Regardless of your home’s architectural style or your personal tastes, you want your home to appear connected to the surrounding space. By taking cues from the architecture of your home, its materials and the surroundings, your house can blend seamlessly with the landscape. That is not to say that it must be a literal interpretation of a historic landscaping style but you can add aspects of those styles that are adapted for you. Landscaping trends tend to overlap and merge more than architectural styles and, while garden styles may have originated in a specific location, they’ve migrated and can be readily adapted to any area. This series on different landscape styles will explore the following:
- are they formal, informal or a combination of both
- what is the overall sense and geometry
- what are the design elements and material types for both hardscape and plants
- what is the role of lawn
- what furniture and décor is typical
- what are the uses of form, line, color, and texture
- what is the role of complementing versus contrasting elements to create harmony and/or tension and interest
Photos from Houzz.com
Overall sense: The minimalist style is a streamlined aesthetic with sleek, sophisticated style that is distinguished by refined forms, pure materials and the achievement of balance. Typically, the focus is more on hardscape and structures than it is on plants. This style includes mid-century modern and works with a contemporary or ranch style home. It has its roots in the 1950s and ’60s but draws on the simplicity of Asian design principles. One of the main goals is to create contrast, however, it is important to do so selectively. Limit it to two or three areas and focus on one contrasting element for each area.
Geometry: Bold, linear lines with straight edges and ninety degree angles. Curved lines should be avoided.
Hardscape: Hardscaping has a restricted palette with limited material types. Paving is simple and clean with geometric shapes in repeated grid patterns. The materials of choice are concrete and wood decking used to create geometric patterns and straight lines. Gravel with rocks/ boulders is used in place of wood mulch. A feeling of enclosure is important and achieved with boundaries such as fences, blank walls and patio covers. Materials commonly used for fences, screens and walls include poured concrete, stucco, Ipe Brazilian hardwood, and steel sheet metals. Wood panels or fences should have horizontal versus vertical slats with hidden fence posts. Patio covers should emphasize geometric patterns and have an industrial appearance. Wire mesh and cable rail are also used.
Plants: Plantings are designed with order and a simplified, restricted palette. Plants are selected for architectural interest that have interesting form, line, and texture but minimal color, mostly in shades of green. Examples include spiky plants like ornamental grasses and yucca, rounded or columnar shapes like boxwood and evergreens, soft-textured weeping plants, succulents and anything with a strong visual punch. Use a single specimen of the architectural plant and a contrasting form around its base such as soft, fine textured plants. Plants should be planted in straight lines and grouped in odd numbers, preferably threes or fives. The spaces between pavers can be filled with gravel, rock, or grass. Enclosure can also be provided with the use of hedges.
Lawn: little to no lawn.
Furniture & Décor: Water features are formal, geometric shapes with simplistic materials. Furniture should be sleek, refined and made of sculpted metal, wood or plastic. Pops of bold color can be added with furniture cushions, planters or a painted wall. Containers should be selected for texture, color and be geometric in shape. Contrast the shape of the pot with that of the plant. Sculpture and spheres are commonly used. Mid-century modern gardens feature vintage furniture and decor.
Coming Next: Part II – Asian Inspired Style
Sources: Houzz.com; LandscapeNetwork.com