Secret Formula to Award-Winning Landscapes Part 1: Distinctive Design

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    Step one of the secret formula to an award-winning landscape is “distinctive design.” When you want to create landscapes that are worthy of an award, distinctive design is a must.

    A distinctive design plan allows you to move forward with landscaping, without worrying whether each element you choose will fit. Since you have chosen one particular theme from various landscape styles and landscape trends, you know your final design will be cohesive.

    Most people select their landscape elements by browsing around from garden center to garden center, choosing an array of items that appeal to them, without thinking enough about the big picture. This strategy (or lack thereof) usually results in an unorganized landscape design.

    Deciding on a specific design early—before you start purchasing your plants and other elements—will ensure your landscapes convey cohesion and thoughtfulness.

    What Landscape Styles Suit You?

    If you already know the landscape styles that you’re after, then you’re ahead. But if you’re not sure, our team at High Prairie Outdoors can help you determine which landscape styles you prefer. If you’re looking for a Kansas City Landscape company with the professional expertise to help you design a customized space you’ll love, visit us.

    There are five main landscape styles, each with virtually unlimited options to customize for your unique tastes. The five categories are:

    1. Naturalized Gardens
    2. Country Gardens
    3. Modern Gardens
    4. Oriental Gardens
    5. Formal Gardens

    1. Naturalized Gardens

    A Naturalized Garden reflects the region’s natural landscapes. Naturalized Gardens are wildlife-friendly and appreciated by bunnies, bees, and other living things that happen to stop by for a visit.

    Two popular styles of Naturalized Gardens are Prairie/Craftsman and Dutch Wave. Prairie/Craftsman is the quintessential Mid-Western style, brimming with native plants, perennials, and handcrafted wood or copper accents. The Dutch Wave landscape style uses large beds to create “waves” of color and texture with pathways throughout. The use of ornamental grasses originated with the Dutch Wave garden.

    2. Country Gardens

    Country Gardens exude romance, often including whimsical elements. Two subtypes of Country Garden are English Gardens and French Country Gardens. English Gardens are informal, reflecting the rolling hills, streams, and ponds of England. French Country Gardens combine the casual aspects of English Gardens with the more formal style of French Gardens. Soft, billowy flowers are often paired with hedges and parterres.

    3. Modern Gardens

    The Modern Garden is a contemporary—sometimes edgy—space, with a clean, linear design. A simplified plant palette is often used so that one’s attention is drawn to the architectural elements of the garden. Typically, the color in Modern Gardens comes primarily from the soft hues of the plants and accents. Flowers are not a significant part of this style of landscaping; instead, garden pots, vibrant cushions, and garden art are highlighted. The Modern Garden style is also sometimes referred to as Art Deco.

    4. Oriental Gardens

    The Oriental Garden landscape style, derived from Buddhist and Hindu gardens, is intended to reflect a sense of spirituality. Gardens are used for prayer or meditation in many Asian cultures; thus, every element has intentional meaning. Design choices create a calming environment, with the use of water features, curving pathways, and a subdued plant palette. The foliage and shape of the landscape plants provide color and texture and often include bonsai trees and shrubs adjacent to vivid foliage.

    5. Formal Gardens

    A Formal Garden is highly structured and sophisticated. Formal Gardens, usually considered “European” in landscape style, have been widely celebrated throughout history. These gardens are comprised of hedges and geometric beds with a strong focus on symmetry.

    The Italian Garden and French Garden are two of the most prominent Formal Garden designs in America. Italian Gardens reflects Roman history, with elements such as terracotta pots or tiles, stone accents, narrow evergreens, and clipped hedges. The French Garden landscape style stemmed from the earlier Italian style but evolved to include more flowers and fragrances. As well, decomposed granite paths and cast iron seating are frequently part of a French Garden’s design.

    What If You Can’t Decide?

    It’s common to struggle when choosing between landscape styles or landscape trends. Our professional Kansas City landscape company can incorporate elements of different landscape styles in ways that work. We’ll also help you merge your style into a design plan that works with the architecture of your home.

    Learn Your Landscape Style

    Contact High Prairie Outdoors today to get started! We’re your destination for Kansas City landscaping, always ahead of the curve on the latest landscape trends. We’ll help you to learn your landscape style and design a space that you’ll enjoy spending time in with friends and family for years to come.

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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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