Tips from a Landscape Architect: Creating the Perfect Backyard

Tips from a Landscape Architect: Creating the Perfect Backyard
landscape design from landscape architect ideas in butler and sewickley PA

Have you ever wondered how homeowners on landscaping transformation TV shows emerge with the most immaculate backyards? Sure, you’re shown pieces of the planning, design, and construction processes, but you aren’t given the full picture. Achieving a gorgeous and functional landscape doesn’t have to only happen on TV!

1. Exploit Problem Areas

Often, we think of the garbage cans, hoses, compost piles, and air conditioning units that litter our yards as necessary byproducts of everyday living. Go beyond mediocrity by turning these mundane essentials into opportunities for beautifying your backyard. Plant a lush, living fence of evergreen trees to hide unsightly garbage bins or a row of bright, clean hedges to conceal a garden hose. A stunning trellis feature with climbing ivy, hops, or Rose of Sharon can easily cover an air conditioner. Reframe your problem areas as splendid chances to diversify your landscape design and attain backyard perfection.

2. Guarantee Privacy

No one wants to spend an afternoon on a patio or pool deck that is easily visible to peeping neighbors or curious onlookers. Secure comfort and peace by setting up fences, screens, or lattice walls that adequately protect your privacy. If zoning laws prevent you from building structures that are tall enough for your liking, consider planting perimeter hedges, which are dense and grow higher than structure regulations generally allow. A combination of thick potted plants, low fencing, and perimeter plantings is one secret used by landscape architects to build layers of privacy. Strategically placed shade trees and shrubs will yield similar results.

3. Incorporate Focal Points

A bare landscape is like a visual black hole, turning your yard into one giant vacant space. Give the eye places to rest with focal points, such as a rose-covered gazebo or intricate water features. Plant a captivating tree at the furthest corner of your small backyard or add detailed sculptures to a spatially limited landscape to make it look larger. Expansive properties benefit from multiple focal points placed at varying depths to lead visual attention through a yard. Try this secret from a landscape architect: select a specimen tree that is stunning year-round, such as a multi-stem redbud, which boasts beautiful flowers in the springtime, luscious heart-shaped leaves in summer, reddish-yellow foliage in fall, and an exquisite form during winter months.

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4. Connect With Your Landscape

Creating the perfect backyard isn’t just about aesthetics or privacy. You won’t usually hear this, but many landscape architects are major supporters of incorporating a vegetable garden into your yard. An edible garden keeps you interested in and interacting with your landscape. Growing your own ingredients connects you with the natural charm of your yard, while tasting them provides an additional element of appreciation for it. Moreover, a vegetable garden is a wonderful way to introduce children to the cycles of nature while presenting an activity the whole family can enjoy together. 

The process of achieving a dazzling and functional landscape doesn’t have to remain a secret. From landscape architects straight to you, use these secrets to create your own TV-worthy backyard.

Related: How to Get More Space Without a Home Addition.

Image: Design by Blackwood & Associates. Learn more here