The history of landscape
The term “landscape” actually comes from the Dutch word “landschap”, which originally meant “region, piece of land”, but acquired an artistic connotation: “a painting depicting a landscape on land”. In the Netherlands, this term was one of the first to be used as landscape has become a popular subject for painting.
However, the classical landscape was born in the 17th century under the influence of classical antiquity, mainly the culture and art of Ancient Greece and Rome. In a classical landscape the layout of objects has been thought out: every tree, stone or even animal has been carefully placed to create a harmonious and timeless mood.
After two centuries of development of the classical landscape the era of the modern landscape has begun. For the beginning, the modern landscape defined by clear lines, star-shaped figures and an architectural approach, consists of a design more focused on creating of an aesthetically pleasing space than on planting flowers, shrub or plants. So, the Industrial Revolution changed the traditions of rural life, and the old hierarchy of subjects collapsed. The artists and architects were focused more on painting outdoors directly from nature. That practice is also known as “plein-air painting”, which means “open air” in French.
Mixing nature and culture
Landscape design is a wonderful combination of nature and culture. Landscape designers can bring to perfection what is given naturally just by using a cultural element in their activity. It is a remarkable blend of creativity and naturalness that will catch any passer-by’s eye.
Let’s look at an example: your cottage is located somewhere near by a river or a lake and surrounded by trees. Thus, the nature has literally provided you with a beautiful place to work with. Now, to bring this place to perfection, you have to use the perfect landscape ratio. Landscape designers have determined the optimal ratio: about 20% of the area is allocated to recreation areas, sports and playgrounds, and the land under construction takes about 15% of the area. The remaining 65% is occupied by green spaces so it basically means that you should add more plants. For instance, a pretty pergola would look great near the trees if you would add some flowers beside the entrance or any shrub hedges. In addition, a little stone path leading directly to the entrance would also look amazing.
A roof substitute
Green roofs are an excellent replacement for conventional roofs. A “green roof” is a roof that is partially or completely covered with plants and soil planted on top of a waterproofing membrane. By using a green roof in the hot summer, the temperature of the building will be significantly reduced, the water finally will not be wasted and, aesthetically, the environment becomes much more attractive. Firstly, the green color is the color of nature, therefore, matching with the environment creates a welcoming atmosphere. Secondly, the green roof is a money saving idea, and even though they usually tend to cost slightly more than traditional ones they have a lot of advantages:
That kind of roof saves money on energy consumed in cooling systems in summer and winter heating systems as well;
Economic benefits due to the reduction of rainwater drainage costs;
Increased roof service life;
Provision of the new natural habitat for flora and fauna;
Decrease of exposure to high temperature values;
Use of solar energy in the most effective way.
Matching of colors
The space of the plot is a lot larger than the space of housing, which makes it tempting to fill it with a variety of decor. The main requirement is simplicity of design; this also applies to the color palette of the landscape. The area will make a favorable impression if you choose the right color scheme of the composition. It is useful to involve the following methods of color matching:
Buildings on the site are rarely made in the same color, and you must not try to make them the same. To make them look holistic, you should use some common architectural element like wooden details in the decoration;
One of the buildings can act as the center of the composition. Then it is highlighted in color using a contrasting technique;
The basis of the palette of any landscape is made up of natural shades of green, brown or gray. All objects that will be placed on the site must fit into the concept. If the subject is bright and unusual, you need to take care of its compatibility with the environment;
Also, you should never use more than five or six colors on the same area, even at opposite points of the plot.
Elements of the landscape
All elements of the garden should be as functional as possible. The paths are laid not just for beauty, and the garden gnomes are equipped with flashlights that illuminate the territory in the evening. Also, the stones on the path should not let you slip up when it is raining or huge trees can be used as a natural shade providing at the same time the dividing wall.