they can thrive in your climate and attract pollinators.

Another way to create a sense of place is by adding focal points to your landscape. These can be man-made structures, such as fountains and statues, or they can be features of your landscape, such as a mature tree or a boulder outcropping. Focal points can evoke emotion and tell stories, so they are a great way to add personality to your space.

One of the most important things to remember when capturing landscapes is that they are ever-changing and transient. The seasons change, weather conditions shift, and the light is constantly changing. This impermanence is what makes landscapes so beautiful and unique, but it’s also what challenges photographers to be flexible and creative when capturing their surroundings.

Focus on capturing landscapes that inspire you and align with your artistic vision. If there are certain locations or conditions that you find difficult, use those challenges as opportunities for growth and improvement. Challenge yourself to document a landscape over an extended period of time, allowing yourself to explore different lighting and weather conditions. This will deepen your appreciation for the landscape and strengthen your storytelling abilities.

The most meaningful landscapes are crafted with the human experience in mind. A landscape should be inviting, comfortable, and evoke positive emotions. Taking the time to assess your current landscape and understand what needs to be changed will help you prioritize the features that are most important to you and your family. If you’re ready to start designing your landscape, contact the team at Impact Landscapes for a professional assessment. We specialize in sustainable landscaping solutions, including selecting plants that thrive in the local climate and implementing water-efficient irrigation systems. We believe that thoughtful design can transform your landscape into a space where you’ll always feel at home.

Creating a Sense of Place

Whether it’s the physical or social aspects of a landscape, many craft artists reflect their intimate relationship with their surroundings into their artwork. From Kit Carson to David Gurney, these artisans often find inspiration in the landscape around them. This Educator Guide includes several hands-on activities that will help students learn about the landscapes and cultures that inspire these artists and how they incorporate that inspiration into their work.

As the pandemic continues to affect our lives, creating a sense of place has never been more important. Landscape design is a key factor in fostering the feeling of home, and it can be used to help people cope with the stress of the current situation by bringing back familiar elements and providing a place to relax. The design of a meaningful place is the result of the collaborative effort of many disciplines. It involves integrating design, landscape ecology, and environmental psychology. Creating this sense of place also requires understanding the complexities of the human-environment interaction and the interrelated factors that influence how people perceive and experience the natural environment.

Research on sense of place (SOP) has a long history in both social science and urban design. Despite the fact that it is a complex concept, SOP has been viewed as a potential predictor of residents’ attitudes towards the built environment.

The aim of this paper is to present a new approach for analyzing and investigating sense of place, called sense of meaningful places. The method is based on an indicator that defines meaningful places as geographic locations—in the real world or abstracted representations on maps—to which descriptive meanings (a series of adjectives, descriptions of the place character, symbolic attributions) are ascribed and to which evaluative attachments (place dependence and place identity) are tied (see Fig. 1).

Results from two case studies indicate that the meaningful places approach is transferable at both a local (assessed with semi-structured interviews and a mapping survey) and regional scale. The analysis reveals that meaningful places are characterized by both geographically elongated courses and smaller spatial areas, depending on the type of location.

Landscape Lighting Can Make Your Home Safer at Night

A great landscape lighting design can bring a return on investment both financially and in your enjoyment of the outdoor spaces of your home. It can also make your home safer at night.

The light fixtures themselves are the focal point of any landscape lighting system. Choosing the right ones can be the most exciting part of the process. For more information, click the link provided to proceed.

Enhanced Curb Appeal

There’s nothing like a great first impression, especially when it comes to your home. From the moment people arrive at your front door, a well-lit landscape and walkways set the stage for what your guests can expect inside. But curb appeal isn’t just about making a good impression on guests, it also sets the tone for your home at night. Well-placed landscape lighting accentuates architectural features, highlights trees, gardens and water features, and can even create eye-catching focal points that make your house the envy of the neighborhood.

If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to boost your curb appeal, consider a wash of light down your driveway or steps. This simple touch is both functional, helping to prevent tripping and ensuring that first responders can read your address in the event of an emergency. But it’s also a beautiful way to highlight paver driveways, walkways and other landscape features that add a wow factor to your property.

The right landscape lighting can highlight a variety of different architectural elements, from unique columns and arches to eye-catching stonework. Using spotlighting techniques, such as silhouetting, shadowing and grazing, your landscape designer can help you create a striking effect that makes your home stand out from the competition.

Landscape lights can also be used to illuminate fountains, gazebos and other garden features. When properly positioned, these fixtures can highlight the hypnotic patterns of water and the intricate details of statues and topiary. They can also be used to illuminate your patio, transforming it into a welcoming space to entertain guests.

