Successful Backyard Landscape Ideas

Coming up with backyard landscape ideas is not always easy. Did you spend weeks picking out the current color for your house and landscaping your front yard, only to neglect the backyard and hide it with a big fence? A good backyard landscape plan is a key element to having a beautiful home that will feel finished and net you higher dollars when you sell. Curb appeal is a marketing term for how your house looks from the outside, does your house have backyard appeal? If not than you will want to continue reading this article and learn more about backyard landscape ideas.

We spend a lot of time and energy in decorating our houses and making them a home. Do the same for your backyard with landscaping and you will add another room to your house. A well-designed backyard-landscaping project will cause you to want to spend time outside enjoying the landscaping and nature. To start designing your new backyard landscape spend some time thinking about what you want to see in your yard and do with your yard, bushes, and trees during each season of the year. Do you want green trees all year, a lot of flowers and color in the spring, and lush grass in the summer? Or maybe you like more low maintenance plants and shrubs.

Backyard landscapes have evolved from lawn and a sprinkler to new modern designs involving pools, spas, barbeque pits, tables, couches, and dishwashers. The modern idea for a back yard has become an outside room that you can use many months out of the year. Backyards are the screened porches of the twenty-first century but before you start digging the hole for the pool do some research online to view pictures of what other people have done with their backyards. Spend some time thinking about what aspects of their designs you like and what you dislike. Research the appliances you want to use and see if others have recommended the appliance for use in your area. After all what works in a backyard in California probably won’t work out as well in Maine.

Once you have your backyard landscape ideas you can start making a plan on how to achieve your backyard goal. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person you can find plans and instructions online to complete your backyard-landscaping plan. If you do not have the time or the desire to complete your backyard-landscaping plan yourself, search online for a backyard-landscaping contractor. You will find many people who are ready and willing to take on your project and give your backyard the appeal you never imagined possible.

Rock Your Landscape With Landscaping River Rock

Landscaping river rock can become an important part of any backyard pond design. They provide functional character with distinct natural beauty. When starting to design a stunning landscape it will be necessary to carefully choose and plan the type of landscaping rocks you will use. When starting your landscaping design, it can be beneficial to be knowledgeable about the common terms used in landscaping circles. Two of the basic terms are hardscapes and softscapes. Hardscapes are defined as the non-living features that include items such as gazebos, stones, boulders and rocks. Softcapes refer to the live elements of the featured landscapes, such as shrubs, flowers, and vines. Landscaping rock is very durable and cannot be destroyed easily.

Landscaping stones are ideal to implement as pathways or retaining walls. They add a natural beauty when bordering a mini waterfall or a pond. Stones and rock will naturally make any landscape plan more interesting and visually pleasing. There are a wide variety of landscaping stones or rocks to select from. You just need to pick out the ones that will provide the desired effect. Boulders are sometime called for, as they come in many different sizes. They are perfect for water features, like cascading waterfalls. Larger boulders work well for marking the entrance to a garden or even a driveway. Proper placement of boulders can produce a very dramatic effect to the landscape. Be certain that the boulders are strategically placed to attract visual attention. Flagstone is a perfect material for walkways, paths and patios.

Flagstone is very smooth and thin and is available in a variety of natural shades, shapes, and sizes. These stones are normally installed on top of a layer of sand. Adjust the flagstone to create a pleasing design. When landscaping drier locations, landscaping river rock might be the best choice because they help to conserve water. These natural beauties can also provide a decorative balance to the softscapes within the landscape. Granite is both beautiful and versatile. Granite can be chiseled and carved to create stunning patio furniture such as benches or tables. Granite is also used to create beautiful statuary and fountains. Use rocks and stones to their best advantage. Take your time and choose carefully. Use your imagination and make use of the stones functionality.When using rocks, stones, boulders and landscaping river rock it will be much easier to make your backyard pond designs shine with stunning natural beauty. Rock On!

Use the Elements of Tuscan Design – Stone, Earth, Wood, Water, and Light

Making a statement -

Are you prepared to break away from current decorating trends that emphasize ‘global’ or ‘universal’ styles and which are intended to appeal to the broadest possible range of home buyers? If so, get ready to add character, personality, warmth and the Tuscan design feelings of security, comfort, and ‘destination sanctuary’ to your home.

The Keys for Success

- Functional furnishings with a sense of solidity; rustic finishes and textures

- Balanced use of the elements – Stone, Earth, Wood, Water & Light

- Warm, nature-inspired, color palette

- Simple, uncluttered spaces without ostentatious or pretentious décor.

Understanding the pieces of the puzzle -

Designing “simplicity” can, paradoxically, be a complex undertaking. So, before diving in, let’s review the components and principles of Tuscan design so you can create a little bit of Tuscany in your home.

All found in nature, these four keystone elements . . .STONE – EARTH – WOOD – WATER… provide a foundation for understanding how one may replicate the beauty found in the hillsides of Tuscany. They comprise a true harmonic quadrangle and are the beating heart of Tuscan design. By drawing upon this quadrangle of natural elements, you may build your own haven of comfort, warmth and style.

A fifth unexpected ‘element’ – LIGHT – is also fundamental to adding the warmth of Tuscany to your home.

Stone is the ubiquitous foundational element used for building, for decoration, and for statuary. Types of stone used in Tuscan design will generally include brick, marble, limestone, quartz and granite. The most democratic of all building materials, stone can be found in humble farm structures as well as in elaborate castles, villas, churches, and cathedrals.

Soft, warm woods balance the strength of stone, creating harmony within the Tuscan home. The predominant woods found in traditional Tuscan furnishings, from antiquity to modern times, will be those that have always been a part of the Tuscan landscape; cypress, fir, chestnut, pine, walnut and oak…

This third essential element of Tuscan design is perhaps most easily and readily incorporated through the use of clay – bricks, roof tiles, and pottery. Terracotta (literally baked earth) is seen throughout the Tuscan region of Italy, easily recognizable by its earthy, rusty red hues.

There can be no life without water. It both sustains life and threatens it; that duality making water the most intriguing of the elements. How does water fit into the scheme of Tuscan design? Subtly, discreetly, and naturally. Water may become a strong element in your design plans through the use of decorative fountains in landscaping forms, or via a large ‘villa-esque’ swimming pool. The translucent qualities and movement of water act as a balance to the stronger (stone and wood) elements of Tuscan design.

When one thinks of Tuscan design, often a golden wash of light is the first image that comes to mind. Thus, light has been added as an element, even though not traditionally thought of as part of the elements of Tuscan design.

We know, intellectually, that stone, wood, earth and water are the key elements, and yet it is that ever-present golden light that draws us into its warmth. It is the light that we desire. It is the light that will wash over our stone, wood, earth and water design elements, and provide comfort within the walls of our home.

How can one achieve the light that is so strongly associated with the Tuscan landscape, especially in northern climes and regions not in any way similar to the hills of Tuscany? Perhaps one cannot achieve the light itself, but one can recreate ambient light in a room or even an entire home through the judicious use of color and lighting fixtures (and attention to natural light).

Excerpt from Decorating in the Tuscan Style, the 162-page eBook packed with tips and techniques (and lots of photos) to help you transform your home and garden into the heart and soul of Tuscany. To learn more about Tuscan décor, visit