Country Landscaping Ideas

Get cozy in wide-open spaces with these country landscaping ideas
Herbs in Crates Lend Rustic Feel to Country Garden

Herbs in Crates Lend Rustic Feel to Country Garden

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Get the cottage look with country landscaping ideas that work in any yard. 

Sometimes landscaping seems easier when it fits into a neat, postage-stamp-shaped yard on a suburban street in Anytown, USA. But for all the country mice, transitioning from wide-open spaces, adjoining farmland or forests can be more of a challenge. Even if you live in a city, you can capture the charm of country life with a landscape design plan that blends the best of both worlds.

The primary characteristics of country landscaping are softness and casul structure. While country gardens borrow from traditional English design, they’re less formal and more open. The style of hardscapes such as walls, fences and additional structures (arbors, sheds, etc) is important to country landscape design – it needs to feel unobtrusive and friendly.

The gauzy edges of country gardens – borders where plants meet fields or forests – can be deceiving: although they look completely natural, they require upkeep such as trimming and weeding. A free-form patch of wildflowers surrounded by a row of mini-hedge can quickly become unwieldy if neglected.

There are no hard and fast rules for creating the country look, but flowers are essential. Don’t underestimate the cheerfulness of a daisy or the hug of a chubby hydrangea bush next to a lane paved with stones. Honeysuckle hanging from a wooden gate or fence beckons from afar, and a Grecian urn full of geraniums gives a nod to history without going too far.

Country landscaping also seeks to define quiet spaces – a wooden swing under an oak, a brick patio surrounded by a living wall of clematis, a comfy porch draped in wisteria – and gathering places (just add a picnic table or a rectangular swimming pool bordered by Bermuda grass.).

Trees are welcome, but pines are pesky: their needles prevent many plants that grow underneath from thriving. To create the country landscaping look, you’ll need open areas with full sun and a variety of plant life. 

Vegetables have a welcome place in the country landscape. They’re not considered a backyard hobby; instead, a veggie patch is a pursuit worthy of inclusion in the front yard – wedged in between a low boxwood row and a stand of knockout roses.

Country landscaping’s not quite “anything goes,” but rather “anything grows, but be wise what you plant.” Consider companion planting for maximum ecological effect – and get your gloves ready, because country weeds will come calling!

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