If you’re preparing to put your house on the market, it’s important to maintain the best possible curb appeal. Regular maintenance is essential for preventing dirt buildup, replacing burnt-out bulbs, and keeping your landscape lights in working order. If you don’t have the time to perform these tasks, a professional can take care of them for you. This can include cleaning lenses and fixtures to remove dirt buildup, ensuring that the bulbs are not exposed and that they are in working order, and adjusting fixtures that may have been knocked out of alignment.

Increased Home Value

While there is no hard and fast number on the value landscape lighting adds to a home, it does help increase the overall appeal of a property. Having well-lit areas not only deters burglars but also ensures that visitors and guests can navigate safely to your front door. This is especially important when it comes to stairways, walkways and other elements of your yard and property.

Additionally, the use of lights to highlight architectural features, trees and plants can make a home’s exterior look like a work of art at night. When a lighting system is well-designed and installed, it can showcase the best features of your house and create a magical atmosphere that sets your home apart from others in the neighborhood.

In addition, if your property has outdoor living spaces, such as a pool or patio area with a firepit, adding landscape lighting will allow you to enjoy these spaces into the evening. This will encourage potential buyers to envision entertaining friends and family in these spaces and creating memories for years to come.

There are many different types of landscape lighting fixtures available and choosing the right one is key to maximizing the benefits of your lighting system. The main fixture classes include spotlights, uplights, downlights and specialty fixtures. Spotlights are similar to spotlights on a stage and are designed to illuminate a particular area or object, such as a tree. Uplights are used to show off the architectural features of a building and can be used in various ways, including silhouetting, shadowing and moonlighting. Downlights are used to light areas that may be difficult to illuminate with other fixtures, such as stairwells or driveways.

Other types of landscape lighting include directional lights, such as pole mounts and spotlights, and pathway lights, which are perfect for creating a safe walkway to your home or a specific destination. Finally, specialty fixtures can be used for specific tasks, such as grazing, moonlighting and accenting a specific plant or object.

Increased Safety

A well-designed landscape lighting system can also be used for safety and security purposes. Providing visibility in the dark can deter criminal activity and make it easier for neighbors and passersby to spot suspicious activities or sounds on your property. It can also help you identify any potential hazards in your yard, like large tree roots or uneven pavers, so that you can address them before someone trips and falls or hurts themselves in the dark.

If you are considering installing a landscape lighting system on your own, it is important to consider the quality and safety of the fixtures you choose. The best fixtures will be made of solid brass or copper rather than cheap aluminum. They will hold up to the elements much better, and will patina beautifully over time. Using solid brass or copper will also be more cost-effective in the long run as you won’t need to replace them as often as competitors who use cheaper materials.

You should also pay attention to the beam spread of a fixture, as this will determine how far the light will project and whether it is suitable for the task at hand. Spotlights (also known as uplights or directional lights) have a narrower beam and are best for highlighting key features of your landscaping design, such as statues or plants. Path lighting has a wider beam and is better for illuminating walkways and pathways, while ambient lighting creates a soft glow that is ideal for social spaces like patios.

With the right fixtures and a creative design, landscape lighting can transform your home into an illuminated showcase that is both inviting and safe. Think of it as a way to set your property apart from the rest, and add value that will continue to increase over time. You might even find yourself turning on the lights even in the daytime, just to enjoy the ambiance that a well-designed landscape can provide!

Enhanced Mood

A lot of work goes into making your home’s exterior look first-rate. So, why let it disappear after the sun sets? With landscape lighting, you can make your exterior and garden areas shine with beauty long after dark.

Landscape lights are available in a wide range of colors and intensities, allowing you to achieve whatever mood you’d like in your outdoor space. From subtle ambiance to bright, cheerful energy, the possibilities are endless.

Lighting is the most powerful element when it comes to creating a mood in landscape photos. Light can highlight or obscure details, create shadows and contrast, and evoke emotion and meaning. This is why many homeowners turn to landscape lighting to set the mood for their outdoor spaces.

The right lighting can transform a backyard patio into the perfect place for dinner parties or romantic evenings. It can illuminate pathways and bring attention to plants, trees, fountains, water features, seating areas, and more.

You can even use landscape lighting to showcase your home’s architectural details and create a dramatic effect with uplighting. This technique highlights the feature while creating a dark outline, which looks especially striking when the sun is setting or rising.

The type of lighting you choose for your landscape also has a huge impact on mood. Accent lighting is soft and creates a warm ambiance that sets the mood while drawing attention to key areas of your garden. Pathway lighting is brighter and provides function while adding a sense of safety to your space.

Using a combination of these different techniques, you can create the perfect lighting effect for your property. And with the smart technology available in landscape lighting, you can control your lights remotely to change the mood for any occasion.

Landscape lighting can take your yard from functional to fashionable and provide an added value to your home. From safety and security to boosting curb appeal and enhancing mood, these benefits are well worth the investment. Contact a professional landscaper near you today to learn more about how landscape lighting can transform your home.