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The Homeowner’s Guide to Residential Landscape Design in NJ

residential landscape designIf you’re a homeowner who’s interested in creating a new look for your landscape, you have a lot of great options. With the right planning and the help of a qualified landscape professional, you can create a residential landscape design in NJ that will add years of enjoyment and value to your home.

Whether your property is large or small, there’s a variety of landscape design features that can add beauty and ambiance to your landscape. You can create beautiful curb appeal and a welcoming entrance for your front yard, or a comfortable, relaxing retreat for your back yard with special outdoor features that create a perfect environment for entertaining and family activities. There’s a world of possibilities, so you can easily create a residential landscape design in NJ that fits your family’s needs and budget.

Plants, Trees and Shrubs

Whether you have a large yard with plenty of room for outdoor features or a small yard with limited space, you can create a beautiful landscape with a variety of trees and plants. Lush, green landscaping instantly creates a comfortable, natural setting for outdoor activities. Whether you want a sophisticated outdoor space for entertaining, a great play area for the kids or a relaxing retreat for yourself, the right landscaping will provide a beautiful backdrop. With new trees, shrubs and plants, you can add depth, height, color and texture to your yard. You can add privacy around your patio and borders along walkways and pathways. Landscaping with trees and plants in a variety of sizes, shapes and textures will create visual interest in your yard.

Choose a quiet corner of the yard and create a peaceful Zen garden with Japanese Barberry, azaleas and bamboo where you can relax in a hammock with your favorite book. Plant a beautiful flower garden with colorful bloomers like chrysanthemums, dahlias and sunflowers for fresh flowers in your home. If you love to cook, plant fruit trees, a vegetable garden or an herb garden that you can enjoy while cooking in the kitchen. Whatever type and size property you have, you can create a residential landscape design in NJ that’s lush, green and beautiful year-round by using the right plants.

Garden Design

Whether you want a front yard garden that will welcome guests or a backyard garden that provides lots of color, many landscape companies offer garden design and maintenance services that include:

  • Existing Garden Renovations
  • Garden Designs with Annuals and Perennials
  • Bulb Gardens
  • Seasonal Gardens
  • Containers and Window Boxes
  • Specialty Gardens
  • Spring Garden Cleanup
  • Fall Cut-back of Growth
  • Pruning and Deadheading of Annuals and Perennials
  • Cultivating and Weeding of Garden Beds
  • Fertilizing Annuals and Perennials
  • Insect and Disease Control

residential landscape design

Theme Landscapes and Gardens

  • Native Gardens – Create a garden with native New Jersey plants that provide pollen, seeds and nectar as a natural food source for native insects, birds, butterflies and wildlife. Native plants don’t need fertilizers and pesticides, require less water and reduce air pollution.
  • Wildlife Gardens – Wildlife gardens will attract insects and animals with  plants and flowers, birdhouses, ponds and natural surroundings. Think of your wildlife garden as a nature reserve that provides a safe habitat for wildlife and a wonderful experience for you.
  • Butterfly Gardens – What could be more beautiful than colorful butterflies fluttering around in your yard? By growing plants that caterpillars like to eat and adult butterflies feed on, you can create a wonderful butterfly garden that protects native butterflies and promotes a healthy, green landscape.
  • Moon Gardens – Moon gardens provide a great way to enjoy night blooming plants that give off wonderful scents. White flowers and lightly-colored plants reflect moonlight and attract important pollinators to your yard. For fragrance, plant columbine, mock orange and honeysuckle.
  • Tropical Gardens – You can create a tropical residential landscape design in NJ by planting banana trees, bird of paradise, ferns, hoyas, orchids and palms. These plants will add height and depth to your landscape while creating a tropical oasis.

Walkways and Pathways

Hardscaping with outdoor walkways and pathways can add beauty and interest to your landscape. You can create an inviting entrance to your home, a convenient pathway to the pool and spa or a romantic pathway to an outdoor garden. Hard surface materials like natural stone, brick and concrete will provide texture and contrast against lush, green grass.

Design possibilities for outdoor walkways and pathways are endless. You can build them in long, winding shapes or short straight lengths, depending on their location and use. There’s a variety of materials available, so you can choose materials in earthy, subtle colors that blend into your landscape or colorful materials that will stand out and add visual interest and contrast.

residential landscape design

Patios and Terraces

A patio or terrace provides a great outdoor space for entertaining. You can choose a location adjacent to the house for convenience or a more remote location in the yard for privacy and an intimate setting. Once you determine the best location, talk to a landscape contractor who can help you with size and materials based on your needs and your landscape conditions.

Natural stones like granite, limestone and marble offer timeless quality that will compliment any style of architecture. They’re available in a wide variety of paver sizes, shapes and colors, so it’s easy to find a stone that will enhance your home’s residential landscape design in NJ. Although natural stone is warm and sophisticated, you may want to consider concrete for modern designs and brick for traditional designs. Natural stone, concrete and brick all offer long-lasting durability and easy year-round maintenance.

If you have a large back yard, or your home is built on a sloping property, consider a multi-level patio to accommodate your landscape terrain. Multi-level patios and terraces can provide separate levels for different functions and increase your outdoor entertaining space for large gatherings. You can use one level for cooking and dining and the other for quiet conversations.

Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is often needed to stabilize sloping landscapes and prevent soil erosion. It must be strong enough to hold back the force of the soil and keep the ground from moving and shifting. A retaining wall usually has holes in it to allow ground water to escape and relieve pressure. Although a retaining wall is a necessary, functional outdoor feature, it should blend into your landscape naturally. By adding plants and other garden features around the wall, you can create a completely natural appearance.

