So, you gaze across your property, dreaming about how you could turn that swath of land into your picture-perfect outdoor paradise.
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and budget. Even so, there are some essential elements of luxury landscaping you should keep in mind if you want to put your best foot forward – and maintain the value of your home. Here are six elements that top the trends.
1. A Lush Lawn
The centerpiece of every landscape is the lawn. All the fancy hardscaping and accessories won’t enhance your yard if they’re surrounded by crabgrass. Once you’ve mastered the skill of maintaining a lush lawn, step things up a notch with mowed patterns such as a checkerboard or stripes.
2. The Pool is the Jewel
The pool is so essential to luxury landscaping, it’s hardly considered a luxury anymore. In most cases, the pool will be the focal point of your landscape, so the challenge becomes making it perfect within your scheme.
If you have serious swimmers in your family, you might want to stick to the lap pool. Because functionality is the key in a performance pool, the area immediately surrounding it is usually minimalist, with aesthetic elements such as trees, plants, and hardscaping set back.
Today’s trend leans toward resort pools. Typically, these convey the sense of an oasis, with natural features adjacent to or part of the pool. Waterfall features, natural rock, and tiered beds are standard in these treatments.
The right plants are crucial to this setting in order to transport you and your guests out of the neighborhood to a private island lagoon. Tropical or desert landscapes are two popular motifs.
3. Entertain This Thought
An area for entertaining guests outdoors has always been a requirement, but it has become more so in recent years. The American Society of Landscape Architects lists posh outdoor living areas as the highest-ranked element among clients of professional landscapers.
Rather than just tables and chairs, complete living areas have spilled outdoors. Full kitchens, wet bars, and fire features are par for course and furnishings have become more luxurious than the chaise lounges of yesteryear.
Potted plants and trees, hanging baskets, topiaries, and vertical gardens enable the entertainment area to blend naturally into the landscape. In areas with warmer weather, homebuyers now prefer houses where several – or all – rooms open to the outdoors. In addition to the standard backyard landscape, outdoor areas adjacent to bedrooms, kitchens, and offices become reading nooks and meditation gardens.
4. Go Toward the Lights
Most outdoor entertaining occurs in the evening, so proper lighting is a must. Thanks to recent changes in lighting technology the possibilities are limitless.
In addition to lights in pools, you can place fixtures along pathways, in trees, and in gardens. Good lighting not only enhances aesthetics but provides additional security.
5. Fire the Imagination
Fire pits and outdoor fireplaces have become must-have elements in luxury landscaping. They appeal to guests’ primal desire to cozy up to a warming blaze. In cooler climes, a full outdoor fireplace can serve as a heat source that allows family and guests to stay outdoors when the evening chill moves in.
6. Art is a Desirable Part
Art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. For the landscape, art usually denotes statuary, sculpture, and fountains. But metalworks, murals, spheres, cubes, and carvings are catching on as homeowners dare to go beyond the traditional.
Statues have adorned gardens and landscapes since before the beginning of written history. Greek and Roman pieces remain popular, but you can find a variety of statues today from the whimsical to the modernistic.
Unless you are truly multi-talented and have unlimited time on your hands, creating and maintaining a dream landscape will be a team effort. Landscape designers, maintenance crews, carpenters, plumbers, and electricians may be essential to create your dream luxury landscape.
Barb Ambrose is a home stager and landscape design writer. She loves entertaining and playing in her backyard, but she despises yard work. She recently expanded her patio and added an outdoor kitchen, so she has less grass to mow.