Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Landscape Elements and Accents

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Landscape elements and accents are used to define and enhance our property landscape or gardens.

Structural elements such as fences, gazebos, paths and patios help to define functional spaces in the landscape.  Space defining elements can also be plantings such as hedges or privacy screens of shrubs and trees.  The impact of plantings on your landscape is very important since they also add to or reinforce the landscape and garden style and design.

Path to garden bench by the Carringtons

Planting beds such as island beds and berms can be used to help define space, but also create visual impact.  Sometimes the original purpose is much more functional, such as berms, swails and dry beds that direct drainage.  Berms and raised beds can be used to create height interest to a flat landscape as well.

 

Garden and lawn accessories can be used to enhance, balance, accent, add color, create rhythm or unity, or draw attention.  Accent and accessory items are nearly endless.  They may be structural elements such as gazebos, pergolas or arbors.  More commonly, accents and accessories are thought of as small moveable items such as containers and plant stands, benches, birdhouses, birdbaths and statues.  And don’t forget about plants!  Although we often think of accents embellishing our plants, unique, bold, striking or colorful plants should be our first choice to accent in the landscape.  Small garden accessories are the supporting cast.

English Garden Style by panduh

Take some time to really look at your gardens and landscape.  View areas from a number of vantage points and consider what you would like to see.  Would you like a winding path and arch to beckon from the patio, drawing visitors into your garden?  Is there an area that seems dull?  Would you like to be able to watch birds from the kitchen?  Has that border garden never looked quite right?

Get creative, the options are nearly limitless.  The next pages will not only give you some ideas, but will help you accent your landscape in a pleasing manner with a little help from basic design principles.  Learning to apply simple design principles will help you achieve

      THIS:
      Arch with bench by Thomas Combs

      NOT THIS:
      Pergola by Chip and Andy

Since you will understand what makes one appealing to you and not the other, you will be able to design your gardens in whatever way pleases YOU!

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