Landscape Design – How to Avoid a Kitsch Landscape

You can create a stylish landscape without turning it into a design mess. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, “kitsch” is defined as “vulgar, often pretentious sentimentality or bad taste, especially in the arts.” The application of this term to landscape can be quite different. It could involve unnecessary specific garden elements in the landscape or too dominant a variety of plant species. Whatever the reason, here are some tips to keep your garden looking unique without being kitsch.

Simplify the landscape. Consider how you would like the space to be used. Will there be spaces for entertaining guests, family gatherings, play areas for children and pets, etc.? You may also want to xeriscape gardens or maintain specific plant varieties native to your region. Too much of a good thing can turn your landscape into a nightmare. Keep garden spaces simple and leave room for plants to mature. Gnomes and glassware may be “fun” for some gardens, but they distract from a garden’s original purpose. Redefining the space will further clarify which plants will grow best in a thriving landscape.

Choose quality materials. Select hard cover or ground cover materials that maintain a stylish design and contrast that complements your planting choices. Consider changing your patio furniture with new materials. Use eco-friendly materials like eco-friendly pallets or wood materials like ipe wood that last a while in harsh environmental conditions. Declutter your landscape of unused materials or objects that you may have picked up along the way, but really serve no purpose in your garden.

Plants with quality and contrast. Choose plants that provide seasonal interest. They must also have a unique edge, such as color, texture, or shape. Make sure there is enough variety without choosing clashing plants. Maintain plantings that complement each other, throughout the landscape.

Turning on. This is an item that many homeowners tend to neglect. The right lighting can add a certain ambience, while naturally enhancing the shape and structure of your landscape and plant material. Lighting around walkways, specimen trees, water features, and tree trunks may be considered.

Placement of materials. Try something different besides the foundation plants that surround your home or property line. You can still maintain privacy with fencing, building materials, and by choosing plant species that are the right height, texture, shape, and color for your garden. Consulting your local garden design expert or nursery can also answer your questions about new materials, as well as detailed design and installation options.

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