Creating a Layered Landscape

Aug 13, 2020 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

The most beautiful gardens make use of a technique known as layering, which simply means they use height and texture to create depth and visual interest. If you’re interested in knowing how to make this technique work for your outdoor space, look no further! We’ve got all the tips you need for creating a layered landscape.

Start with the Trees

Trees are the tallest elements of your landscape. They’re the showstoppers. Their shape and height may also determine how much light is available in various parts of your yard. Begin your new landscape plan by examining the trees you have, or the ones you want to have. Consider whether you would prefer ornamental trees, shade trees, or evergreen trees, or perhaps a combination of all three types. Decide where to place them, according to their specific needs for nutrients, water, and sunlight.

Think About Shrubs

The next layer of your landscape is the shrubs. They are the half-height residents of your yard—taller than the grass and many of your flowering plants, but shorter than the trees. They can line the edges of the yard, or serve as centerpieces around which to form your flowerbeds.

Do you want shrubs that flower? Would you prefer deciduous or evergreen shrubs? Some of both, maybe? Think about your favorite shrubs and the places in your yard where they would thrive. Once you’ve settled on those spots, you’ll have a better idea of how to fill in around and between the shrubs.

Pay Attention to Shapes

Notice the shapes of certain plants. Some of them are tall and upright, while others tend to grow in oval-shaped mounds. Some flowers are flat and open, while others are elegant or rounded. The foliage of every plant is different. So when you’re planning your landscape, you want to be sure that you’ve got a variety of plant shapes in the design. If everything you’re planting has a roughly similar look, the garden won’t be as visually interesting.

Select Flowers, Grasses, Vines, and Ground Cover

Now we’re moving to the actual flowerbeds, where you’ll be able to design the look you want for your backyard. As we mentioned, it’s important to pay attention to the shapes of the plants you select and imagine how they will look together.

Some of the most beautiful flower beds have taller, straighter flowering plants spiking up at the back with some beautiful grasses or leafy plants as the next layer. If you have a fence or trellis at the very back of the flower bed, consider installing vines and climbing plants to add even more dimension—or hang tiny pots along the trellis or fence and plant herbs or succulents in those.

Shorter flowers go near the front of the bed, with groundcover plants filling in the remaining space. However, you want to mix and merge these elements a bit, not necessarily planting them in crisp straight lines and obvious layers.

As you work, think about the repetition of shapes, themes, and colors throughout the landscape. You want your landscape to have some flow and unity, as well as variety. To find out more about crafting the ideal landscape for your lifestyle, read more on the Kurtz Bros., blog or browse our website. Our lawn care and landscaping experts are available to answer any questions you may have.

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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