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.

Landscape Lighting

Landscape Lighting Can Transform Your Home at Night

Landscape Lighting Orlando, FL is a great way to highlight your favorite trees, plants and garden features. It also helps to delineate property lines at night.


Low voltage landscape lighting is a great option because it’s easy to install as a DIY project. It uses 12 volts and eliminates the risk of shock from line voltage wires.

Uplighting is ideal for highlighting tall landscape features like trees, architectural columns, and statuary. Lights positioned to shine upward will highlight the shapes and designs of these elements, while also creating interesting contrasts with shadows. This lighting technique is also effective for highlighting the texture of your home’s exterior or the unique surface of a hardscape in your yard.

While many homeowners understandably confuse uplighting with floodlighting, these two lighting techniques accomplish different goals and are best used in tandem. Uplighting is usually a lower-wattage option, with beams that are narrower than flood lights. These lights are great for highlighting details and the finer aspects of a design, while floodlights are better for illuminating large areas and blending elements together.

In order to effectively use uplighting in your landscape, it is important to choose the right fixture. This type of fixture should not be too bright, as it will overpower your design and create unattractive shadows. Instead, it is best to use a fixture that is soft and subtle in appearance, so it doesn’t detract from the natural beauty of your landscape. Well lights, sconces, and bullet fixtures are all good options for uplighting.

The bulb you choose will also have a significant impact on your landscape lighting. LED bulbs are a great choice for uplighting, as they produce a much softer glow and use less electricity than traditional halogen bulbs. Additionally, choosing a warmer color will help your landscaping appear more inviting and natural.

One of the most difficult aspects of uplighting is achieving the desired effect without creating an overly harsh or “in your face” look. To avoid this, it is critical to work with experienced lighting professionals who have a proven track record of successful landscape lighting projects. They will have the experience to ensure your uplighting is properly positioned and produces the results you want.

If you are interested in uplighting your home or a specific landscape feature, contact us today to learn more about our services. We are happy to discuss the possibilities and recommend a solution that is perfect for your property.


When you think of landscape lighting, you may be imagining spotlights or flood lights. While both are useful in illuminating certain design elements, there are some important differences that you should keep in mind when selecting your fixtures for your San Diego landscape project.

Spotlights have a narrower beam of light that is typically no wider than 45 degrees. They are ideal for illuminating particular features such as trees, shrubs, sculptures or architectural features on your home. These types of lights are also well suited for path-area lighting as they cast pools of light that are safe for walking at night and can create a dramatic effect.

Floodlights, on the other hand, have a much wider beam of light that can be used to illuminate a larger area of your yard or outdoor living space. These types of fixtures are great for large trees, retaining walls or areas where you want to increase visibility and safety for guests. They are also a good choice for lighting a pool or patio as they can help to keep people from falling into the water and are safe for children to play in.

While these types of lights are more practical than uplighting, they can have their drawbacks. For example, flood lights can cause glare which can be difficult to avoid when viewing your landscaping at night. Additionally, they can have a tendency to wash your landscaping with too much light which can take away from the artistic impact that you are trying to achieve.

Fortunately, LED technology is quickly becoming the standard for these types of fixtures. They have the ability to produce a more natural and even glow than traditional incandescent bulbs while offering lower operating costs and longer life.

When deciding on which type of landscape lighting to use in your property, it is always best to consult with your professional installers. They can provide you with the information you need to select the perfect fixtures that will complement your style and meet your goals for your backyard lighting project. In the end, it is all about creating a space that you can enjoy long after the sun has set.

Accent Lighting

Adding outdoor home accent lighting can enhance your property and help it stand out from the crowd. This is a great way to increase curb appeal, which can also lead to a faster and easier sell if you plan to move at some point in the future. This type of lighting can highlight a garden, pool, driveway, patio or even your house itself. It can also be used to illuminate a walkway or garden path for safety, and there are many different styles of fixtures available.

Whether you have an ornately carved stone statue, a winding path or a water fountain that brings you joy and relaxation, landscape accent lighting can showcase these elements of your yard. These lights accentuate the features that are unique to your property and give it a look of its own at night. They are often used to draw attention to a special tree, garden statue or other element, and they can be designed to create a beautiful shadow effect around the object that is being highlighted.

Accent lighting is important for a variety of reasons, including safety and aesthetics. It can be used to illuminate steps and other obstacles for people moving around after dark, which can help to prevent tripping hazards and other potential injuries. It can also be used to highlight architectural or other features of your home and yard, such as a unique garden statue or the texture of the brick on your home exterior.

There are a number of different ways to use accent lighting, and it is essential to experiment with different techniques to find the one that works best for your property. The key is to avoid over-lighting, which can make your yard look flat and lifeless. Instead, you should aim to highlight the features that make your property special while providing enough illumination for your needs.

The most popular types of landscape accent lighting include spotlights and in-ground lights. A spotlight can be placed behind the feature that you want to highlight and aimed at an adjacent wall, which will create an illuminated outline. This effect is often called silhouetting and it can bring out the shape of your feature and create intrigue and drama. Alternatively, you can try shadowing, which uses a similar technique but aims the light towards the bottom of the feature instead of an adjacent wall.

Ambient Lighting

Adding outdoor landscape lighting can transform your home at night. It draws attention to architectural features, enhances the beauty of trees and plants, and adds a sense of safety and security. And it will make your home more attractive to potential buyers when the time comes to sell.

The most important reason for installing a landscape lighting system is to create a safe and welcoming environment after dark. Well-lit paths reveal any obstacles or uneven surfaces that could cause a fall, while illuminated stairs and drop-offs help people safely navigate these areas at night. A well-lit entrance welcomes family and guests, while a brightly lit yard or garden reveals your hard work and increases curb appeal.

In addition to illuminating safety and beauty goals, landscape lighting can also add dimension and depth to your property. It can showcase a beautiful tree or plant and draw the eye to specific architectural elements of your home, such as an arched entryway or a decorative fence post. Accent lighting draws the eye to a particular object, such as a sculpture or plant, and is often used in combination with uplighting or floodlighting to highlight different aspects of an element.

Landscape lighting should be a complement to the architecture of your home, not compete with it. It should also be consistent with the color temperature of other exterior finishes and landscaping materials. For example, warmer colors like oak trees and brown siding look better with warm white light, while cool gray exterior stone looks best with a neutral or very cool white.

A good landscape lighting design considers the function and beauty of your home, garden, and pool. It will illuminate the features you’re most proud of, such as a walkway of raised planters or your favorite tree. It will define the boundaries of your property, and it will highlight the lines between your yard and neighbor’s. And it will help you show off your home’s unique architecture and your own personal style at night. It will be a nighttime masterpiece that you’ll want to share with your family and friends.