Outdoor garden design is one of the most important elements of truly superb residential landscape design. In many ways it represents the heart and soul of Houston outdoor living, and it warrants thoughtful consideration and systematic, deliberate planning on the part of both homeowners and landscape designers.
The actual style of the gardens installed will be ultimately based upon the intent the landscape as a functional and aesthetic unity, and on the many necessary forms and colors required to support architecture, lifestyle, and outdoor activities.
One thing to always remember when planning your new Houston landscape with your professional design team is that you do not have to limit yourself to only one garden. There can be many different gardens installed in both the front and back yard, and there are many different roles that each of these gardens can ultimately play in the grand scheme of landscape design.
A few of these new forms will eventually occupy positions of central importance and significance. Others will work in a more subtle, supportive manner to accentuate specific structures and landscape elements.
Perhaps the most supporting function of outdoor garden design could arguably be the aesthetic contribution it makes toward accenting home architecture. With the right vegetation and form, home architecture appears to reach beyond its inorganic boundaries and take on an added, organic dimension.
Many styles of residential architecture have a specific cultural origin or reference a specific historical period. Similarly, many outdoor garden designs originate from specific points in history and specific cultures and regions of the world. For example, there are French, Italian, and Mediterranean garden styles. These specific garden types work to reinforce the visual motif of the home as the predominating thematic component to the landscape.
Other outdoor garden designs may not be intended to support architecture. English gardens reflect the order and symmetry of the British rural countryside. Knot gardens turn backyards into reflections of Celtic and Renaissance embroidery, making the landscape itself into a fabric of utility where herbs and spices can be grown as well as used for decoration. Shade gardens create special places underneath trees that help draw attention to open areas of the yard as center points of growth and activity.
Outdoor garden design can also occupy a centrist position in residential landscape design. In front yard landscaping, it can follow a walkway to provide transition from the front of the street to the front door of the house. On the sides of the yard, it can establish boundaries between a home and neighboring residences. In open areas of the lawn, it can add dimension and color to open lawn areas between motor courts, walkways, and the walls of the home.
In backyard landscapes, gardens are often used provide aesthetic linkage between very stark and absolute hardscape elements and surrounding lawn elements, shrubs, flowers, and tree growth. Custom patios made of stamped concrete or limestone can be made to gently blend gently into the landscape by enveloping their perimeter with garden forms that begin where the hardscape ends and extend outward to embrace the lawn and the trees.
Fountains can be further magnified by a custom garden that blends the base of the structure with the Earth itself. Fences and architectural walls appear less harsh and absolute when paralleled by linear garden forms whose vitality softens otherwise hard straight lines and hard right angles.
In contemporary landscape design, the modern outdoor garden is used to create pockets of organic presence in a landscape of geometry and inorganic hardscape structures. This can be done by creating a contemporary garden in the middle of the yard, or by dividing the yard into partitions and installing a modern garden into a central position within that specific area.
In other forms of professional landscaping, the organic presence is much stronger than it is in contemporary landscaping. Outdoor garden design is even more important to these developments because it accentuates the vitality and diversity of vegetation, and it establishes the sense of freedom and expressiveness that sets outdoor living apart from indoor living.