Tree Landscape Ideas
Reliance Foundry Co. Ltd
Bryce TarlingGreat landscape design focuses on user experience
In a past life, I spent my summers doing landscape maintenance and construction. While much of the work was fairly routine—pushing lawnmowers and trimming hedges—I developed a keen eye for working with greenspaces in my community.
Now that I work for a company that specializes in outdoor site furnishings, my attention has grown to include hardscape layouts as well—particularly related to traffic and vehicle control. I look at how ground materials and grading can affect installations and how effective site planning can affect usability.
In this post, we'll take a step back to look at the broader principles of landscape design—as well as some key strategies in developing great designs suitable for any urban or greenspace environment.
1. Effective landscape design improves user experience
Repetition of color and texture helps create harmony
Planning and organization make a property easier to read and navigate—helping increase comfort and familiarity.
When planning any landscape, it's important to know how it will be used. Once you know how you want people to see and use a space, every design decision should stem from this idea. Will it be an active space or one made for leisure? Are you looking to attract visitors or guide them to another location?
Planning should take into account the full space available, including both hardscapes (paved areas, patios, fences, posts and other non-organic structures) and softscapes (gardens, trees, lawns and other plant materials).
It's also important to take into account existing site conditions in the final design of a project. Things like slopes, drainage, utilities and existing structures—as well as climate and other environmental considerations—can have a significant impact on planning and design. Physical characteristics affect the construction and performance of hardscapes, while climate and drainage may limit the type of plants that can be used.
2. Create unity through consistency and repetition
Once we know how we want users to interact with a landscape, we need to develop a conceptual focus.
To learn more about how professional site designers plan their projects, I consulted local Commercial and Residential Designer, Sarah d'Artois of Greenspace Design & Décor. Greenspace specializes in artificial landscape installations for both interiors and exteriors. They do both residential and commercial projects, and their work can be seen at the Vancouver Airport, the Vancouver Aquarium and the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver.