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Things You Should Monitor in Your Home

As a homeowner, it is vital that you are monitoring your home for things such as black mold, methane gas, carbon monoxide, and radon gas. To ensure...

on Dec 5, 2016

Cleaning Up After a Big Paint Job? Here's How to Clean Your Paint Brush the Right Way!

Have you recently moved into a new house or apartment that you want to give a fresh look? Have you picked out all your paint colors and bought new...

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5 Fun Ways to Upgrade Your Kitchen

Is your kitchen starting to look a bit old and tired? The kitchen is a work area and can quickly go from that lived-in look to a worn-out look if...

on Dec 1, 2016

5 Must Have Pieces of Equipment for Your Workout Room

There are many advantages to having a gym or workout room at home. It is convenient, there is no waiting and once you have the right equipment in...

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Mold Removal Tips: How to Successfully Remove Mold for Good

Mold is a fungus that enters your home or premises as simple tiny spores. When these spores get moisture, they start to grow and fully develop into...

on Dec 1, 2016

Basic Concepts: Line and Form for Landscaping

by Dan Eskelson on Apr 29, 2012

This will be the first in a series exploring the fundamental design principles used in the creation of landscapes; many of these concepts are common to other forms of creative expression - painting, sculpture, music...the art of landscape design seeks to create a functional, unified and aesthetically pleasing outdoor environment.

Other creative elements employed in landscape design include color, texture, scale, symmetry, proportion, rhythm and repetition; all are dependent on each other and must be considered together to produce a unified design. Unlike most art forms, seasonal and long term changes in form, color and other elements must be considered. Line is created in the landscape by existing patterns of structures, hardscapes, planting beds and plant material. Line influences how the eye moves through the landscape - horizontally along walks and planting beds and vertically up and down plant forms and structures. Line is also created by individual plant shape (i.e. branches, leaves) and how various plant shapes are arranged.

Straight lines are perceived as formal ad structural; curved lines are perceived as natural and relaxing. Straight lines will lead the eye more directly to a point than curved lines. Thus, line will influence the "mood" of the landscape and should be considered in relation to the overall intent or theme; the vast majority of new landscapes utilize more curved lines to offset the very structured elements of architecture - and the very structured quality of modern life! Closely related to the concept of line is form, which may relate to an individual plant, or to the arrangement of plants in the landscape. Plants are classified as upright, columnar, spreading, weeping, pyramidal, round, etc. - a plant grouping may also be described using these terms.

The form of structures should also be considered, as well as the relationship between this form and the form of adjacent plants. Forms may complement or contrast; we may use tall, columnar plant forms around a building with very steep, projecting roof lines to complement the architecture. Or it may be desired to contrast these vertical architectural elements with low, spreading forms. There are no strict rules for the use of form, but it's important to consider the effects that form exerts on the total landscape design.

Again, remember that plant forms change over time; the specific purpose of a form should be considered in terms of mature size; though the landscape may seem sparse at first, growth will produce the desired effect. Examples of over-planted landscapes are common; in an effort to achieve a "finished" look, too many plants are installed, resulting eventually in a congested, unappealing landscape. We'll continue this discussion of the basic concepts of landscape design in the next issue; if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.

Dan Eskelson @ Clearwater Landscapes, Inc.

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