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Modern landscape design combines colors, lighting, textures and abstract patterns to create an outdoor living space that will exemplify nature’s beauty while complementing contemporary architectural designs. Today’s modern landscaping style is clean, bold and dramatic; a minimalist design.
Modern Landscape Design - Plant Selection
When selecting plants for modern landscape design consider plants that will add texture to the surroundings. Fountain grass is one such plant. Its sprouting leaves resemble cascading water from a fountain and add softness to the landscape. Plants with very fine features, such as Creeping Boobialla, Butterfly Iris or Fine Gold Leaf Stonecrop, are important parts of the landscape. Placed either as a single element or into odd numbered groups, they can add light and dark contrast. When fine textured plants are placed where the rising or setting sun can accent them, it can create a very unique effect. This same effect can be achieved by the use of outdoor lighting as well.
Modern Landscape Design – Plant Arrangement
It is very important in modern landscape design to avoid arranging plants on a grid or in straight lines. They may look great at the start of the season, but as plants age, die out or become damaged by weather it is very difficult to replace them with single plants that are perfectly matched in size. This can cause a major disruption to the aesthetic element of the landscape design. It is more favorable to use a natural approach when arranging plants, spacing them randomly.
Modern Landscape Design - Ground Cover Plants
Using plants that are curved or have an irregular shape will add character to any landscaped area. To avoid empty or “dead” areas, place foliage or ground-hugging plants around trees. Make sure that the plants will remain low to the ground so that they will accentuate the area and not overwhelm the other greenery. When groundcover is used properly, it can be a dynamic feature in any modern landscape design. Creeping Fig or Alpine succulents can add a wide variety of color as well as texture to the ground area.
Modern Landscape Design - Container Plants
Many areas in your backyard may be covered by cement or pavement so there is less soil to work with. This type of landscape offers a great opportunity to explore with container plants. Generally, containers are over-sized and add an architectural element to the landscape design. As a general rule, containers are chosen because of their unique geometric shape. Bowls, boxes, or cylinders can always be fitted perfectly with complimentary greenery. Usually, the pot’s shape will be in stark contrast with the shape of the plant. For instance, instead of placing the cylindrical Italian Cypress in a cylinder, it will be aesthetically pleasing when placed in a box. When selecting various pots to place greenery and plants in, choose those with the most artistic expression. The glaze, color, or patterns can all add something to the artistic design of a modern landscape.
About the author: Mark Simpson is a landscape design contractor and the owner of East Coast Landscape Design, in Bathesda, Md. Mark has many years of experience in landscape design and enjoys bringing backyards to life.
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