Ideas for Simple Landscaping


Landscaping doesn't have to be designed with elaborate retaining walls or stately fountains to be visually appealing. Nor do you need to hire a professional to landscape your front and back yards. The beauty of landscaping lies in the premise that anyone can do it. We all have preferences for flowers, trees and shrubs and many of us simply prefer low maintenance gardens that look good with little upkeep. Let's examine some ideas for simple landscaping of your yard to reflect your personality and to create curb appeal for your home.

Simple Design Principles

  • Landscaping functions to frame and accentuate your home to draw attention to the design nuances that make your home unique. Front porches, graceful sidewalks or a stately tree can be your focal point. The bottom line requires a design that draws visitors to the entryway of your home.

    Simple landscaping design relies on unity of color and repetition. Choosing the same types of shrubs and plants interspersed throughout the yard will create this effect. Cramming plants into a garden doesn't create a feeling of simplicity and relaxation. Instead, a viewer's eye will travel from item to item to take in the wide array of colors. Neat lines and gentle shaping to gardens and accents create an overall simple but functional landscape.

    Transition or blending of your landscape features also presents continuity. Avoid square or rectangular gardens to soften the lines of the home and yard. Your ultimate goal lies in achieving a landscape that blends with your home with seamless connection. Blending includes incorporating varying size plants in succession to create a visual appearance of height. Spacing plants to accentuate house design columns or porch pillars also provides a visual transition to the straight lines of the wood or concrete front porch. Follow the lines of your front walk, patio or walkways with small, simply planted gardens to accentuate these features.

Pavers, Edging and Walls

  • A weekend home landscaping project can create a simple, exciting new look for your yard. Preferring simple landscape design lends itself to easy-to-do projects such as edging. Edging delineates gardens and functions to keep mulch or gravel in the garden. Edging also can be used to draw the eye to a focal point in your yard, such as the front porch. Simple edging design can be rocks or bricks placed in a row or pavers placed flat to create a softened line that blends with your yard.

    Retaining walls and terraces require considerably more work but these elements can be used as a simple landscape design element. A plain brick or light gray stone retaining wall allows you to choose any color flowers or shrubs for your garden. Retaining walls and terraces lift the eye upward, drawing the eye to a focal point. Include a single dramatic shrub or plant center stage in this garden and use smaller plants and shrubs as complements.

Simple Plants and Design Elements

  • A busy garden doesn't equal a simple landscape. Consider wide spacing between hardy plants to create breathing room for the plants and the view. Choose only a few colors for your overall theme to create unity and simplicity. Repeating this color throughout your landscape ties it all together. Consider using varying height ornamental grasses for a distinctive, low maintenance addition.

    Rocks, mulch and pebbles become integral tools for creating a simple landscaping design. Rocks or boulders create a pinpoint of visual interest when placed periodically through a garden. This takes up garden space, allowing focus for your plantings. Consider using rocks or pebbles as mulching material instead of regular hardwood mulch. This simple design addition creates interesting contrast in the garden.

    Containers, birdbaths and birdfeeders can't be overlooked as interesting design elements for a simple landscape. Planting a small round garden with a wealth of wildflowers to attract butterflies and bird creates a focal point of great interest. Plant annuals in containers or hanging baskets for decorative focal points on your front porch, patio or deck. Choose colors that match your patio furniture to create unity within the decor. These little additions ties the overall design together just as pictures on the wall do within your home's interior.

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