Preparing a landscape may seem impossible because the options are nearly endless. From gardening details to hardscape design, you have the opportunity to transform Mother Nature’s blank palette into a perfect outdoor retreat. Of course, with great freedom comes great hesitation: what if you don’t use your landscape to its full potential, ending up with something bland and easily missed? Follow these suggestions for making your landscape pop and you can dismiss those fears for good!
1. Go for a Rockscape
Often, when we picture wow-worthy landscapes in the Allentown/Bethlehem, PA region, we think of perfectly planted trees, lush gardens, and breathtaking hardscapes. Go one step further by integrating rocks into your yard. Rockscaping is a smart choice for updating your landscape because it naturally provides striking contrasts in texture, form, and color. Replace mulch with multicolored pea gravel or river stone to add visual appeal to large areas, laying paler rocks alongside dark foliage, and vice versa. Or, use large boulders or rock walls to terrace a slope, adding striking layers to your yard. Perennials complement the look because they grow between cracks and spaces in rock walls. If you prefer cleanliness and linearity, consider a segmental retaining wall system. Concrete retaining wall systems like those from Unilock offer a lifetime guarantee. Check out the gallery for inspiration and ideas here
2. Break Up the Space
Think of your landscape as a series of living spaces exterior to the main home. Regardless of size, every yard holds potential for “walls,” “floors,” and “ceilings” to be constructed using a variety of organic and manmade materials. Grass, mulch, and patios offer structure and direction underfoot, while fences, retaining walls, and both informal and formal hedges maintain separation between multiple outdoor spaces. On a vertical note, shade trees and decorative canvas canopies emulate breathable ceilings for a greater sense of containment and privacy. While unity is important to the overall design, multiple outdoor “rooms” lend multi-layered creativity to your landscape that will impress friends and neighbors alike.
Looking for Curb Appeal? Check out this article on creating a great outdoor design.
3. Draw the Eye to a Focal Point
Any eye-catching landscape has one or several focal points which include sculptures, trees, or cleverly planted shrubs. To make a small yard pop, consider setting an antique, highly detailed piece into the landscape, making sure it contrasts in tone with surrounding plants. Though subtle, the simple beauty of such sculptures demands attention in limited spaces which require viewing at close range. For larger yards, multiple focal points draw the eye all the way through the space, rendering even the farthest corner of your landscape visually appealing. Lead the viewer’s attention by integrating planted pots, medium-sized statues, and large flowering trees into the fore, middle, and background to really make your landscape pop.
4. Don’t Forget the Driveway
When designing driveways, we often think in terms of functionality and durability: “which hardscaping will stand up to nature’s elements, and for how long?” However, a conventional driveway generally takes up about 800 square feet, almost one half of a volleyball court! With such a large footprint, installing an eye-catching driveway should be factored into any complete landscape design. Take advantage of the versatility of pavers by utilizing inlayed designs, such as concentric circles or square patterns. By including multiple paver choices with contrasting colors and textures into the same design, an almost “rug-like” design can be achieved. Learn more about choosing patterns in the new catalog here.
5. Light Up Your Landscape
What use is a stunning landscape and hardscape design if it may only be viewed in daylight? An intelligent outdoor lighting system highlights focal points throughout the outdoor space, making each individual element pop while maintaining unity throughout. Pathways, trees, architectural elements, and driveways are perfect areas to light, both for aesthetic and safety purposes. Create drama by uplighting for bold shadowing, directing warm light on man-made objects such as statues, while shining cool light on plants. For romantic, moonlit appeal, aim light downward. Pine, maple, and oak trees make especially excellent down lit filters for a gorgeous lacy effect. With many landscape lighting fixtures on the market especially designed for illuminating hardscape elements, be sure to include step tread lighting and sunken paver lights.
The best way to begin your Allentown landscaping project is by contacting a qualified professional. Get a free estimate from a Unilock Authorized Contractor in your area.