In most situations, a sense of balance is pleasing to the eye. To make your landscape design as pleasing as possible, you may want to achieve symmetrical balance in your Bedford, NH, property. Here are some elements to focus on to do just that.
Imagine a home with dense trees and shrubs tightly surrounding a home. Around that density of tall, dark, green plantings is a vast expanse of manicured lawn. The overall feeling could be unbalanced when viewing the wide open lawn in contrast to the heavy, closed-in feeling that the plants and shrubs create.
Now, imagine a home where the plantings are thoughtfully dispersed throughout the property. Perhaps the lawn area is still large, but it’s broken up with groupings of trees and a patio and outdoor kitchen. The trees and shrubs immediately surrounding the house aren’t slammed up against the foundation, but give the house room to breathe. The overall feeling is more open, welcoming, and more interesting.
Creating balance can be made with the intent to have mirror-image symmetry, such as two identical potted evergreens on either side of a front entryway. If your door is placed in the center and has identical windows on either side, the mirror image symmetry repeated in your plantings and hardscape features (such as retaining walls) could further reflect a balanced aesthetic.
This may be more of a challenge to achieve if the home’s front door is placed to the side, or is flanked by a garage on one side and a sprawling porch on the other. Consider the location of your primary plants (trees and shrubs) as well as hardscape features such as patios or walls, and the heights of various plantings to offset any imbalance your home already exudes.
Size and Shape
Size symmetry involves incorporating plantings and hardscape features that complement the size and shape of the home. A ranch-style home can appear dwarfed by the tall trees that surround it while a large home can look out of place if all the trees nearby are short.
This doesn’t mean all of your plants need to be the same height or size. Varied heights and shapes are generally recommended—the choice of plantings are best made when taking the entire look of the landscape into account.
You can use hardscape materials to create symmetry in your landscape: The same materials used to build a seating wall around your backyard patio, for example, can be used for the retaining walls in the front yard. The consistency of material can add to a sense of balance.
Colorful annuals and perennials and trees that turn vibrant colors in autumn bring cheer to a landscape. They can balance each other when the seasons are considered before they are planted. Another color consideration involves your hardscape materials, which maintain consistent color throughout the seasons, and the way they complement the home’s exterior. You may want to use no more than three colors: a primary field color for your pavers, plus two different accents.
A Bird’s Eye Approach
Use the photographer’s “rule of thirds” where your landscape, when viewed from a bird’s eye perspective, is divided into three distinct areas: the home, the outdoor living space, and the natural landscape. The size and shape of the home can be balanced by the hardscape elements you decide to have installed. The overall outdoor living space can be intentionally proportional to the size of the home.