Types of Landscaping Styles to Consider – Forbes Home

When you think of ways to upgrade your home, consider one kitchen remodeling or a bathroom renovation. But why not think outside the box and focus on landscaping?

Landscaping has a huge impact on the overall look and feel of your home (and can also improve resale value). The landscape style you choose should enable your garden to be a place where you can go to relax and decompress from the rest of the world.

When choosing a type of landscape design, keep in mind your ultimate goals, such as designing your garden for children, sustainability, entertaining or relaxation. Be aware of any zoning laws in your neighborhood that may prohibit certain types or sizes of structures and your climate; not all styles of landscaping are conducive to all weather conditions.

Here are nine types of landscape styles to consider for your home.

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1. Tropical


You don’t have to fly to a remote island to experience tropical vibes. You can recreate them as your own backyard landscaping project with lush green and bold colors. If your climate supports it, palm trees, birds of paradise, hibiscus flowers, bougainvillea, orchids and jasmine are all representative of a tropical retreat.

There are also tropical touches you can add in any growth zone. A hammock that sways in the breeze, a swimming pool or hot tub—with a waterfall to really level up—tiki statues and torches, bamboo accents, a fire pit, and brightly colored outdoor furniture are functional even in less-than-tropical climates. Making a signature cocktail at a backyard tiki bar is optional.

2. Forest


If your idea of ​​an ideal retreat is a cozy cabin in the woods, consider a woodland landscape style. This type of landscape design is an excellent choice for a low-maintenance option; forest trees, shrubs and flowers can be left to grow in their own time with little human intervention.

Hardwood trees (such as oak, maple, hickory, walnut, and cherry) are traditional choices, but they take longer to grow and are a long-term investment. These trees also go dormant in winter, so consider how the landscape will look in all seasons. Conifers (including cedar, Douglas fir, juniper, pine, redwood, spruce, and yew) grow faster and retain their cover in winter.

In terms of structural additions, stone walkways, wooden benches, and decorative or functional birdhouses help create a woodland feel.

3. Prairie


If tall trees aren’t your style, consider recreating a prairie landscape with tall grasses and herbaceous flowering plants. Switchgrass, which is native to the plains of the southwestern United States, has greens, browns, and even some purples or reds.

It has evolved for many environments, from cold to warm and shallow to deep soil, so it can adapt to most climates. Switchgrass is also drought tolerant, so it’s a good option if you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of rain. It can also be a cheaper solution than trees or bushes.

4. The desert


A desert-style landscape does not mean sad. Desert landscaping can be a low maintenance option that requires little maintenance and water. Succulents are of course a must; cacti, aloe and yucca are traditional desert additions. To add color, consider desert-tolerant plants like begonia, fall sage, and yellow columbine—certain types of succulents can also offer color.

In terms of decor, consider Southwestern-style design and heat-resistant furniture in light colors (no one wants to sweat their skin on hot metal or a black pillow). A fire pit evokes the drama of the desert, and an outdoor kitchen can allow you to make the most of those warm days outdoors. And don’t forget to provide shade: umbrellas, gazebos or desert-friendly trees are a must.

5. English Garden


English garden, also known as English cottage or English landscape, is a popular landscape style that evokes stories of summer vacations at your grandmother’s house in Kent, nicknamed the “Garden of England.” It was the English garden style of landscaping that actually helped people see nature as something to be cherished and cherished rather than feared.

Alongside flowers, shrubs and trees, a body of water is a common English garden feature. Whether man-made or natural, this can be a lake on a large scale or a pond or reflecting pool on the smaller end. A bridge, a bench and a birdbath are classic accompaniments, along with sculptures and a cobblestone path.

6. Japanese Garden


A space for peaceful reflection is the goal of a traditional Japanese garden. Drawing on Buddhist, Shinto and Taoist philosophies to provide a spiritual haven, this landscape style has four essential elements: rocks, water, plants and ornaments. When incorporating these features, the design principles of asymmetry, containment, borrowed scenery, balance, and symbolism should be kept in mind.

Koi ponds, waterfalls and rock pools are common water features in a Japanese garden; incorporating a bridge is also common. Traditional Japanese gardens are enclosed, all for a better escape for peaceful contemplation, and bamboo is an excellent choice for this. Decorative ornaments are also a key to bringing this landscape style to life.

7. Tuscany


You don’t need 300 acres to recreate your own slice of the Medici Gardens in Tuscany, Italy. You can emulate these famous gardens and others in Italy with a Tuscan landscape style. The region is known for its rolling hills, green vineyards and fragrant olive trees. Even without these exact components, you can achieve a Tuscan look.

Potted citrus plants and herbs can help your garden look – and smell – like a Tuscan landscape. If you have the space, a maze of sorts can give guests (even just children) a place to roam. Growing your own herbs or vegetables is a symbol of Tuscany’s connection to the land. And a gazebo or pergola is the perfect structure to sit and observe your masterpiece.

8. French


French gardens originally took their inspiration from Italian Renaissance style, but they added their own elements. The gardens of Versailles are the greatest example of this landscape style; they are even larger than the aforementioned Medici gardens – almost a full 2,000 acres. Fortunately, a French style can be replicated on a much smaller scale.

Although landscaping is about your garden, the home is typically the focal point of a French garden. Planting trees or shrubs in straight lines leading to the home is a way to draw the eye back to the house. Trellis, columns, birdbaths or fountains and cast iron furniture are signs of French design. And remember, with this style, symmetry is key.

9. Spanish


Spanish-style landscaping is popular in areas with similar climates, hot and dry. Influenced by Islamic, Persian and Moorish gardens, but with its own flair, this type of design is typically drought tolerant, meaning that grass is not a central or necessary element.

Most structural elements in Spanish landscape design include ceramics: it can be found in benches, reflecting pools, walls, walkways, decorative details and fountains. In terms of fountains, the Spanish style is not one big centerpiece, but several smaller pieces. Terracotta pots, urns and bright blue glazed accent decor are also authentic touches.

Bottom line

Whatever landscaping style appealed to you, make sure you consider the best style for your property. Consider factors such as climate, weather, personal preference and level of maintenance before deciding on your finished style. If you are looking for more landscaping ideas and must-knows, our resident general contractor have some good tips.

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