The best landscape designs lead homeowners to achieve maximum enjoyment of their backyard. Since everyone’s needs and aesthetics are different, there’s no one “perfect” style. Here are eight different landscape design styles to consider for your Sag Harbor, NY backyard.
Great design begins with knowing how you will use your outdoor space and whether your land will accommodate that use. Consider:
Is your land sloped or flat? Sunny or shady? Windy or protected? Treed or bare? Is it rocky or does it have good topsoil?
What activities will you want to do in your newly designed landscape? Entertaining? Relaxing? Cooking? Playing games?
Who will be using the space most of the time? Kids? Pets? Elderly parents? Friends?
Once you’ve determined the use intention, then you can develop a design that works with your home’s architectural style and aesthetic:
What is the size of your home? This will determine the size of your patio as well as outdoor features such as a pergola, fireplace, or pool. You want to create a sense of balance where one element doesn’t overwhelm everything else.
What is the style of your home? Is it traditional? Modern? Rustic? And what about your neighborhood—do you want to fit in with the neighborhood aesthetic, or do your own thing?
Finally, consider maintenance. Do you enjoy gardening and puttering around in the yard, do you want to be hands-off, or would you prefer a low-maintenance approach to your landscape?
Water, rocks, and muted evergreens create a tranquil setting perfect for contemplation and relaxing. The landscapes are curved and often include a fish pond, bridges, meandering pathways, and lush foliage to induce a sense of tranquility.
Colorful and fragrant perennials, arbors, bird baths, picket fences, and a cheerfully free-form planting style characterize the English Garden. A rolling lawn, carefully pruned shade trees, and a gazebo complete the look.
The informal style is characterized by curved edges, stone work (such as garden walls), seemingly random planting patterns, and plenty of space for outdoor activities.
Formal landscapes are all about lines, symmetry, and geometry. They incorporate precise shapes and feature plants as focal points. Plants tend to be monochromatic evergreens and living walls are often used to create privacy. A formal style is perfectly suited for ultra-modern homes.
This style is characterized by a less precise or manicured appearance and an emphasis on native plants. It requires less maintenance than more formal landscapes, but can become somewhat unkempt without regular pruning and raking.
Drought-tolerant plants, heavy mulch (which can be gravel—you’re not restricted to wood chips) and careful consideration of the positioning of plants ensure a water-wise yard that is also visually appealing.
Invite bees, birds, and butterflies with a wildflower meadow, or if you don’t have the space for a full meadow, a wildflower garden.
A more laid-back mix of formal and informal styles, this design invites outdoor use. It features options for outdoor entertaining, and often includes herb gardens and shade (pergolas with climbing vines are popular). Planters atop stone or brick walls, stone walkways, and other stone work like retaining walls or garden walls make for cozy and comfortable outdoor living.