5 Common Landscape Styles: Choosing the Right Look for Your Yard

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    A home landscape can say so much about the property owner.

    If you have ever visited a botanical garden or a friend’s backyard and you just felt like you arrived at a unique, comfortable place that felt like home, then you know what having a specific landscaping style can do for you.

    The challenge is you might not be able to describe the look; you just know the feeling. You might be able to pinpoint some specifics like the presence of a water feature’s trickling sounds or the layout of a patio, pavilion, and outdoor kitchen, but beyond that you might not be able to explain the specific inspiration.

    But knowing what you really like can still help you achieve a similar look in your own home landscape in Kansas City. You want a backyard and front yard that works for you, functionally, but is also something you love to come home to and spend time in everyday.

    You might have a hard time figuring out how to share what you’re looking for when discussing options with your landscape designer. But we’re here to help. Let’s discuss some common landscaping themes to help you better understand what you’d like for your property.

    Understanding Different Yard Styles   

    The positive impacts the right landscape type can have on your Kansas City home landscape are extreme.

    A complete landscape look invites you outside where you can clear your head and reduce worries. It also looks neat and clean, eliminating safety concerns. Overall, the right outdoor style can improve your state of mind, bringing you comfort and benefiting your personal health, as well as your family’s health.

    Proper landscaping is also good for the environment because it takes into account rainfall and drainage, as well as provides places for pollinators and birds.

    And, naturally, a great landscape can boost your property value and curb appeal. The reason is because your landscape is your home’s first impression. While poor landscaping that lacks style can make potential buyers walk away without even taking a look inside, well-designed and well-maintained landscaping with a theme draws people in.

    When we talk about a great landscape, this usually means one that has a plan with inviting, timeless style and a sense of cohesiveness.

    5 Common Landscaping Themes   

    There are 5 main landscaping styles you will find in Kansas City home landscapes.

    History has put these styles through evolutions over the years where you may find some unique sub-styles to these main 5 areas, but the roots of these themes stay true.

    Here are the 5 themes that can help you narrow down your specific aesthetic when it comes to landscapes you love and admire.

    Landscaping Theme #1. Prairie or Naturalized Gardens  

    You might have heard the term “prairie” to define this yard style, but it’s also referred to as naturalized.

    You can tell this theme by its tall grasses, flowing landscape bed lines, and flowering perennials.

    You can picture the grasses with their subtle textures and colors blowing in the soft breeze, adding some gorgeous movement to your site, along with the fluttering of butterflies.

    This type of landscape is low-maintenance, which makes them easy to care for, as well as easy on the eyes. Once they fill in in 3 to 4 years, they bring a lot of carefree flow to your space.

    Landscaping Theme #2. Country Gardens  

    If you long to travel to the English and French countryside, then a country garden may be your chosen type of landscape.

    This style takes into thought the natural curves of your landscape and uses blooms like peonies, hydrangeas, lavender, and roses to add fragrance and soft color. Full, lush beds mean a potential for lower maintenance, but this can also make caring for your landscape feel a little bit more confusing since there are many different bloom types.

    Landscaping Theme #3. Formal Gardens  

    If you have a traditionally designed home and like order and symmetry, then a formal garden could be a better fit for you than a country or prairie garden.

    Just like its name implies, a formal space will be trimmed and tidy. It will look consistent and manicured all year long with some seasonal changes that fit within its world of neat shapes and structure.

    This yard style can be a bit more high maintenance, but it boasts classic elegance.

    Landscaping Theme #4. Oriental Gardens  

    If you want to embrace zen meditation and relieve stress, opt for a Chinese or Japanese landscaping style.

    The philosophies these themes are based on include Hindo, Taoist, Shinto, and Buddhist, and they are all about embracing spiritual places using plants, water, rocks, and ornaments.

    To complete this theme, a landscape designer will use symbolism, asymmetry, and balance throughout the garden, and add features like koi ponds, waterfalls, and stone basics to encourage water sounds and invite you in.

    As far as maintenance goes, weed control is the main task here with the use of so much rock and stone, but these styles are truly distinctive and set a landscape apart.

    Landscaping Theme #5. Modern Gardens  

    Look around your house interior. Do you see a lot of clean, straight lines; blacks, whites, and grays; and steel and stone in simple shapes? Then you may relate to a modern yard style.

    Instead of boasting blooms, these landscapes present color in greenery, stone, and steel, keeping things clean and contemporary. They go great with architecture that aligns with this modern look.

    Can I Like More Than One Type of Landscape?  

    The best option is to embrace one landscaping style to ensure you don’t dilute too many themes together and end up with a hodge-podge effect.

    But, that being said, there are some yard styles that can be blended a bit easier than others. The soft curves of a naturalized garden, for instance, should be paired with something else that has those curves. A complete opposite to this would be the modern look, so you wouldn’t want to merge those two styles. Country and formal gardens are two you will see combined into a French country theme, for instance, and those two can pair up very well.

    What Landscaping Theme is Right For Your Kansas City Home?   

    You’ve looked at photos. You’ve toured different landscapes. And now it’s possible you can put a name to the yard styles you like most.

    This is so exciting. You’re identifying which type of landscape looks and fits you best, and you’re getting ready to incorporate this theme into your space.

    Whether you like bountiful blooms that waft fragrance past you every day and that you clip and bring inside for fresh bouquets or clean, simple structure and order to your landscape, it’s all about you and your needs.

    Even when you know who you are and you know what you like, determining the landscape you want to spend time in for years can be a challenge. We completely understand. As you do your research, it might be helpful to also take our garden style quiz to see where your personal style fits into your landscape.

    In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk with one of High Prairie’s landscape design experts. We can help you weed through the ideas and concepts and break them down into the perfect style for your landscape so you can truly enjoy it. And then your only problem will be not wanting to leave your space.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with your preferred landscaping style? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare a design that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

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    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

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