Landscaping 101 – Using Color to Enhance Your Landscape Design

Y&L Landscaping is a creative and visual way to improve your property. It adds value to your home and also helps preserve natural resources like soil quality and water.


A well-maintained yard with lush grass and flowers provides year-round visual interest. And, if you’re planning to sell your property, it shows buyers that the owners take pride in their home and care about it.

The emerald green grass, colorful flowers and sweet-smelling fragrances of a well-manicured lawn or garden instantly brighten a person’s mood. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, a landscape can also provide environmental and health benefits, boost property value and create a welcoming atmosphere for family and guests. Landscaping is the practice of modifying an outdoor space with plants, trees and other organic materials. It can include adding or removing elements, changing the soil, and constructing structures such as fences, patio covers and walls.

People have been practicing landscaping for centuries, altering the natural features of their surroundings for both aesthetic and practical reasons. It has been shown that exposure to plants can lower blood pressure, reduce stress and anxiety, and even increase concentration.

Plantings are the most important aspect of landscaping, and they come in a wide variety of shapes, colors and textures. They add color and texture to a landscape, and can be used to create focal points, boundaries or hide unsightly elements. The use of plants in landscaping can also help reduce energy costs by shading buildings and reducing the need for air conditioning.

While the majority of landscaping is done with softscapes, there are some hardscape features that should not be ignored. These may include retaining walls, walkways, patios and driveways. They are a great way to add visual interest to your yard, and can complement the design of your home or business.

Landscapers should have a strong background in horticulture, and be able to understand and interpret the plans created by a designer or architect. They should also be able to perform all aspects of landscape maintenance, including planting and mowing, as well as pruning, mulching, weeding and pest management. They should also have the ability to build retaining walls and other structures, and be familiar with a range of landscape construction materials.

A successful landscaper is able to translate the vision of the client into an appealing and functional outdoor environment. They can work with a wide range of budgets and styles, and should be able to communicate the details of the project clearly to the client. Landscapers should also be able to suggest creative solutions and alternatives when necessary.


Hardscaping is one of the two main practices used in landscaping. Basically, it refers to the integration of solid, non-living elements into outdoor spaces like gardens, parks, yards or walkways. The elements can be anything from stones to bricks to concrete. These structures typically define the use of a space and add aesthetic appeal to it. For instance, a gravel path is a great way to connect different parts of a garden or park, while fences are good for keeping kids and pets in or out.

These structures can also add functionality to a space, for example, patios and fire pits make for ideal places to sit and relax. They can also help with reducing maintenance costs. Since plants and grass require a lot of attention to keep them alive, having hardscapes in your yard can lessen the amount of time you spend watering, weeding, or mowing.

Additionally, hardscapes can add to your property’s value. Since they are made of durable materials, these structures are able to stand the test of time and provide you with years of enjoyment. They can even increase your property’s drought tolerance.

It’s important to note, however, that hardscapes are only effective when mixed with a proper softscape. While they are durable, they do not have the same benefits as plants and grass. Plants and grass can absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, while they also provide food and shelter for wildlife. This makes them a much more natural, eco-friendly choice for your landscape.

When it comes to choosing the best landscape for your home, both hardscapes and softscapes are essential. The combination of these two services can transform your yard into a beautiful, functional place to spend your time. With the right design, your yard can become a space where you can entertain guests, host barbecues, and simply enjoy the beauty of Northern Michigan. To get started, contact Environmental Designs today to see how we can help you create a one-of-a-kind yard. We look forward to helping you turn your dream into a reality!


Color is a powerful tool that has the potential to transform your landscape into a vibrant and emotionally captivating outdoor space. By incorporating color, you can create focal points, enhance depth, and establish harmony within your landscape design. The key to successful landscape color is balance and utilizing the principles of color harmonies, including complementary, analogous, and monochromatic. By understanding how these color harmonies work, you can harness the power of color to enhance your landscape design.

Color Evokes Mood and Atmosphere

Different colors have the ability to evoke specific emotions and set the desired mood for your landscape design. Warm colors such as red, orange, and yellow evoke feelings of energy and vibrancy while cool colors like blues and greens promote a sense of tranquility and serenity. When using color to evoke desired emotions, consider the existing colors of your landscape and home to ensure that the combination is harmonious.

Creates Focal Points

The use of contrasting colors can be used to draw attention to specific areas or elements in your landscape. Placing brighter, more vibrant colors in the foreground and gradually transitioning to softer or more muted colors in the background can create an illusion of depth and visual interest.

Enhances Depth

The use of complementary colors can be used to add a feeling of depth and dimension to your landscape design. Pairing contrasting colors such as purple and yellow can create a bold focal point that will immediately catch the eye. Complementary colors are also great for establishing a harmonious balance within your landscape design by pairing colors that sit opposite each other on the color wheel.

Analogous Colors

An analogous color scheme uses colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel to create a cohesive and harmonious color palette. Incorporating analogous colors within your landscape can help to add a sense of unity and flow, as the colors are closely related and complement each other well. This color scheme is also a good option for creating a peaceful and serene atmosphere, as it incorporates calming shades of blue and green.


One of the most important parts of a landscape design is its form. Form is different from shape in that while shape refers to the two-dimensional attributes of a plant, form takes into account its overall three-dimensional qualities. Form can be created by the overall shapes of plants, hardscape elements like walkways and retaining walls and even the overall shape of the yard itself. It is a critical part of the landscape because it allows for continuity throughout the yard without creating a monotonous look.

Form is also an important aspect of a balanced landscape because it can be used to create a variety of themes. For example, a formal garden might use plants with tailored forms, such as clipped hedges, while an informal yard would likely include more natural plants with less defined forms.

Another key element of a well-balanced landscape is color. While some people enjoy more neutral colors, others find that vibrant and contrasting hues make for a more appealing landscape. Regardless of personal preferences, it is important to choose colors that will maintain visual interest across the seasons. This can be achieved by choosing plants that will offer colorful foliage and flowers in the summer, as well as evergreens and holly that will provide color in the winter.

The last aspect of a landscaping is its texture, which refers to the roughness or smoothness of an area. This can be achieved by using different types of vegetation, as well as hardscape elements like rocks and gravel. It is important to consider the varying textures of your property when designing your landscape because they will affect the way that water flows and how light shines on the space.

Landscaping is a great way to improve the appearance of your home and increase its value. It can be done by adding a variety of different features, including trees, grass, and other plants, as well as hardscapes like patios and walkways. A professional landscaper can help you determine the best type of landscape for your needs and budget. They can also advise you on how to maintain your landscaping and keep it looking its best.