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Aug 16, 2022
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Multi-level landscape: 5 principles of creation

Multi-level landscape: 5 principles of creation

One has only to slightly change the landscape of your favorite summer cottages – and the garden will be transformed beyond recognition. Such an effect cannot be achieved either with decor or with a cardinal change of plants or accessories. This method of “renovation” of the garden – the complication of space – without exaggeration can be called revolutionary, because in this case not only the maximum of the available area is used, but also an additional one appears. Everything is explained simply: in most cases, the space does not change visually, but physically.

The use of this design technique completely diverts attention from the shape and size of the garden and allows you to create unusually beautiful and at the same time rational landscapes. And for residents of places with a problematic climate, there is a nice bonus: thanks to the spatial elements in the garden, the cons of natural conditions are “smoothed out”: lack of heat and excess moisture.

In order to transform the garden, it is enough to use one of the five principles, which we will discuss below. But if you want to create the impression of a completely new space, apply them all at the same time.

1. Creation of architectural layering

You will get, in fact, a “multi-story” garden. At the same time, all “floors” can be used by filling with various elements of landscape design. Layering is achieved in two ways: you can use the natural terrain of the site or build special structures that will create artificial height differences. For example, if the site has a pronounced relief or is located on a slope, let this relief work for you. Arrange retaining walls and steps, all kinds of podiums and recreation areas.

The latter can be erected not only according to the technology of “classic” retaining walls, but also designed as hanging observation platforms and balconies, where part of the site rests on the slope, and part – on solid piles. They, in turn, must have a reliable foundation laid to the depth of freezing.

After all the transformations, the site will be a system of large and small terraces, the area of ​​\u200b\u200bwhich is used to the maximum. On the terraces, you can plant flower beds, sow a lawn, build a gazebo, plant trees and shrubs, build a bathhouse and even arrange a small pond.

All terraces are an ideal option for “designer” lighting: when the lamps are at different levels, you can embody different ideas, “play” different “scenarios” of lighting.

And how wonderfully the alpine slides and rock gardens fit into the terraced garden! Here you can fully enjoy the beauty of the stone – its brutal restraint “in volume” looks even more impressive. All created levels of the garden must perform “useful work”, be involved. How – depends on the size of the “floors”:

  • If this is a large-scale site, place a recreation area with a barbecue for a large company on it.
  • A very small one can at the same time be a bench originally built into the landscape – you just need to choose the right cover for the seat.
  • Is there a significant difference in height between the erected terraces? Great, this is a must use! For example, by building a decorative grotto or outbuilding directly into the slope.
  • And even if your plot is completely flat, the dream of a multi-level garden is feasible: when there is no relief, it must be organized. To obtain the effect, 3-4 levels are enough with a difference in height of at least 20 cm. And the missing relief can be created partly by importing soil and creating bulk retaining walls, and partly by special multi-level structures: podiums, flooring. They are built on a high foundation or fixed completely on piles.

A variety of bridges – both real and decorative – are placed over reservoirs or “dry” streams (pebble or flower “channels”).

And here’s another idea: place a gazebo on a high foundation with steps into which small flower beds will be built (then you can arrange plants in pots there), or which will become benches at the same time.

High flower beds with additional “options” are also attributes of the “spatial garden”. On one of the tiers of the flower bed, place a fountain or garden lamps, on the second – garden figurines, on the third – the flower garden itself.

When creating levels in the garden, move not only up, but also down: the so-called recessed gardens and recreation areas are a piece of design stuff, and while they are still rare in our gardens, be a “pioneer”! These spectacular garden objects give the impression of a larger area of ​​​​the site than it really is.

2. Organization of vertical gardening

These elements of garden architecture are expressive and very popular. Thanks to them, the space of the garden becomes more interesting and deeper, different dimensions appear in it. Just do not forget that vertical gardening is planned in advance, at the construction stage, as it is connected with the “engineering part” of the garden. Supports here “work” on an equal footing with plants and can be both visible and hidden, for example, removable synthetic nets or wire stretched between pegs. Building walls and fences are also an option.

Or choose the usual decorative supports: garden screens, pergolas, trellises, arches, trellises, turrets – columnar, made of thin metal pipes, wood or forged elements. For a Japanese-style garden, bamboo is most appropriate. And if you want something non-standard, use the “objects” that are in your garden as supports: dried trees, picturesque large snags, tall lamps, drainpipes …

Both annuals and perennials can act as a green wall, but it is best to combine them. Do not strive for the exotic, it would be more rational to choose the most unpretentious, frost-resistant plants requiring minimal care. Win-win “candidates” – girlish or Amur grapes, ordinary hops, clematis, actinidia kolomikta, Chinese magnolia vine, honeysuckle honeysuckle, climbing roses, purple morning glory, sweet peas, nasturtium, ornamental beans, ornamental pumpkin.

Summing up, we note: vertical gardening is a universal “decorator”, with its help you can completely disguise a barn, garage, compost heap, unsightly fence or structural joints.

3. Use decorative objects to support the idea of ​​different levels

Such objects, as a rule, are considered to be all sorts of “stylish things” from the category of garden decor, emphasizing with their appearance and structure the elevation differences present in the garden.

For example, you can unusually place flower containers of different sizes, putting them on top of each other, and plant flowers in such a “pyramid”. Or build a spectacular accessory: a barrel of ampelous strawberries. You can attach boxes of earth to the steps of the garden stairs – and depending on the content, it will bloom in lush color or turn into a “bookcase” with green salads. Another idea: plant containers can be mounted on a vertically standing pipe or hung at different heights from a garden wall.

Important: there is no better way to emphasize the spectacularity of an object than a strong contrast, therefore it is better to accentuate the verticals with horizontals – a long narrow bench, a chain of floor lamps or a decorative portable border for a flower garden.

And – a little about the fence. It is he who plays the role of a “frame” for the garden, although this is not an accessory, but a fundamental structure. A great idea is to make the fence multi-level in some places. The simplest is a fence with ledges, some elements of different heights.

4. Choosing “tiered” plants

“Green pets” choose any you like, because a spatial garden is a very individual, author’s object. However, among your favorites, prefer plants that tend to rise, emphasizing the “vertical dimension”. Junipers, arborvitae, ‘Conica’ spruce, trees and shrubs with a vertical crown shape, as well as grasses, sedges, gladiolus, lilies, phloxes, irises, salvia or montbrecia will decorate the garden.

Important: you can’t do without ground cover and creeping plants, trees and shrubs with a horizontal crown shape – they give the garden a special “zest” and make the stylization perfect.

5. Creating optical effects

The impression of a multi-level garden will arise if you use different construction and finishing materials, all kinds of colors and shades in the design.

For example, without sacrificing style, structures made of stone, wood and metal can be combined within one garden. You can build a wooden gazebo and zone the garden space with the help of gabions – wire structures with stone backfill. Or make the main objects in the garden wooden, and in the container garden use galvanization or terracotta, or both.

The paths can be made of natural stone and supplemented with wooden decking. But if you are a “fan” of one material (natural stone, for example), “play” on the difference in textures.

When choosing a color solution, do not stop at one color, call on contrasts to help. But do not get carried away with the number of colors – if you want the garden to look noble, you should not use more than four different colors when decorating it.

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