The dead of winter is when homeowners like to look outside and dream of time in their yards. Take a closer look and let hope spring forth. Sure, the architecture of your home is lovely, but what’s growing in your yard really grabs attention. With a little planning, you can make your yard work for you. Leave a green footprint by planting trees, shrubs, and flowers. Here are simple design principles and a few questions to ask yourself as you look forward to time in your own outdoor oasis.

3 Basic Design Principles

Order is important in that the geometry and design of your home says something about your personality and meets the needs of your family. A few questions to contemplate: Are the lines of the architecture of your home straight or curvy? Do you like things to be symmetrical or asymmetrical? What are the focal points of your front yard and back yard? Is there a path to an entertaining area or an odd space that can be utilized differently? Go out and view your home from a new perspective.

Unity is repetition of color, texture or form that pulls it all together and completes the whole design. Choose plants that complement the colors of your house, front door, and trim. Plants offer different textures in foliage, flowers, and bark. Think about materials used for containers, pathways and garden art that also provide color, texture and bring in your personality. The shapes of plants, outdoor furniture, arbors, and planters add form and unite different areas of the yard and home, adding front porch eye-catchers and patio conversation starters.

Balance in landscape design creates an overall sense of equality. For instance, a big house needs bigger plants. Framing plants like trees and shrubs provide structure and background. Smaller shrubs are connecting plants placed in small groupings of odd numbers, bringing unity and order. Large, sweeping bed lines break up stark lines and corners of house architecture.

Favorite Views and Uses of Your Yard

How do you want to use your outdoor space? Perhaps create a pollinator garden for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Maybe you want a privacy screen from close neighbors or a container garden for herbs and veggies. Do you have space for entertaining or playing yard games? There are plants for every purpose!

Curb appeal is the view of your home as one drives by, walks on the sidewalk, or pulls up in the driveway. What do you see when you walk to your front door? Could the sidewalk be lined with groundcover and flowers? How is the view from inside to the backyard? Do you want to block a view or create one?

When choosing plants, learn their nature and plan for their mature sizes. Know how much sun each yard space receives and purchase plants that fit those needs. Consider were the water source is located, and your time for maintenance. Whether you want to create curb appeal, backyard privacy for entertaining, shade for kids to play, or dedicated space for organic gardening, now is the time to plan. Create the retreat you always dreamed of having.

Need some resources? Use our Online Plant Search for photographs and descriptions when choosing the right plants for your place. You can build a wish list to have ready for spring planting. Want additional assistance with landscape design? See our landscape design services.

We open for our 84th season on March 28, 2020! Let’s Dig In! together with free, educational classes, container demos, greenhouse tours, knife sharpening, food trucks, tree seedling giveaways and raffles.