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Sarasota Landscape Design Is A Blend Of Artistic Expression Built On Sustainable Irrigation and Water Management

Uploaded on: November 21, 2013

The Sarasota, Bradenton and the barrier islands are all areas with water-sensitive issues. Before the artistic expression of a landscape design can begin the water needs and runoff issues of the site must be fully understood. As such, every quality landscape design in our area must begin with a plan for efficient irrigation, and management of storm water runoff.

A garden is truly a living sculpture. Any landscape design concept should be to provide the garden occupants a pleasant area for entertainment and relaxation. Planning a landscape begins with the desires of the owners as well as the abilities of the land.

In Florida, many landscape design concepts need to begin with the natural water in the area. The plans need to extend to consider runoff and how the plants and land will tolerate salt water intrusion from weather events and of course a scarcity of water during Florida's dry season.

Landscaping includes horticulture and arborculture within its most basic designs, and Grant's Gardens, established in 2000, demonstrates a passion for these sciences. The team, serving the Sarasota area, has developed a landscaping company with a great reputation for gardening excellence. Our clients are served in all areas of garden maintenance and landscape design. We never compromise quality of service, aesthetics or our responsibilities to long term sustainability.

All of these reasons are why we begin our planning by considering the water on the property. With Florida's extreme dry then wet seasons, we need to think about how the landscaping will handle water. We will examine run off options to ensure minimal pooling or flooding in the landscaping designs. We will work with existing pockets, natural bodies of water or other water options, as directed by the customer. We can tackle any unsightly water spots, integrating them into the landscape and creating a new, picturesque area for you!

We are a professional team of landscapers, and we look forward to meeting with you! When we meet for the first time, we will ask you about your specific requirements and tastes regarding your outdoor area. We will discuss pathways, entry statements, amenities, situating features, focal points and landscape lighting, among other things.

Landscape Design Concepts

Before you meet with us, however, you should understand the principles of landscape design. These principles include many different elements, such as scale, unity, simplicity, balance, variety, sequence and emphasis as they coincide with form, line, color and texture. Every single element is interconnected. Landscape design is a full process of creating pleasing and practical outdoor spaces.

Unity is Quality

Unity grabs the attention and keeps it. View is organized into neat groups, with some emphasis placed on specific areas. Unity begins with the initial meeting, when we find out your interests to integrate them into the landscape.

Lines to Define and Connect Spaces

Lines create a powerful element of design to define rooms within the landscape and connect individuals to the garden. Professionals often us bold curves and lines, contrary to smaller zigzags or wavy curves. Lines also define space for the eye, making the garden attractive and personal.

Form Is Three-Dimensional

Form is created and determined by direction, line and arrangement of the twigs and branches in the garden. Unity calls for a repeat of the topography form in the plant forms. Spreading and horizontal forms help emphasize the lateral breath and extent of space. These forms are welcoming because they correspond with the natural way the eye moves. The most common form in plant materials is rounded. Rounded plants allow for easier eye movement and help create a more pleasant undulation, leading itself to natural plant groupings. Vase-shaped trees or plants, such as the flowering dogwood native to Florida, define a canopy providing a space for sitting. Weeping forms of tree, such as the native fig tree, bring the eye to the ground. Attention is brought to whatever is underneath the tree. Pyramidal forms, such as the magnolia, drag the eyes to the sky, so they should be used sparingly. A group of pyramidals will help to soften any upward influence. Add foliage for a more natural look.

Texture Matters

Texture is defined as a relationship between twig size and foliage as well as the plant mass. When you are close, texture appears from the shape and size of the leaves, twigs, spacing of twigs, shading and colors, and dullness or gloss of leaves. From a distance, texture is gleaned from the overall mass of the plants, along with lighting and shadows.

Color Creates Response

Color is quite powerful in the creation of feeling and mood. "Color therapy" is very popular in today's fast paced world. Which moods or feelings do different colors create for you? Which colors will matter in your personal landscape? What feelings are you hoping to evoke in your garden? Do you want this to be a place of constant action or a place for you to relax?

