A landscape makeover can transform your land into a functional work of art, ticking every box on your must-have list. Achieving a balanced landscape design in Mechanicsburg, PA, means that your landscape will be aesthetically pleasing and ensures that all parts of your landscape get equal attention to optimize their beauty and practicality.
Begin with Symmetry
A traditional Japanese garden may look like it’s completely natural, but every element is precisely arranged to visually balance out the others for a soothing and pleasing appearance.
Symmetry helps bring balance to your landscape, but does this mean you have to plant two of everything, in mirror images such planting two identical cypress on either side of your entryway? The fact is symmetry is actually more concerned with the visual “weight” of individual landscape elements and their relationship to other elements. Mass, color, and density vary greatly among different types of plants and hardscape elements. For example, a spruce tree is visually “heavier” than a Japanese Maple. An outdoor fireplace could be viewed as having more of a presence than a fire pit.
Look into Adding Asymmetry
Instead of planting two of everything to create mirror images, you could look into balancing the visual weight of each landscape element to create a pleasing whole.
First, consider all of the landscape and hardscape elements in relation to one another. Begin with your home. A tall home can look unbalanced when surrounded by short fruit trees, and a single-story home could look dwarfed among tall evergreens. Plantings and hardscape elements should work together to create a pleasing symphony of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, using the home as the central theme.
Large, dense plants demand attention. As they are prominent features, care should be taken in their placement to avoid making one part of the landscape feel too “heavy.”
You could look into avoiding the installation of the same types of plants on either side of the home. Rather, create a softer and more natural look by inquiring about balancing one large plant with several smaller plants—for example, balancing a large spruce tree with a grouping of boxwood or holly shrubs.
Plant colors also affect balance. Darker colors feel heavier than lighter colors, so take that into consideration when choosing to group plants according to their visual weight.
The density of individual plants and plant groupings is important. Shrubs or trees with sparse foliage feel lighter than full, dense evergreens you can’t see through.
Also consider seasonal density. You may not want evergreens clustered in one area, as they could throw off the balance by feeling too heavy when deciduous trees and shrubs have dropped their leaves.
While it may be tempting to create a mirror-image landscape to achieve symmetry, done wrong, it could look artificial and forced. To give your landscape a more natural look, start with symmetry, and then introduce asymmetry. Asymmetrical planting schemes are often considered more interesting and natural than perfect symmetry.
Using asymmetry to balance a landscape takes more creativity and thoughtful planning that considers each plant’s visual weight when mature as well as when it’s newly planted. While a plant is maturing, you can use fast-growing annuals and perennials to fill in the gaps to create a denser look. This will help your landscape look balanced even on the day the landscape makeover is finished, and this balance will only become more refined over the years.