Retaining walls can be built in stone, concrete or wood, but it’s best to work with a qualified landscape professional who can examine soil conditions and suggest the best material for construction. It’s important that the retaining wall is built high enough and strong enough to do it’s job without developing cracks or collapsing.

A full-service landscape company can design and build a variety of outdoor home features that will enhance your residential landscape design in NJ. Take a look at great outdoor features you can add to your landscape:

Swimming Pools and Spas

A swimming pool and spa in your back yard opens up a whole new world of entertainment options for your family. You can plan a fun-filled pool party for the kids or a relaxing spa day with friends. A swimming pool and spa offers endless possibilities for enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.

Swimming pools and spas can be designed and built in various shapes and sizes with beautiful custom features such as waterfalls, slides, underwater jets and lights, tanning ledges and steps. You can also combine the pool and spa for added convenience. If you have a large back yard, consider a rectangular or square shaped pool that can be built larger and deeper. For a small yard, an oval shaped pool or a lap pool will take up less of the yard. In cold New Jersey winters, a heated pool would be a welcome addition to your residential landscape design in NJ.

residential landscape design

Pool Houses and Cabanas

A pool house or cabana is a great outdoor feature when you have a swimming pool or spa. It creates a convenient area for guests to dry off and relax after jumping out of the water. It doesn’t have to be luxurious or large, but it does need to be located near the pool and spa. You should include a storage space for towels and poolside necessities. If you have adequate space, include changing areas and a bar area. If you have a pool or spa, a pool house or cabana will quickly become the main hub for gathering and entertaining during pool activities and parties.

Waterfalls and Fountains

Adding an outdoor waterfall or fountain to your residential landscape design in NJ will create a relaxing, tranquil atmosphere. These features will also create a lovely focal point that adds beauty and interest to your landscape. Build a natural rock waterfall in a corner of the yard, against the fence perimeter or near the patio for soothing water sounds. Design a beautiful tiered fountain near the pool or courtyard with lights for nighttime enjoyment. To conserve water and save money, consider adding a pump that recirculates water continuously or connects to some type of irrigation system for your landscape.

Water Gardens and Ponds

A water garden is typically filled with a variety of water-loving plants and flowers. Plants are carefully placed to create a natural balance that encourages growth. If there’s overcrowding, plants don’t grow well, and if there aren’t enough plants, algae will develop causing slime and bacteria. Water gardens create a natural addition to your landscape and typically require simple maintenance.

A relaxing outdoor pond will create a tranquil backyard environment and provide a unique focal point in your landscape. Your pond can be filled with greenery, underwater lights and even beautiful Koi fish that will intrigue your guests. The graceful movements of the fish will add serenity and beauty to your landscape.

Fireplaces and Fire Pits

An outdoor fireplace in a great feature for any residential landscape design in NJ. Whether your yard is large or small, you can design an outdoor fireplace that’s perfectly proportioned to the size of your yard. Outdoor fireplaces are usually built in a rectangular shape, but they can also be square, round or oval. The exterior can be covered in stacked stone, river rock, flagstone, limestoneor brick.You can add custom features like an extended hearth and mantel, as well as decorative lights and tiles For small yards, outdoor fireplaces can be built as small as 3 feet wide x 2 feet deep x 4 feet tall.

An outdoor fire pit is basically a hole in the ground with raised walls. The interior of the fire pit must be authentic firebrick with fireproof grout for safety. Most fire pits are built in round shapes, but they can also be square, rectangular or oval. The raised walls can be covered with stone, brick or tile and they can be built with a ledge or seating area around the opening. Since fire pits don’t have a chimney, you can locate them in any open area on your property, so they offer more flexibility than fireplaces.

Outdoor Kitchens

An outdoor kitchen is the perfect addition to your residential landscape design in NJ. It will expand your living space, increase your outdoor entertaining space and provide year-round outdoor enjoyment. If you like to entertain and cook, an outdoor kitchen is a home feature that you’ll enjoy using over and over again. Depending on your needs and budget, there are many great appliances and amenities available for outdoor kitchens.

You can choose from gas grills, electric grills, hybrid fire grills (cook using gas, charcoal and wood) and wood-fired grills (cook with wood, but often have gas starters for fast ignition). Optional appliances include side burners, cook tops, rotisseries, pizza ovens, smokers, deep fryers, griddles and warming drawers. You can include under-counter refrigerators, ice makers, freezers, wine coolers and beer kegerators. Kitchen accessories include dishwashers and sinks, blenders, storage drawers and cabinets, trash bins, cutting boards, cooking utensils and lighting.

residential landscape design

Landscape Lighting

Landscape lighting will create soft, inviting ambiance for your home and  landscape. It will enhance the beauty of your home at night and create  another dimension for your landscape. Landscape lighting highlights architectural materials and features on your house and enhances special features and details in your yard.

Outdoor landscape fixtures like spots and uplights can be used to accent trees, shrubs and garden areas. Spots and motion detectors add safety and security to your house and yard after dark. Pathway lights provide safety for walkways, pathways and areas around the pool or patio. Wall mounted and ceiling fixtures or pendants provide essential lighting for outdoor dining and seating areas. Landscape lighting comes in a variety of fixtures in low-voltage, LED and solar powered lighting. You’ll find beautiful outdoor finishes in brass, bronze, pewter, nickel and copper that will compliment any style of residential landscape design in NJ.