Landscaping Basics

Landscaping is the practice of adding or arranging plants, changing the terrain and building structures in outdoor spaces. It also involves regular maintenance, which homeowners or professionals can do.

A variety of landscaping elements can be used to achieve a specific aesthetic, such as curved walkways or natural stone walls. These can provide structural interest, help control erosion and separate different areas of the yard. For more information, click the Landscaping Baltimore to proceed.

Color is among the most important factors in landscape design, influencing mood and drawing attention to specific areas. It is used to create focal points, balance and harmonize elements, establish a visual hierarchy, direct the viewer’s gaze, and promote relaxation and health. Savvy use of color enables the gardener to make a space feel larger, smaller, more cheerful or serious, and even more welcoming.

Like a painter’s palette, a landscape designer creates a color scheme in advance to guide the choice of plants and materials for the entire project. A color wheel serves as an easy-to-use design tool, illustrating the relationships between primary, secondary and tertiary colors. For example, yellow and green are complementary colors, as are red and blue, while orange and purple are analogous.

Warm colors, such as yellow and red, evoke excitement and are often used to draw attention to specific objects or features in the landscape. Cool colors, such as greens and purples, are more calming and can help create a peaceful ambiance. It is possible to create a feeling of warmth with the use of color, but it’s also important to consider the effect of light on these colors, as it can dramatically affect how they are perceived.

Color can also be used to highlight the texture of a plant or create a sense of depth. For example, a planting of sage can benefit from the addition of a grass or a shrub in the same color family to add interest and contrast.

It’s also important to consider the color of a house or other hardscape elements when selecting a landscape color scheme. A landscaper can choose to blend with the color of the house or contrast to create a dramatic look. It is recommended that there not be too much variation in a landscape color scheme, as excessive variety can overwhelm the eye and create an unbalanced look.


When you think of form in landscape design, your mind may go to the shape a plant or hardscape element takes. However, form actually covers a much bigger picture. It includes the overall three-dimensional appearance of the object and its impact on the surrounding space. Using form in your landscape design can help you achieve a more formal, structured look or a more natural, relaxed feel. Incorporating elements with a variety of shapes and sizes will help you create an even more balanced design.

Form can be found in a number of different ways, including the transitions between garden beds, paths and walkways, and turf areas. It can also be found in the structure of a hardscape feature like a patio, deck or pergola. For example, a straight line structure will have more of a forceful and structural character while a curved line will have a more informal and natural appearance.

A great way to use form in your landscape is by creating a visual theme throughout the space. For instance, if you have a focal point such as a fountain or well-placed sculpture, this can be used as a guide for the rest of the landscape. Adding these details to your landscape will help draw the eye in and add to the overall look and feel of your space.

Using texture in your landscape is a great way to add interest and depth to the space. Adding textures can also help create movement in the space, which can be very appealing to the eye. For instance, if you have sandstone or granite boulders scattered around the space, these can create an organic, natural and flowing feel to the landscape.

Color is one of the most important aspects of landscape design because it is the most visible and immediate way to affect the senses. Choosing warm colors like reds, yellows and oranges can make your landscape feel warm and inviting while cooler shades of blues and greens can give it a cool, tranquil feeling. When it comes to color, the most important thing is to choose the right hues that complement each other and are consistent throughout the landscape.


Landscape lines are a vital part of the design process and can be horizontal, vertical, diagonal or curved. They can be created by a variety of materials and surface textures including paving stones, hardscape walls, hedges, grasses and plants. Like color, they can be warm or cool and work to create a theme for the whole landscape. Lines accentuate focal points, develop spaces, control movement and establish dominance in the landscape.

Whether the style is formal or informal, balance is always crucial to the design process. Balance does not mean perfect symmetry, but rather an overall sense of visual harmony and equilibrium. To find your personal style, observe other landscapes in your neighborhood and community that you admire. By analyzing these designs, you may discover the elements of line, form and texture that speak to you.

Lines can also be influenced by the way in which the light hits a space. For example, sunlight streaming through the leaves of a tree, or reflecting off the surface of a water feature creates different lines at certain times of day. This is known as the “lighting effect.”

Straight lines are used to bring structure to a garden and help direct the eye to a specific point. They can be rectilinear (square or rectangular) or angular and can communicate a more formal or relaxed feel. Curved lines are more naturalistic and evoke a sense of movement. They can be a garden path that meanders or the sweeping curves of a fountain.

A garden wall can serve as a boundary marker for property lines or can be used to create a courtyard and increase privacy. This is an excellent opportunity to use a natural stone, such as flagstone or slate, that can add a sense of warmth and earthiness to the landscape while providing a durable fence.

Low lines are important for grounding the landscape and connecting disparate areas. They can be created with a simple rock wall, garden edging or a clean line between turf and plantings. They can be high to provide a visual barrier or low to create an intimate setting.

Focal Points

Focal points in landscaping are a must to define the space and draw the eye throughout your landscape. Without focal points, the landscape may appear to be cluttered or disorganized. Whether your focal point is something as simple as an urn set at the top of stairs or an entire garden, it’s important to make it stand out and draw attention.

Focal point elements can be new additions to your landscape, or they can simply highlight the design and foliage of existing plants. The key is to choose a focal point that is proportional to the size of your landscape, or it will overwhelm or look out of place. It’s also important to incorporate a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors in your focal point element to create balance and visual interest.

Infusing a focal point with your own personal touch can help to make it more interesting and meaningful. For example, a statue of your favorite animal or a custom-made fountain is a great way to add a unique flair to your backyard. Focal points can be used to hide unsightly features of your landscape as well, such as a utility box in the yard or an unattractive fence.

Creating a focal point is an easy way to bring attention and life to your landscape. A landscape with a good mix of natural and man-made features is sure to be attractive and inviting. Focal points can be anything from a tall specimen tree to a large boulder or cobblestone accent. They can also be a grouping of plants with differences in size, shape, and color. A tall shrub surrounded by a cluster of lower-growing plants can make for a striking focal point in a southwestern xeriscape.

Focal points can be simple or elaborate, but they should always serve their intended purpose. Using them to draw the eye is a sure-fire way to increase the visual appeal of your landscape, and they can also help to create a sense of flow and unity throughout the entire garden. A skilled landscaper will be able to create the perfect focal point for your landscape, no matter the size or style of your home.