Tag: landscape lighting

The Elements of Landscaping

Y&L Landscaping is the practice of designing and building gardens and structures to enhance and complement the interior and exterior of homes. This includes changing the terrain, adding or removing plants and constructing structures like fences, decks, walls and raised planters.


Variety in both size and color reduces monotony in a landscape. Repetition in a design also creates cohesion and simplicity.

The plants in a landscape are a major component of the overall aesthetic and beauty. From a feed crop growing in a field to a soaring kauri tree lining the skyline of a city, plants add natural beauty and character to the environment. Plants provide many benefits to a landscape, including natural habitats for wildlife, erosion reduction, and more. Whether used in a single flower bed or as a backdrop to the design of your garden, the right choice of plants can make all the difference.

Plants come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours, which all affect the way they appear in the landscape. They can be evergreen or deciduous, woody or herbaceous, perennial or annual, or even a flowering vine. Using a variety of different plant types will add depth and contrast to your landscape. Avoid choosing plants with the same form, which can create a monotonous design. Instead, opt for rounded forms that encourage easy eye movement. Rounded forms also work well to temper the accenting qualities of conical, pyramidal, or columnar plants.

Plants can serve a number of functions in the design of luxury landscape spaces, including highlighting or masking architectural features and softening hard contours. They can also be used to screen out undesirable views, buffer sound, or lessen the intensity of prevailing wind. Carefully selecting plant species based on their growth habits can help you achieve the desired outcome for your landscape. For example, a windbreak can be designed with shrubs that have dense foliage and a favorable leaf shape to absorb and deflect wind. Or, trees that are shaped to shed their leaves in winter can be planted to soften the appearance of a building facade.


As its name suggests, hardscaping refers to the non-living components of a landscape. It incorporates elements like brick, concrete, stone, and wood, and is used to create functional and aesthetically pleasing outdoor spaces. It also consists of structures like walkways, patios, decks, pergolas, and garden ornaments.

Hardscapes come in a variety of forms and materials, so it is important to choose ones that suit your lifestyle and budget. For example, you may opt for a gravel walkway instead of a paved pathway to reduce maintenance and costs. Or, you might use a retaining wall to prevent soil erosion. Incorporating natural curves into your hardscape design can also help make it feel less artificial and more organic.

One of the primary purposes of hardscaping is to add depth and dimension to your garden or yard. It can also serve as a visual border between areas, creating a cohesive and well-defined space. Moreover, it can replace grass or other living plants in your yard with pavers, concrete, or gravel, which significantly reduces the amount of water you need to maintain your landscape. This is particularly helpful in reducing water usage in regions prone to droughts.

When designing your hardscapes, be sure to include a mix of shapes and textures to create contrast. Avoid too many straight lines, as this can make your landscaping look industrial and unnatural. Use curved paths and rounded steps to make your pathways and walkways more attractive, and consider using a variety of colors to enhance the visual appeal of your hardscapes. Also, ensure that your hardscaping is properly maintained to prevent stains and other damage. A bit of routine cleaning will go a long way in extending the lifespan of your hardscaping.


Form refers to the three-dimensional qualities of a landscape, including the shape and size of plants and garden ornaments. Round forms can soften the hardscape of a patio, outdoor fireplace or retaining wall while sharp angles and straight lines can provide order and structure. A mix of shapes also helps prevent a landscape from feeling too stark.

Lines affect how the eye moves around a landscape. Straight lines create a formal character and often lead the eye to a focal point. Curved lines create a more natural, relaxed look and can help a garden feel larger by creating sweeping curves and hidden views.

The use of repetition in line, form, color and texture can create rhythm in a design. Repetition should be used sparingly, however, as too much repetition can cause monotony. A balance of repetition and contrast is necessary for an engaging composition.

Texture is how rough or smooth, coarse or fine, light or heavy the surface of a plant or garden ornament feels. A garden with lots of bold textures appears dramatic and formal, while a garden with too many fine textures can appear crowded and disorganized.

Using the principles of good design can help you create a beautiful landscape for your home or business. But it’s important to remember that the elements and principles of design are only guidelines; each site has its own unique characteristics and needs. The best way to find the right balance is by studying existing designs that appeal to you, then adapting those ideas to your own site conditions.


Lines are important design elements that create form, control movement, and establish dominance in a landscape. Lines can be created when the edge of one material meets another, such as a path or patio pavers meeting grass or gravel; they can also be formed by the outline or silhouette of a three-dimensional form; or they can be long linear features, like fences and walls.

The type of lines used in a composition can make the difference between a bland snapshot and a truly captivating image. The most common types of lines are horizontal, vertical and diagonal. Horizontal lines create a sense of stability and are most commonly used as a horizon or shoreline in a photograph. They are also used as dividing lines in a landscape composition to add balance and harmony.

Vertical lines create a sense of power and strength in the landscape by drawing the eye upward. They can be a natural framing element for taller plants or structural features such as an arbor or rock wall.

Curved lines create a more natural and flowing effect than straight lines. They are often used as a contrasting element in a landscape and can be very effective when incorporated with a sloping change of level. They can also be used to create an illusion of depth in a photo, by appearing to converge at a point on the horizon, called a vanishing point.

There are also intangible lines, which can be implied by the way objects are positioned or by their shape and texture. For example, a circular plant following a curved bedline can give the landscape a soft and organic feel, while an upright or columnar tree planted along a linear walk creates a more formal and rigid look.


Color is one of the most rewarding, yet challenging, elements to work with in landscape design. It can create focal points, enhance space and perspective, establish harmony, incorporate seasonal color transitions, and promote relaxation and well-being in a landscape, resulting in visually stunning and emotionally satisfying outdoor environments for homeowners across the country.

Color trends may come and go, but the basic principles of good landscape design color theory remain consistent. A landscaper must consider primary colors (reds, yellows and blues), secondary colors (greens and violets) and tertiary colors (blends of primary and secondary colors).

A shade is a darker version of a color, while a tint is a lighter version. The landscape designer must also understand what effect different color combinations have on the eye. Bright colors such as warm reds and yellows are attention-grabbing and can help your garden stand out. Softer colors such as pastel shades and pinks are more calming and can unify or separate spaces in your garden.

Landscape design color is an important element that can transform your landscape into a work of art. It can evoke emotions, create focal points, enhance space and perspective, and establish harmony with seasonal color transitions. It is also a great way to express your personality and make your home stand out from the rest of the neighborhood.

If you know which color palettes you love, incorporating them into your landscape can elevate the look and feel of your property. However, many homeowners are unsure how to do so. Fortunately, you can find inspiration by looking at photos of landscapes in your area. If you love a particular flower or plant, use it in your garden as an anchor and fill in the rest of the space with other plants and hardscapes that complement its hues.