When you are designing your landscape, you need to have an overall pattern to help organize it and tie it together. Otherwise, you can end up with a mess.
Last week, I wrote about how your house’s ‘lines of force’ to help integrate your house and landscape. That post covered how to create a grid in your landscape using those lines of force.
Today, I will cover how to change that grid into a design theme. However, let’s first lets talk a little bit more about your house’s “lines of force”
Guidelines for drawing lines of force
When you are drawing a bunch of lines all over your site map, you may begin to wonder, where should I draw lines and where should I not. In other words, which parts of the house are important enough to create a “line of force” off of?
Different parts of a home have different levels of importance in tying into the landscape. I break them into three groups by of importance.
I start by drawing the most important lines and if I think I need more, I move on the the next category. If I need more still then I will draw all the lines of force of a house. The simpler the layout of the house, the more likely I will have to draw all the possible lines of force.
#1) The most important are the corners and outside walls of the house. Maybe you want to draw those with a thin marker or at least make a real dark line with your pencil for these lines. I mostly used these lines in my last post.
#2) The next most important are the edges of elements on your outside wall that touch the ground. You can draw these lines a little lighter. In the picture above that little line inside the courtyard area that is going horizontal is an example of one of these lines. If I was to extend a couple of line out from the base of the fireplace chimney, those would also be this type of line.
#3) The least important are the edges of parts of your house that don’t touch the ground, such as the windows. These can be drawn lightest. Here is what these lines look like on this house:
Creating the Design Theme from the grid
After you have laid out the lines of force and extended one out into the yard to create a grid (see my last post), you should have something like this:
From that grid you can start defining where the lines of different parts of your landscape will go.For example, lets say you want:
- a turf area
- a gravel area around the turf
- planting areas
- hedge to enclose the whole area
To do this you will want to start tracing lines of your grid to make the edges of these areas.
You can add a circle or half circle shaped area to break up the monotony of the straight lines. To do this you can use the intersection of two lines of the grid as points to place the radius of your circle.
These shapes are good to emphasize a focal point that you can place in the middle of the circle. I will put a fountain in this design, but it could be a bench, statue, etc.
Don’t be afraid to create other lines to define your edges besides the lines of the grid.The more lines from the grid you use however, the more the landscape areas you define will tie into your home. Here is another view:
Cleaning up the design theme
We can add some more lines to finish up the gravel area and define a hedge around the whole landscaped area.
If we take away the unused lines from the grid and color the different areas according to their use, our design starts to take shape. The edges show up better with a little color applied.
Even before we put anything else in our design other that the edges of of the different areas, hopefully you can see a connection with the house. This is due to the edges being based off the lines of force from the house.
Making it into a simple landscape design
Lets add a few items to make a very basic landscape design.
If we were doing this for real we would add more detail, but this will give you an idea of how this could look.
We can add some plants, throw in a couple of benches with planters next to them, and a fountain in the lawn to get our simple design. This gives us an idea of how this formal design pattern would look.
From another angle
This design theme pattern is probably too formal for most people, buy we could also use this same grid to create an informal design theme pattern. I will show you how that can be done in an upcoming post.
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