Archive for

A Look Back In Time: Landscaping Trends From the 1920s-50s

Although some of us look at landscaping as more of a business than an art form, the truth is, landscaping has a rich and intricate history that has a lot to say about the social and cultural development of our society. In fact, some speak so highly of landscaping as a form of ancient art that they trace its roots to one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the Hanging Gardens of Babylon created in 600 BC.

While we’re busy installing landscapes that bring the best of modern technologies to our customers, like outdoor televisions and sound systems, it’s easy to forget just how much the idea of ‘landscaping’ has changed over time. Just a few decades back, landscaping was considered an absolute luxury. Only the ‘well-to-do’ could afford to decorate their outdoor space with beautiful garden beds and patios and deck out their backyard with the latest outdoor toys.

Nowadays, some form of landscaping – even if it means a few trees, a small yard, a porch or patio – is expected. That being said, while basic landscaping is the norm, most homeowners actually take it a step further. They feel it is important to enhance the curb appeal to their home and, more importantly, they enjoy having an outdoor space that is completely tailored to their own tastes. Hence, the desire to treat the landscape as an extension of the home, complete with all the comforts and added luxuries of the inside interior. But it wasn’t always this way.

For fun, here’s a look back at the landscaping trends of earlier decades – minus today’s Japanese-inspired spa gardens, outdoor kitchens, and fire pit tables.

The Roarin’ 20′s:

1920′s landscaping was all about the greenery. There was a real desire to celebrate and welcome nature in all its glory, which led homeowners to install bird feeders, bird houses and bird baths, as well as fish ponds and rock gardens… anything that would draw more nature to the home. At this time, bird watching was a shared hobby, so plants and trees with berries (such as holly, hawthorne, nandina, rugosa roses, crabapples) were popular choices.

In the 1920′s home, the front yard was considered the “public place” and was, therefore, the space that received the most attention with regards to landscaping. Most houses featured a wide front porch, often furnished with rockers and swings so that folks could comfortably enjoy the natural outdoor scenery. Most front yards didn’t have fences, and walkways and driveways were typically lined with perennials, such as Canterbury bells, irises, foxgloves, phlox, pyrethrum, coreopsis, hollyhocks, roses, columbine, delphinium, poppies, and carnations and annuals, such as California poppies, cosmos, petunias, snapdragons, verbena, bachelor’s buttons, centaurea (sweet sultan), strawflowers, marigolds, drummond phlox, asters, etc. Shrubs were boxwood, holly, yews, abelia.

The backyard, often referred to as the “service area” was mostly reserved for drying clothes on clothes lines and storing garbage cans, although some owners designated a small area in the backyard as a “private place,” which was usually screened off or fenced in or surrounded by a border of trees or shrubs to shield residents from their neighbors’ watchful eyes and from the sun.

Popular recreational activities often found their way into the landscape design. Campfires, bowling greens, putting greens, and croquet grounds were popular landscape features.

The Dirty 30′s:

The decade of the Great Depression saw little advancements on the landscaping front. Most homeowners were struggling to make ends meet, which meant little to no money was left over to spend on luxuries, such as landscaping. That being said, there were still a few popular gardening trends. Large rose gardens were popular during the 1930s, as were plants such as hydrangeas, lilacs and hostas.

The Booming 50′s:

Consumerism is probably the most appropriate word to describe the theme of the 1950s. And just as it affected most aspects of life in the 50s, it influenced the type and style of landscaping that was popular in suburbia. Looking back now, we typically associate the 50s garden and landscape style with all things ‘tacky’ – garden gnomes, plastic pink flamingos, an overuse of evergreens as foundation plantings and an excessive amount of green lawn. In other words, a far cry from the modern, eco-friendly looks popular today!

While 1950s landscapes may conjure up images of plastic decorations and boxed hedges, the 1950s are actually defined as a decade of “modernism.” Albeit, a type of modernism far different from the so-called “modern” styles of today. With an incredible amount of soldiers returning home from the war in the 1950s, getting married and starting families, the home building industry boomed.

However, much of the homes built were on the smaller side, leaving limited space for landscaping. The result of space constrictions was “modern” landscaping – a style that was far removed from the overly-embellished look of the pre-war era.

Although modernism was the style du-jour, with the rise of consumerism and the love for all things with a price tag came the fascination with big and showy items. Garden flowers were over-sized, vibrant and colorful, for instance, large tea roses like Garden Party roses, Tiffany roses, and Chrysler Imperial roses were popular choices. And, in line with the whole ‘keeping up with the Jones’ concept, the lawn was the symbol of suburbia dream living. The greener and bigger the lawn, the better! With the boom in consumerism and the desire to keep lawns perfectly maintained, the marketplace was flooded with lawn care products, including pesticides and chemicals for pest control. At this time, the first lawn spreader was also invented.

And there you have it! Times really have changed… next we’ll look at landscaping trends from the 60s to present date. Stay tuned!

