Great Backyard Landscaping Ideas
April 18th by Anthony D'Atri

Outdoor Living Space

landscape design An outdoor living space is a great idea to make your house feel a little more like a home, with an outdoor living space you can get out and enjoy the fresh air, listen to the birds chirping and read a book. An outdoor living space can be extra enjoyable if perhaps you don't own a cottage and like to enjoy your weekends outside.






Water Features

landscape designAside from the cool look of water running over river rocks into a never ending collecting pool of water, water features are not only enjoyable to the eyes, the sound of water lends itself nicely to the ears. Studies have found that the sound of moving water relaxes the brain and calms your thinking. All the more reason to add a water feature to your backyard.







Night Lights

landscape design

Night lighting is used for a wise range of visual effects and other purposes. On the practical side, night lighting makes movement through the garden safe and easy. It is essential for entry areas, parking courts, pools, steps, drive-ways and other areas where people move about. When planning lighting for there types of practical uses, be aware that in addition to the specific functions you need lighting to serve, you can also use the opportunity to visually enhance the property.





Edible Gardens

landscape design

Vegetable and herb gardens have a long and proud heritage in North America, and for good reason. Most regions of the country have a climate and soil that make it easy to grow a nice crop of fresh food each year. Even though the convenience of the supermarket makes it east to get almost any edible plant we want, anyone who has tasted a homegrown tomato or carrot knows the value of growing your own.









Flagstone Path

landscape design

A path guides people through a garden, and can be used as an art form; consider it as a horizontal sculpture. Whether it's a strong sweeping line or a gentle curve that meanders through a series of beds the path leads the eye. When you lay out a path, think about where it will leads and how it will blend in with your garden. A flagstone path can be formed from loose stones or mortared together into a sleek modern design.






Butterfly Spotting

landscape design

Fill your garden with nectar-rich flowering plants, and monarchs and other winged beauties will drop by regularly. This large butterfly garden uses only long-growing, flowering perennials for years of easy maintenance and visual allure.








Landscaping with Texture
June 21th by Anthony D'Atri

The "texture" is normally referred to as the touch or feel of an object's surface. However, texture has a different meaning in garden design simply because plants are three dimensional and are arranged in the landscape so people can enjoy their visual beauty, as opposed to their tactile beauty. In garden design then, texture is the overall visual appearance of the components of the garden. Texture results from the plant's leaf or flower size, from the appearance of the surfaces of the plant, and from the shapes of the leaves and flowers. Garden texture may be described as "fine", "coarse", "bold", "rough", "smooth", or "soft". There are 3 main groups to which most plants will fall under, fine, medium and coarse. A plant is said to be fine textured if it has small or slender leaves or flowers, or finely divided leaves, or shiny surfaces. Coarse textured plants have large leaves and flowers, large teeth on the leaves, or rough surfaces. Medium texture falls anywhere in between fine and coarse textures.

beautiful garden textures
A well designed and inviting walkway through a garden of unique colours and textures.

Texture is Relative

Texture isn't always clear cut; instead, it's relative. A plant that you think may be a fine textured specimen may look like a medium textured planting beside another type of texture. If you simply combine a plant with large leaves with one that has small leaves you will create contrast. Due to the fact the labels are often used simultaneously and interchangeably, you may have a hard time understanding whether someone is talking about texture or form when you're starting out. In general, when people are talking about an open plant, it will have fine texture. A course texture plant is more solid in form and people will use the term bold when talking about plants with coarse texture and ones with a strong from.

Designing with Texture

Often gardens are designed with blooming seasons, foliage colour and flowers times primarily in mind. A perennial's flowers add zip to the garden for a couple of weeks on average, but it's texture is present from spring to fall and sometimes through the winter. When you consider texture as you make plant combinations, your space will be eye catching for the entire growing season. For example, pair a plant with small, fine textured foliage such as a "Moonbeam" coreopsis, with a plant bearing larger, coarse textured leaves, such as purple coneflower, to create contrast and excitement. Whereas opposing textures enliven a space, a group of plants with similar texture will foster a sense of calm. A plant in flower often has a different texture than it does when it's not in bloom.

Using Texture in the Shade

Few shade plants bloom in the summer, so shade gardens normally consist of a mass of green foliage. To keep the garden interesting during this drought of flower power, use foliage texture to create interest. You can do this by simply planting perennials with contrasting textures side by side. Ferns are very rich in texture and are an excellent choice for the shade garden. Most ferns are finely textured, but because the degree of fineness depends on the species, they can be paired with coarse-textured plants such as hosta and waxbells or with fine-textured plants such as sedge and lily.

Here's an example of an absolutely beautiful shade garden,
notice the stunning colours and textures.

Defining a Space with Texture

Texture can also be used to define a space. Finely textured plants often are almost translucent, giving the impression that you can see everything behind them. Use them to make a garden seem larger or plant them at the back of the garden to give the "never-ending garden effect". In this instance, the reverse is also true, you can also make a garden appear much smaller than it is by selecting more coarse-textured plants. Place them at the back of the garden; because they standout the back of the garden will seem closer. Plants with large leaves can also act as walls, enclosing a space to form a garden room. For gardens that are viewed from afar, coarse textured plants are better then fine textured ones because they are easier to see.