Browsing through photos of landscape designs is one of the best ways to get inspiration for your own home’s landscape. After all, the imagination draws on experience. The more landscaping pictures (and living examples) you see, the better you’ll be able to create exactly the landscape you want. That said, there are some tricks to bringing those perfect-looking landscaping pictures into the dirt-and-gravel three-dimensional world. Here are a few things to consider when using landscaping pictures to design your home’s landscape.
While some landscape designs do scale well, others are best left the size they are in the original landscaping picture. A French ‘parterres de broderie’ design really does need a large space to look right, but you can easily scale a hanging garden, rock garden, or knot garden to any size. Others need only certain elements scaled down. For instance, if you want a classical Mediterranean-style garden in a small area, you probably won’t be able to fit in the impressive statues and columns, but you can get a Mediterranean feel with clay pots and a small fountain.
You may love that landscaping picture of a lush English cottage garden overflowing with foxglove and primroses, but if you live in Arizona, it’s just not going to happen (not without a sky-high water bill, anyway). As you look through the pictures, make sure the designs are appropriate for your climate. In the desert, you’re better off with a garden of succulents than with an austere Zen-style layout that will draw and hold the heat. On the other hand, in a climate with cold, snowy winters, you’ll want to make sure you have some evergreens and deciduous trees with interesting shapes or textures to brighten up the garden when the summer foliage is gone.
So you’ve found a landscaping picture of a design you like, but something seems “off” about it. The problem could be the color scheme. Nature’s colors don’t really clash per se, so it’s not always obvious when the problem with a design isn’t the layout, but the colors. Maybe that pink-and-yellow flowerbed design you think “could work all right” under your front windows would actually look a lot better in more subdued colors or even foliage alone.
When you find a landscaping picture you really like, it’s easy to get carried away and want to design your landscape to look exactly like the one in the picture. If you do, though, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. To get the most out of the landscaping pictures you browse though, don’t be afraid to play around with the designs and color schemes. The best landscape for any home is one that fits the unique needs of the family who lives there. For instance, a narrow gravel walkway might looks good in the picture, but if someone in your family uses a wheelchair or walker, you’ll need to widen the pathways and build them out of a solid material like brick, instead. If you have pets or small children, you’ll probably need to tweak the designs a little for safety reasons.
Using landscaping pictures to collect ideas for your own garden design will put you miles ahead of your neighbors who just planted whatever was on sale at the local garden store. Throw in a little of your own creative flair and you’ll have a landscape design that looks great with your house and fits your family’s lifestyle, too.