The secret to classic landscape design is to embrace form and structure. In the past, gardens were designed to demonstrate wealth, focusing on appearance over function. Today we have smaller yards and less privacy, so yards have to be functional as well as beautiful and inviting. To bring traditional style to your Hauppauge, NY, landscape, try incorporating some of these timeless features.
Walls, shrubs, and hedges can help form the structure of your garden. By replacing man-made elements with living variations, walls can add function without detracting from natural beauty. Employ tall hedges instead of fences to create privacy barriers. Low walls and mid-height shrubs and bushes can divide outdoor rooms without detracting from the view. Use stone retaining walls to create structure in a sloped landscape. These elements remain visible in all seasons, so they should be the foundation of your landscape plan.
Walkways are an excellent way to bring organization to a landscape. They can subtly divide a yard into zones, help create focal points, and guide the flow of traffic. Frequency and type of use should be considered when selecting walkway size and materials. Brick walkways create a classic and timeless look, while fieldstone or flagstone paths offer a softer and more natural feel, but still hold up well under wear. Round pebbles can be used for variety on less traveled paths, or combined with pavers to produce a classic look with a modern touch. Utilizing straight lines and right angles when planning walkways will also give your outdoor space a more traditional feel.
Formal planting beds are an essential element of traditional landscape design. Whether raised or at ground level with defined borders, a well-planned layout adds an elegant feel to any size yard. To create interest and balance, incorporate geometry into the design of your gardens. Working with a central axis and an eye-catching focal point, such as the sculptural elements mentioned below, will create a balanced layout.
For a truly elegant touch, consider adding knot gardens and parterres to your design. Knot gardens can be elaborate and sprawling, or with a few adjustments, you can adapt this feature to any size yard. Consider a single square raised garden with a boxwood border and large planter in the center to create the look in a smaller area.
Unfinished edges give the look of an incomplete landscape. Improve your design by using border plant beds to frame the yard and soften the edges of hard elements. Position borders along walkways, sheds, fences, stairs and other hardscaping features. Planting in strong rows will reinforce your design even further. Graduate the height of plants to add interest and frame featured elements.
Just as great art is designed to catch the eye, sculptural elements can be used to create a focal point in your garden. While these hard elements can encompass a variety of styles, traditional landscapes often favor fountains, statues, and large urns. Fountains are an elegant way to bring the soothing sound of water to an urban landscape. To create the same effect without a water feature, statues are a classic option. Large urns and planters can be combined with all of the above features to add variety and depth to the design. Use them to flank entryways, along pathways or as central features in geometric gardens.