Landscaping Companies Offer More Than Landscape Design

People usually contact a landscaping company for the first time when they want their entire yard or garden done over and they know they aren’t qualified or experienced enough to choose the right kinds of plants, shrubs and grasses. If you choose plants that aren’t hardy enough, shrubs that can’t withstand local temperatures, or trees that are difficult to care for, you can waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your lawn with nothing to show for it. That’s why hiring a landscape design specialist is always a good idea. They will carefully select trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers that are ideally suited to your locale, the type of soil you have, and the level of care required from you as the homeowner.

All landscaping companies are happy to work closely with you to design your yard, install the plants and even install the hardscaping for patios and pathways, but many disappear once the initial installation is completed. The care and feeding of your yard or garden is up to you from that point on. It can be overwhelming, so be sure you’re working with a landscaper who can offer additional services to keep everything healthy and beautiful all year round. Ask about the following services when choosing your landscaper:

Spring Cleaning

Your garden and yard will be waiting to burst forth with new blooms and soft grasses to tickle your feet, but a long, hard winter and dry conditions can delay new growth by several weeks. Your lawn service should offer a spring cleaning service to loosen the soil and get your yard and flower beds ready for new growth. This may include aerating the soil, adding fertilizers, dethatching grassy areas and more. Your grass will come in greener and be lusher as a result.

Lawn Mowing And Maintenance

Having a lovely lawn is nice, but if you have to spend all your free time on mowing and maintenance, you won’t be able to enjoy its beauty. A lawn service can take care of everything, including aerating the soil, mulching, trimming and, of course, lawn mowing. Just imagine not having to worry about taking care of your lawn every weekend! And the best part is that your yard will be cleaner and greener than it’s ever been.

Trees And Shrubs

It can be tempting to simply lop off branches that are overhanging your house, but you’ll end up with an ugly tree that may not heal properly. Over-pruning or incorrect trimming are two problems you won’t have if you let a lawn service take care of your trees and shrubs. They will carefully prune larger plants and trees in order to optimize their health and stability. While trimming your trees, they can also check for disease or other potential problems and stop small problems before they grow into large ones.

Hardscaping

Hardscaping is the installation of outdoor patios, retaining walls and paths using flagstones, bricks, timber or decorative stone. Not all landscaping companies also handle hardscape projects, so be sure to ask. Ideally, you should hire a landscape design firm that can install your patio and other features so that the design is a cohesive whole where the hardscaping and landscaping complement each other beautifully.

When you’re ready to overhaul your yard or garden, be sure to choose a landscaping company that also offers complete lawn service for results you’ll enjoy all year round.

French Country Decor For A Comfortable And Relaxed Look

If you’re planning to copy French Country decor then you need to visualize a welcoming and relaxed overall look for your house. All natural elements, including real wood, wool, natural cotton as well as plaster walls just about all feature strongly with this particular home decorating style. The particular colors used are normally seen in mother nature.

You should not wallpaper but paint all of your walls, applying paint from the colors of grass, the seaside and also sunshine. To carry out your design, should you have a hearth it ought to be rock. Should you have a big room or living area, then large furnishings are definitely a typical element of this design.

French Country Decor Derives Its Colors From Nature

As I have said, generally colors used for Country French decor are mainly the ones that are derived from the outdoors and in addition to the standard lavenders together with gold, some actually choose to use diluted blue and dark green along with a deep red knowing that each one definitely helps to give you a fashionable and also an informal appearance. Choosing reds as well as greens will help to perk up the room, though for a neutral outcome you could choose gray or perhaps black.

Viewed as a romantic interior decorating style and design, Country French decor also has been showcased in all of the very popular decorating magazines during the last several years. Although French Country interior decor came from very humble origins, a number of trendy interior designers have fallen deeply in love with it and even insist upon including Country French in their own homes.

As part of your product selection, you’ll discover basic Country French decor for your kitchen, your dining room, your bedroom and even your bathroom. Discover French country design iron accent furnishings, typical Country French design metal and iron wall decorations as well as beautiful French country pottery decorative accents for old world, Mediterranean French Country style decor.

French Country home decorating is normally rustic, but still having a subtle style. Color strategies will usually compliment and bring to mind home gardens and landscapes, and even space must be used very carefully so as to keep things comfortable, yet organized. There is absolutely no one correct way to implement French Country decor, however there are tips and hints to keep you on track.

In picking Country French designs and styles, attempt to find dull colors. The actual color palette in French Country interior decorating and Country French furnishings are usually different hues of weak reds, greens, along with rustic, flat golden yellows. Typically there are also pastels normally present in French Country decor for example pinks, lavenders, blues, and even pale yellows. Very soft pastels are ideal for walls facing a dark colored background.

The advantage of Country French furniture pieces is that it really is difficult to make a mistake with just about anything no matter if it is mismatched styles or simply colors. You can get done exactly what you really feel like accomplishing and yet flow in the style of Country French decorating provided you are displaying a casual environment.

Country French decor is really favored by decorators simply because it mixes old world, traditional materials together with comfortable furniture pieces that really work with nearly any home design.

Some kind of aged overall look is extremely important to French home decor, however even newer items will provide the look of very old, family antique furnishings when they’re painted using the appropriate process. Real antiques succeed beautifully combined with French country decor simply because you work with such a wide variety of colors and materials together with typical accessories that even by simply using a few select components will give your home the polished appearance you have been seeking.