Sustainable Design For Small Landscapes

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Handout about sustainble design in small landscapes

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Sustainable Design For Small Landscapes

  1. 1. Sustainable Design for Small Landscapes Julie Weisenhorn University of Minnesota Extension - Department of Horticultural Science Email: weise019@umn.edu Sustainable Design •Designing for plant health and longevity; •Creating “outdoor rooms”; •Important in design regardless of size or cost. Five Considerations of Sustainable Design 1. Functional 2. Maintainable 3. Environmentally sound 4. Cost effective 5. Visually pleasing Site analysis Client interview –Activities in the landscape –Timeline for installation –Budget – install and maintenance •Site survey –Site inventory –Specific, honest evaluation of site features; measurements •Landscape Design Questionnaire, Site Evaluation Form Design Principles 1. Unity •A feeling of “oneness” •Mix & match plants based on texture, form •Repetition of hardscapes and plants •All aspects should complement one another, not compete for attention; •The entire design comes together to form one landscape. 2. Simplicity •Large masses and groups •Fewer individual species / cultivars •Backgrounds, backdrops •Color pallets •1-3 focal points in a small space •More important in commercial design than residential 3. Variety •Variety in plants: type, form, texture, seasonal interest; •Variety in hardscapes: color, texture •Variety in location: areas viewed up close, entry gardens, decks, walkways, etc. 4. Balance Formal vs. informal, symmetrical vs. asymmetrical 5. Emphasis Integrate focal points, accent, and specimen plants in the landscape
  2. 2. 6. Sequence The repetition of textures, colors, form and materials to transition the viewer through the landscape. 7. Scale The relative size of one part of a landscape to another and to human beings using plants and hard features of various sizes. Plant Selection •Select plants for sustainability •Right plant, right place, right purpose •Select plants based on their elements of design (characteristics) • Plant type • Select plants based on mature size • Form • Texture, Mix & Match • Seasonal Interest Color •Warm: Focal point, draws attention •Cool: Calm, relaxing, larger •Neutral: Transitions, softens, expands Design tips for small landscapes 1. Design elements to serve more than one purpose 2. Interplant ornamentals with edibles 3. Consider views 4. Use tall plants as backdrops 5. Design turf areas for maintenance •Mowing – avoid tight radii •Light & moisture requirements •Repeated traffic, equipment 6. Avoid dividing the property 7. De-emphasize narrow areas 8. Locate details & variety close-up Resources •Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series (SULIS): http://www.sustalnd.umn.edu •Gardening Information http://www.extension.umn.edu/gardeninfo •Rice, Graham, The Ultimate Book of Small Gardens •Messervy, Julie Moir and Susanka, Susan, Outside the Not So Big House •Beaulieu, David, “Color Theory in Landscape Design”, http://landscaping.about.com/od/flowersherbsgroundcover1/a/flower_photos.htm •Luss, Gunda, “Color Techniques for Landscape Design” http://www.sustland.umn.edu/design/colortechniques.html •Boulden, Steve, “Big Help for Small Gardens”, http://www.the-landscape-design- site.com/smallgardens.html

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