Here are some landscaping tips for your garden – Red Deer Advocate

A landscaped yard provides additional living space, adds value to the property and enhances the home.

A well-landscaped yard consists of hard and soft landscaped materials. The hard part of the landscape are parts which, if done well, are rarely moved. It includes site preparation with drainage and good soil and continues to the most visible items such as: fences, trails, patios, driveways and retaining walls. All parts of the harsh landscape should retain the style of the house, complementing buildings and plants without overwhelming them.

The soft landscaped part, the plants, is changeable as even the largest tree can be removed. The choice of plants and their placement make a huge difference to the overall appearance of the yard and buildings. Place a large tree next to a one-story house and the house will appear shorter. Place the same tree further away and the height of the house will appear to increase.

Like hard landscaping, soft design and plant material should complement the style of the house. An example being a wild cottage garden is suitable for an older cottage, but it would appear out of place in front of a modern square building.

Landscapes have focal points that should grab the person’s attention as they enter this section of the garden. After seeing and admiring the focal point, we then discover the rest of the area. Plants, statues, birdbaths, or structure are commonly used as focal points. As the garden changes with the season, the focal point can change as well. The conifers stand out during the winter months but become the backdrop for colorful flowers during the summer.

Ornamentation falls between the definition of hard and soft landscaping as it has a hard surface but is easily replaceable.

Like hard and soft landscaping, ornamentation should be chosen with care. A large ornament such as a statue or a bird bath can be the focal point of a garden. It could also be hidden in a corner, pleasantly surprising visitors.

Plant pots and trellises are part of the garden but are rarely the focal point. Choose those that blend into the background or complement the plants. Plants are the stars of the garden and should be seen first, with supports and pots just part of the complete picture.

Placing anything in the garden – hardscape, plants, or ornaments – must have a purpose. Things aimlessly seem out of place, giving the landscape a cluttered look.

Articles can have one or more purposes. Trails lead the eye as well as an easy walking surface. Plants are used to beautify the house, frame views, and block out unsightly objects. Pots and trellises hold plants back.

The amount of ornamentation available for gardens is overwhelming. Choose carefully because the decorations should be the finishing touch, highlighting what is already there. Too many ornaments in too many places distract from the entire landscape, forcing people to focus on the ornaments and not the entire garden.

Linda Tomlinson has been gardening in central Alberta for over 30 years. She can be reached at [email protected]

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Terri S. Tomasini