This issue of the South Charlotte Lifestyle Magazine focuses on style and fashion. While the concept of style and fashion in the landscape may seem nebulous, there are some very tangible ways in which these words apply to landscape design.
Likely, most people think of landscaping in practical terms, considering outdoor activities, views, privacy, shade, color or at the most basic level, a way to finish off a building project. But style and fashion in the landscape, if considered thoughtfully, can have a significant impact on how a home looks in its setting.
The style of a landscape must reflect the style of the home. A contemporary style home requires a contemporary style landscape. A more traditional style home will require a more traditional style landscape. If the landscape style is driven by the style of the home that is being landscaped, then a complete picture is achieved.
Fashion, however, is more complicated because the concept of fashion is something of trends and tastes or styles in a particular time. Twenty-five years ago, everyone in Charlotte wanted to have a Bradford Pear tree and bordered their gardens with “Monkey grass." Fifteen years ago, Knock-out Roses were selling like hotcakes. Trends come and go.
That being said, a well-designed landscape that uses the style of the home as the basis, and then follows a disciplined design approach in the use of plants and other features, will create a scene that defies time-limiting fashion. What’s more, a well-designed landscape, because of its living aspect, will continue to evolve as it grows into the final view that was intended. Living, growing, moving art.
Style and Practical Use
The most important aspect of a well-designed landscape is the blending of style and fashion with practical use. At the very least, a landscape design should not impede practical use for the sake of style or fashion. In fact, the practical use of space in the landscape can unleash style elements that may have remained hidden. Creating a walkway that reflects the style of the home’s architecture while at the same time unleashing opportunities for introducing planting areas to highlight a particular tree or group of plants or providing different elevation levels in a landscape to allow for pedestrian access and use, can also unleash opportunities for water movement, planting interest and a more dimensional presentation. The relationship between style and practical use really becomes the driving force of the entire landscape project. A design that fails to consider these aspects together will miss the mark, but a design that embraces both will have a depth that will always be fashionable.
In considering the style and practical use of a landscape, elements of all five senses can be played on in order to create a much deeper display. Sight is the obvious sense that even a basic landscape will appeal to. The less obvious aspect of sight is movement. The way a breeze moves the landscape or the movement of water in a landscape can be visually soothing and refreshing. The casting of shadows either during the day or with lighting at night can be a very effective design nuance.
Smell is another obvious sense with the fragrance of plants in bloom or the fresh air smell of growing foliage.
While sound is not often associated with landscaping, a well-thought-out design can encourage different sounds of nature to descend on the landscape by introducing elements that attract birds and other creatures. Certain plants at certain times of the year can also create very distinct sounds as the wind passes through them. Water features can also produce soothing sounds.
Taste also has a place in the landscape. Many landscape plants can also be edible adding a more practical aspect to the landscape.
And the last of the five senses, touch has the obvious practical use aspect. But who can resist a barefoot walk through a manicured patch of turf or running a hand through a waterfall or a stand of ornamental grass plumes?
Of all the things produced by men, nothing gives more opportunity for creativity than landscaping. Landscaping is the one art form that can appeal to all the senses, continues to change after it is completed and draws life to itself. The opportunities to explore the nuance of style, dimension, color palette and texture are almost endless. The discipline of landscape design is driven by style and practical use that together, form the foundation of a well-crafted and timelessly appealing environment. The artisans at DeSignia Landscape, having many years of dedicated experience, and the latest in design and presentation technology will transform your landscape into a display of moving, growing, living art. Why not give DeSignia a call at 704.494.8877 today.