When it comes to native landscaping design, where do you start? The opportunities are endless. From choosing the right plant to establishing a color palette, it’s possible to get lost in the design world of landscaping. The basic concept behind native landscaping design is fairly simple when following a few basic rules.
While it may be tempting to feel that rules do not apply, success will come from following these brief guidelines when applied by any gardener, regardless of professional status.
One of the biggest critiques when planning a native garden is that they look messy, wild, and unkempt. Grass tends to take over while wildflowers grapple to provide the visual effect desired in a landscape.
It’s all about establishing a balance between a wild look and a cohesive garden. When you find the perfect balance, it’s magical!
So, how can you design a native garden that doesn’t have that wild look? It starts with a properly designed native garden with basic landscape design concepts to achieve the beauty of a prairie and the many benefits of a native ecosystem.
We recommend following these steps to get started:
In design, utilizing an element of architecture or strong landscape feature can establish a sort of imaginary line that you can then follow to help organize the rest of your design.
Even after incorporating other smaller elements like plants and decorative pieces, the design will still look cohesive and orderly by following an imaginary line throughout. This rule will help keep your landscape from turning into a jungle in your backyard and keep your designs grounded.
When faced with the decision to scale up or scale down, choose to scale up. Don’t be afraid to go big with the greenery, architectural design, and taking up space.
When using each part of your landscape, you will be able to create a cohesive and grand oasis and avoid feeling unaccomplished when you are finished.
Is your landscape in the sun or the shade? What kind of soil do you have? All of these different elements will assist you in choosing plants that will have success in your climate.
If you select plants that are considered “sun plants,” they require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight to thrive. If your landscape doesn’t receive a lot of sun, look at more shade-loving native garden plants.
If you want to have a carefree native landscaping design with native plants, you must match your plants to the climate.
Use a nearby prairie to draw inspiration for what plants suit your climate, or use the internet to find the perfect match for your backyard.
Placing similar plants together creates an amazing focal point native plant garden design. Then, using different kinds of native grasses to frame the more extravagant plants like wildflowers will create unique displays in each section of your native landscape.
Grouping different seasonal plants will help you maintain your garden to know what is planted in each area.
As mentioned earlier, selecting plants by season will create a successful California native landscape design, so select plants that will bloom in each season.
For example, if you go to a wild prairie at any time during the year, you will discover a different type of wildflower blooming each time.
It is constantly changing depending on what plants are in, so for your own native plant garden design plans, discover how the different kinds of native plants show up for each season and highlight your favorite elements.
Then, utilize different types of grasses to include structure, movement, and texture.
Maintaining scale is an important native plant garden design tool. Select plants that don’t grow any taller than half of the bed width.
For example, if the bed is six feet wide, select plants no more than three feet tall.
A well-designed native garden can be amplified with a border. It can be surrounded by brick, limestone, or other natural material. Adding an element like a border can make your native garden look attractive, clean, and intentional.
Take a look at California native plant landscape design examples for inspiration on bordering and defining the space.
Make sure you eradicate the problem weeks before you plant. Growing a native garden is already a challenge, so ensure that you remove all weeds before continuing with your landscape plans.
When designing your native landscape, plant big to small. It’s important to plant big to small in a compositional way and in a way that makes practical sense.
Bigger plants can cause damage to other smaller plants, so it is important to go from trees to shrubs, perennials, and then anything else.
And while this may seem like common sense, it is sometimes impossible to resist the temptation to plant them right away when seeing a group of beautiful perennials.
Utilize the beauty of nature and draw inspiration from real native gardens. Take a look at different examples or go for a walk, gazing at different wildflowers and noting what you like and don’t like.
All of these beautiful natural designs will help inspire you and your own landscape.
While native landscaping sounds easy, it takes quite a bit of work on your part. Extravagant and well-kept native landscape designs are the result of development, planning, and effort.
Draw inspiration from prairies and other gardens, finding the perfect balance of natural and planned. To create a truly magical native landscape that is bound to last, Tracer Landscape and Concrete has a team of trained and educated professionals specializing in landscape design, installation, and maintenance. Get the garden of your dreams without having to worry about the complex moving pieces.
With these basic principles and little help from the professionals, you will be on the right track to success in creating your one-of-a-kind native garden design plans.
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