Outdoor living with indoor amenities.

Why is it that hosting a backyard barbecue tends to be easier than hosting a sit-down dinner in your dining room? Simply put: The outdoors are effortless, especially when your landscape architect understands how you intend to spend your time outside.

No matter where you live, we can all agree that outdoor living is the most relaxing way to spend time with those you love. It is mentally refreshing, emotionally calming, and can truly become a luxury experience if you plan for your space to include the right amenities.


Before we dive into the details of landscape design, let’s briefly go over the top five most popular design styles, excluding outdoor furniture and decor:

  1. Tuscan — stone walls and paths, urns, terra cotta, fountains, herb and vegetable areas, arbors, pergolas, mazes

  2. Tropical — lava rock, vibrant florals, oversized plants, bamboo fencing or path edging, waterfalls, thatched patio roofs

  3. Country — picket or split rail fencing, stone terraces, wild or gently structured florals, wooden gazebos, fire pits, babbling streams

  4. English — cobblestone, brick, wattle edging or panels, stone or wooden bridges and benches, grottos, rolling lawns, tree groves

  5. Japanese — organic shapes while also asymmetrical, natural stone, ornamental trees, stone lanterns, rain chains, bamboo fencing or panels

Currently, there are over 20 different landscape design aesthetics in heavy use and each of them tend to overlap with one of the more distinct design styles listed above.


Regardless of which landscape aesthetic you prefer, and perhaps you’d like a hybrid, properly executing a landscape project always starts with thorough planning. Unless you have a lot of free time and a keen interest in topography, drainage plains, municipal codes, and excavation, you will be best served by using a landscape designer.

Your landscape designer will take measurements of your outdoor space, assess the flow of water, and determine in-ground sprinkler placement, grow zones, bed patterns, and elevations. If you live in an area with extreme weather changes, you will also need your designer to ensure that frost or excessive dirt settling will not disrupt the finished product months or years down the line, as these situations can often heave landscape materials out of place.



Finding the right landscape designer or architect for your project doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Hire someone who has proven experience working on your type of project and also someone who is accustomed to working in your particular climate.

You should be able to view photos of their past work or drive past some of their completed projects to get a feel for whether you should hire them. Bear in mind that landscape design is an investment, but one that your family will enjoy every day and one that will pay off nicely should you ever list your home for sale.



Wildlife live outdoors, too.

While not all trends are worth following, this is one you’ll want to consider. Many homeowners are opting for minimal invasion, leaving certain trees and plants untouched if they provide food or shelter for native species.


Design for year-round color.

Rather than planting only flowers or summer grasses, add a layer of evergreen foliage with varieties of texture. Container plants, cacti, yucca, and Japanese camellia can provide just the right level of all-weather intrigue.