By Leesa Metzger, Metzger Landscaping & Garden Center
Landscaping a farmhouse is all about an appreciation of the vistas and the pastoral settings of a rural area. Yet even if you don’t live in the country, you can still landscape with an eye towards that relaxed country style.
The most important thing in designing for a country house is recognizing the specifics of your own architecture and setting. Having grown up on a farm and still loving the country life, as well as creating beautiful landscapes for over 20 years; I’d like to share some professional tips for creating a gorgeous country-style garden.
· Do look for lines in the architecture and land that can be repeated through the landscape. For example, the swoop of a roofline can be mimicked in the lines of a pathway to give the sense that home and landscape fit together seamlessly.
· Do use a soft color palette in your planting and décor. White, light blue and the natural tones of foliage highlight the country theme best. Also, try to reflect the colors from your interior and architecture within the landscape for a cohesive look.
· Do make the most of your views. Plan your landscaping to enhance and draw the eye towards any pastoral scenes, beautiful trees, or rolling hills that may be visible from your property, both from inside the house and out.
· Do choose local materials and stone. A country home reflects its natural surroundings, so adding boulders, rock outcroppings, stacked stone walls or irregular flagstones native to your region will give your rural home the easy elegance that comes from fitting with the environment.
· Don’t neglect cultural requirements when choosing plants. It’s been said before, but still rings true, “choosing the right plant for the right place is key in successful planting design.” Paying attention to whether you have sun or shade, wet soil or dry, and then picking plants to suit can make all the difference in having a healthy, thriving landscape.
· Don’t spend your weekends weeding. While topdressing with compost can help keep down weeds, the best weed control is mass plantings of ground cover, or a fresh layer of quality mulch.
· Don’t select elements contrary to the farmhouse theme. Rustic elements like Adirondack chairs, built-in benches with cushions, and even old-fashioned oak barrels will fit better than sleek, modern décor.
The most important place to start in any design is with solid design principles. Pay attention to how people will move through the space, and concepts like form, line, texture, balance and rhythm all play a part in that sublime sense that the landscape just feels right. While many people start planning a landscape by thinking about plants, a designer first considers issues of structure such as what is happening in the architecture and on the land. This results in a landscape that both looks beautiful and functions well. If you’re not sure where to start, hire a landscape designer, you’ll save time and money in the end if you start with the right plan.
In the last 20 years as a professional landscape designer, I have created a variety of custom landscapes perfectly suited to their surroundings. While each of the built landscapes by Metzger Landscaping shares similarities in the principles used to create them, each has its own character which comes from observing and acknowledging the specifics of the site. Along with installing unique plants and hardscaping such as patios, paver sidewalks and retaining walls, Metzger Landscaping in North Manchester has a nursery specializing in high-quality perennials, trees and shrubs as well as annual bedding plants and hanging baskets. The garden center is stocked with everything a gardener needs from plants, tools, fertilizers, flower and vegetable garden seed packets as well as fun things to add color and variety to the garden such as garden iron, trellises, lanterns, garden shed décor, and decorative pots. Pick-up bulk mulch, topsoil, stone, and landscape edging to start your next landscaping project.