How to Use Color in Your Landscaping Project

Landscape is the practice of modifying the terrain and appearance of an outdoor space around a home. This can include adding plants, constructing features, and creating walkways.


A good landscape should follow design principles such as balance, proportion, unity, and emphasis. These will ensure that all components combine to create a visually appealing and functional garden. Contact Y&L Landscaping for professional help.

Color makes a significant impact on landscapes by evoking emotions, creating focal points, enhancing space, and establishing harmony. It also enhances and unifies a garden’s various elements, including plants, hardscapes, water features, and structures. However, many homeowners are unsure how to use color in their gardens and are overwhelmed by the options available.

Learning some basics of color theory can help simplify the process and ensure a more cohesive design for your landscaping. For example, knowing that complementary colors (those found on opposite sides of the color wheel) pair well together is an easy way to create visual balance in your yard. Similarly, using warm colors to highlight cool ones can make your yard seem more intimate and inviting.

Intensity is another important factor to consider when combining color in your landscape. When two or more bright colors are paired together, their vibrancy is amplified. This is often desirable in landscapes, but it is important to keep in mind that too much variation can overwhelm and confuse the eye. A good trick for avoiding visual chaos is to use tints and shades of a single color, like mixing delicate lavender with royal purple flowers or greenery with yellow-green leaves.

Color is also an important factor in determining how your garden feels to you and others who view it. A color’s tone can affect the mood it evokes, such as red suggesting excitement and blue indicating relaxation. When used in the right way, these colors can make a garden more welcoming and comfortable for visitors.

In addition to choosing complementary and analogous colors, a landscape designer can also play with the effect of lines on the eye. Lines are a natural component of a garden and can be used to direct the viewer’s attention to specific areas or to create a sense of depth. For example, directing the eye to a garden feature by placing it at the end of a walkway or around the corner of a house can add an element of surprise and excitement to the scene. In contrast, a garden feature planted in the middle of an open lawn can create a sense of calm and serenity.


As an essential part of the landscape design process, form is a consideration for both plant and hardscape elements. Plants come in various forms – upright, groundcover, round, freeform or tree form – and hardscape components such as outdoor structures, garden paths and retaining walls can take on unique shapes. A variety of forms in a landscaping project can add visual interest and complement the overall design theme.

In contrast to lines, form focuses on the three-dimensional aspect of the landscape and its impact. For example, a formal area might use plants with tailored forms like clipped hedges while an informal area could have more natural, looser forms. Form can also be used to create a sense of depth within the landscape. For instance, a planting can be designed to look like an island in a sea of grass or to draw the eye towards a particular building feature.

Another way to create a sense of depth is to include different textures in the landscape. This can be accomplished by including rough or fine, soft or coarse, light or heavy textures. Using a combination of textures also helps to prevent the landscape from appearing sloppy or chaotic.

While color tends to be the most well-known and commonly discussed landscape element, the shape of a flowerbed or the size of a hardscaped structure is equally important when creating an appealing landscape. For example, a homeowner may opt to choose trees and shrubs in varying sizes and shapes to provide color throughout the year and make the landscape feel more inviting. However, the size of these plants will need to be carefully considered in relation to the home and yard space to ensure a balanced result.


Lines are the most basic element of landscape design and exist both in the softscape (garden plants) and the hardscape (paved or natural surfaces). They can be real, defined by a physical boundary such as a path, wall or fence; perceived through a repetition of plant forms or geometric shapes; or implied by a change in elevation. Using lines, the designer creates a sense of direction and movement that guides the visitor through a garden.

A straight line communicates a forceful attitude and is associated with formal, symmetrical compositions. It directs the eye quickly to a desired focal point without meandering along the way. Conversely, curved lines are more organic and natural in character. They move the eye at a slower pace and may imply a journey or a hidden view.

In addition to the directional impact of lines, they can also add a sense of scale and height. They can be used to highlight a vertical element such as a tree or to emphasize the distance between two different areas of a garden.

Lines can be curved, straight or horizontal and will affect the viewer’s emotional response to the landscape. In general, curved lines convey more of an organic message and are more desirable than straight, angular lines that communicate a sense of order and control. In some studies, however, people have been found to prefer gardens with both a natural feel and clear indications of human influence.

The shape of a house and the lines that extend from it may inspire the use of specific linear lines in the garden. These are called regulating lines and they help to define the shape of the planting beds, patios and Focal Points. The arcing lines created by these lines can be accentuated by planting a single plant in a rhythmic pattern along its length. This will draw the eye and enhance its importance in the garden. Alternatively, a curved bed line can be enhanced by planting a mix of round and upright plant forms that will blend with the lines as they curve.


A beautiful landscape can make your property more attractive, increase the resale value of your home, and even encourage your family to spend more time outdoors. But creating a great-looking landscape doesn’t have to be expensive, and there are many ways to save money while designing your dream garden.

Plants are the most obvious element of any landscape, but there are other elements to consider as well. A good design will include a mix of heights and textures to add visual interest, and it will feature focal points that can draw the eye and create a sense of balance and harmony. The use of lighting is also important to help set the mood and extend your outdoor space’s usability after the sun goes down.

Another aspect of landscaping is incorporating sustainable practices, which can be achieved by using environmentally friendly materials and implementing an efficient irrigation system. You can also use water-retaining features like rain gardens to help reduce runoff and stormwater management, or install permeable paving materials to minimize soil erosion.

When it comes to landscaping, there are endless possibilities, but the best way to find your style is to experiment with different types of plants and materials. Once you’ve found a combination that you love, it’s time to start planning the details of your garden!

A landscaper is a person who designs and installs plants, structures, and hardscapes to improve the aesthetic appearance of an outdoor area. They must have horticultural skills to come up with creative ideas associated with softscapes, like plants and flowers, as well as construction knowledge and experience to build retaining walls and lay pavers for pathways and patios. Landscapers are also responsible for maintaining a landscape after it has been installed, which involves tasks like watering and pruning, weed control, and pest management.