Begin with a feeling:  How do you want to feel when you are in the space?  Then flesh out the feeling: What do you hear, smell, see?  Is it warm, cool, sheltered?  Keep going, telling the story of how you want the space to be used: What do you want to do in the space?  Who’s there with you?  Do you read, hang out with friends, throw the ball for the dog, share a meal, cook, hang the laundry out to dry, grow veggies, play with the kids?  As the story emerges, the design emerges.

Determine the garden elements and functions you want or need. Then design a room around those elements and you will create a functional, beautiful space.

Keep it simple; there’s beauty, honesty, and poetry in simplicity.

• Use the same/similar materials, such as flooring, furnishings, plaster, metal, and wood in adjacent outdoor and indoor rooms.
• Let the color palette flow from outside to in and vice versa.
• Repeat or echo textures, shapes, and elements inside and out.
• Add doors that disappear into the wall or stack back on themselves.  Open the doors and voilà! the barrier between the outside and the inside is gone!
• Create vignettes outside of each room that “read” as art when viewed from inside through the frame of the window or door.

When planting a pot, remember these three plant functions: Thriller, spiller, and filler. The thriller is the focal point, the spiller grounds the plantings in the pot, and the filler allows your eye to rest in between points of interest. Consider the qualities that each component brings as you’re formulating your composition—beyond color, plants can bring textural interest as well as contrast in form and movement.

Accessories may be the icing on the cake, but they can make the difference between a comfortable garden and an uninviting one. The right scale and type of furniture, the placement of lighting and pots, and the arrangement of accessories brings the space down to human scale.

When you think landscape lighting, think of the three S's: safety, security, and sexiness. Safety lighting makes the space usable, security prevents theft, and dark corners and sexiness bring the mood and ambience.

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Landscaping Design Tips from Margie Grace

The landscape designer shares practical ways to make outdoor spaces gorgeous

From Landscape Designer Margie Grace
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Keep it simple; there’s beauty, honesty, and poetry in simplicity.

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