Read the list below to find out what colors say:

















You'll also need to know which colors work for your specific design theme.

Cool colors include green, blue and purple. Cooler colors are restful, less conspicuous, suggest distance, recede into the landscape and are low scale.

Warm colors are red, yellow and orange. They are cheerful, conspicuous, stimulating, leap out of the landscape, and are high scale.

Scale Brings Out Emotion and Is Related to Color

Absolute scale brings together the fixed structure and the value of the landscape. Smaller trees will make a house appear larger. Bushes will make the house seem taller while water will reflect the image of the house, providing depth.

Relative scale brings out comparative values or sizes of objects within the landscape. This scale is quite emotionally charged, so naturally it is linked to color. It could create feelings of relaxation or action.

Balance Brings Equilibrium on Right and Left Sides

Formal balance is sometimes necessary for equilibrium. The same design is repeated on the right and the left, providing stateliness, stability and dignity. This balance can be very high maintenance to keep both sides similar. Informal balance refers to a difference between the right and the left.

Variety and Simplicity

Variety and simplicity work in harmony to provide balance. Simplicity provides a degree of repetition instead of constant change, bringing about unity. Variety is the diversity of a garden and contrast in simple texture, color and form. This prevents any form of monotony in the design. If you aim for simplicity, repeat plant materials in groupings and sweeps. If you'd like more variety, fill in spaces with differing plants. For example, zipper plantings, or repeating the same patterns again and again, lack both simplicity and variety. Rather, they create a high amount of monotony. If possible, avoid zoo horticulture, or two of everything.

Emphasis Means Subordination and Dominance of Elements

The human brain naturally searches for subordination and dominance in life. As we view a landscape from every direction, we yearn to view subordination and dominance in a degree of elements. If it's not there, we tend to pull away from the landscape. Too many gardens lack the element of dominance. Others are overstuffed with dominance, emphasizing the focal point too hard. Emphasis is achieved through bold shapes, different sizes, the unusual and different groupings. Decide on the focal point and balance subordination with dominance.


This is the change in color, form, size and texture, providing life or movement.

Sequence in Texture

Change the leaf size in neighboring, differing plants by one-half or more. Use a proportionate amount of fine textured plants. For example, a flower bed should have coarser textured, larger plants toward the back, then sequence toward finer textured and smaller plants toward the front.

Don't forget that texture becomes finer at a distance. In a far distant corner, plant finer textures then sequencing to coarser textures on the garden's edge.

Sequence in Color

There are only a small number of basic rules on how many cool or warm colors to use. You do need to be careful, though, to be sure the scale doesn't command the garden. More is never better. Generally, you want the design to have 90% green to offset every 10% of color. Darker shades and purer intensities will dominate and need to be used near the focal point.

Remember that warm colors always work in sequence. Use the cool colors to contrast warm; this is much more effective than any sequences.

Color Sequence

Decide what colors are to be used in the garden. Decide if dark or light will dominate. Darker colors always dominate and show up to the eye first. Figure out the number of flowers or plants for each color you will need. Determine the largest number of dark color to be used, then select the next lighter shade. Increase the number by a third. Move on to the next lighter shade and add one-third. Keep going for all shades of color for the landscaping. Remember, crescent or kidney shaped groupings help create a more natural and flowing design.

Contrasts in Color

Monochrome dark/light contrasts use two-thirds of one shade and a third of another. Complementary contrasts use two-thirds of a complementary color and a third of another.

Create Combinations for More Pizzazz Or Serenity

Color contrasts
Pairing opposites

If you are interested in developing a beautiful landscape design for your property contact Grants Gardens. We will be happy to make your vision a reality.

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Grant's Gardens is ​a full-service landscaping company that has been creating beautiful and functional outdoor spaces in Sarasota, Florida since 2000. We are passionate about crafting environments that our clients love.
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