You may often find yourself thinking, “how can I simplify my yard and garden maintenance?” Rather than spending hours upon hours of time pruning, weeding and caring for your property, your goal may be to spend more time fishing or lounging with your toes in the sand and your nose in a good novel.
Simplifying can be accomplished by choosing low maintenance, hardy plants that vary in color tone, with a few plants and trees providing beautiful flower accents. The combination of this varied palette will provide a visually pleasing complement to your home while minimizing the amount of time you need to spend in your gardens. Adding mulch to your garden beds also helps hold in moisture reducing the need for constant watering of your plants.
Installing a stone retaining wall will create a nice “frame” for your gardens while also providing a permanent, no maintenance solution and will protect against soil erosion.
So if you are looking for more R&R and less time working in your yard, give us a call and we will be happy to help you achieve your goals!
“A man’s home is his castle.”
It’s an idea that’s been around for a few centuries – typically attributed to the 17th century English jurist Sir Edward Coke – and even though people typically don’t live in castles, we still put up walls to protect our homes.
Granted, most of these walls aren’t there to protect against invading armies as they are to protect against, say, soil erosion. It’s one of the many benefits of installing a stone retaining wall:
Being outdoors is good for us, and it could also be good for our property values.
According to the National Association of Home Builders’ “What Buyers Really Want” survey, more than 80 percent of home buyers say having an outdoor getaway –whether it’s a porch or patio in Bucks County – is an essential part of owning a home.
And even though we spent a lot of time indoors glued to screens, there are still ways to get outdoors this summer without leaving your property line. The National Association of Realtors’ Houselogic site offers six ways to do just that.
Flagstone patios add a traditional, elegant look to any outdoor living space. Flagstone is a durable hardscape product that offers years of maintenance free living. Flagstone does not fade or weather over time. It is available in various sizes and can also be used for step treads and as caps for pillars and sitting walls. The traditional look of flagstone made it the perfect choose for this highlighted project.
Flagstone is one of the best materials for patios. Flagstone is a natural stone that has earthly shades of grays, blues, browns and occasionally reds. Flagstone is extremely durable and maintenance free. It can be used to create a formal or informal patio. For a formal patio, select cut flagstones are laid in a random pattern of squares and rectangles. The squares and rectangles shapes provide continuity along with the staggered joints that keep the pattern interesting. For an informal look, select irregular flagstones are laid in an irregular pattern. Flagstone can be wet laid or dry laid. Dry laid flagstone in on a base of modified stone and sand, the same as paving bricks. In this situation polymeric sand is used in the joints. Wet laid is on a concrete slab. The joints are concrete on a wet laid flagstone patio.
The final principle of landscape design I will discuss is simplicity. Simplicity is a very important element in any design not just landscape design. In the landscape design simplicity creates a sense of flow and cohesiveness. Simplicity tries to make the viewer of the landscape feel comfortable when viewing the landscape. Simplicity does not imply a simplistic, boring and lack of imagination. Rather it implies avoid too many plants, too many shapes, too many textures, too many colors, too many focal points and/or too many curves in a landscape. These principles, widely used by landscape contractor Bucks County and Montgomery County homeowners trust, will help you enhance and beautify your property.
Balance is the next principle of landscape design to be discussed. Balance in a landscape design is exactly what the work implies. It is a sense of equality or equilibrium. Balance consists of symmetrical balance and asymmetrical balance. Symmetrical balance is when both sides are equally divided and could share the same form, shape, planting groups, color and more. In the Renaissance period, symmetrical balance was very common where if you drew a line down the center, the left side would match the right. These formal, symmetrical gardens are not typically found in nature. But some people like to see things balanced thus giving a feeling of stability and balance. To create a symmetrical garden use mirror image shrubs or big pots to mark the beginning or end of a path. Use hedges that align with property lines, the walls of a house, or other permanent features. A symmetrical garden requires a great deal of maintenance. Regular pruning will be required to keep plants from becoming uneven in height and symmetry.
Repetition is the next principle of landscape design and hardscape design. Repetition is directly related to unity, which is the first principle I discussed. The difference is unity is the way all the components of the landscape, plants, hardscapes and architectural elements are used to achieve a consistent theme. In other words, all the parts have to fit. Everything selected must have some purpose and compliment the overall scheme of things. Repetition is used within unity by using certain forms and elements in the garden but repeating these elements to give an expression to the landscape/hardscape design. It is important not to have too much of one element making the landscape feel uninteresting or boring or monotonous. Too many unrelated objects can make the landscape look cluttered and unplanned.
The next principle of landscape design and hardscape design is proportion. Proportion refers to how the area and height of one element in the garden relates to the area and height of another element. The actual size of an object is different from its relative proportion in relation to neighboring objects. The best way to explain proportion is by example. If you were creating a small courtyard garden you would not use a ten-foot statue as a focal point. It would be out of proportion with the rest of the garden. Or if you had a very large space then a small fountain would be out of proportion.
When completing a landscape design or hardscape design it is important as a landscape designer to know the mature size of the plant material selected. To plant a small tree in a small area only for it to mature to 50’ is too big. Another example would be using a lot of dwarf plants in an area that requires larger plants. A lot of dwarf plants in a large area looks hodge podge, cluttered and too busy.
Line is the fourth principle of landscape and hardscape design. Line can best be described as the way your eye moves or the way a design flows around the planting beds, paving and walkways from one to the next. A landscape contractor/landscape company will add line into a landscape by using contrasting plant material and by forming patterns with similar plant materials. A good landscape designer will consider the lines of the area to be landscaped. For example, the lines of buildings and the lines of hard surfaces.
Just as an artist uses lines to create movement, a line has width and length but no depth. The direction of a line has meaning. Continue reading