Best landscape design
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25 Jun 2018


With the ancient Latin term pérgula, perhaps derived from pérgere “to go ahead, to continue”, originally indicated the palaces or pylons, on which the peasants exposed the fruits to the sun, and also the pews on which merchants exposed their goods.

In later times, with the evolution of the building and acquired the ability to build multi-story houses, the word pérgula was indicated on the upper floor of the building, often overlooking the shop, where the merchant lived.

Still later it was called the highest part of the house, usually consisting of a sort of terrace covered with beams of wood or iron, which had the task of supporting climbing plants, whose presence was used to give shade and freshness, essential in the warm and sunny southern climate.

The pergola has, in fact, remained one of the most typical and decorative elements of the Latin architecture (as is the patio for the Spanish one); from the elegant examples of the Roman villas of Pompeii it has been handed down, through the centuries, in the medieval verzieri (as famous painters, such as Fra Angelico, Mantegna and others have handed down in their pictorial depictions) and in the refined and sumptuous gardens of 1700 , up to the most schematic and rustic forms of our days. The pergola, in fact, appears, in all its possible variations, as an almost essential element of many gardens or terraces, where it frequently takes on the function of living outdoors, creating a harmonious continuity between the closed environment without having to give shade and coolness, essential in the warm and sunny southern climate.

The construction of a pergola in a fresco of Francesco del Cossa
The construction of a pergola in a fresco of Francesco del Cossa.

The Pergola has remained in fact as one of the most typical and decorative elements of Latin architecture (as is the patio for the Spanish one); from the elegant examples of the Roman villas of Pompeii it has been handed down, through the centuries, in the medieval vizier (as famous painters, such as Fra Angelico, Mantegna and others have handed down in their pictorial depictions) and in the refined and sumptuous gardens of 1700 , up to the most schematic and rustic forms of our days. The pergola appears.

In fact, in all its possible variations, as an almost essential element of many gardens or terraces, where it frequently takes on the function of living outdoors, creating a harmonious continuity between the closed environment of pillars or columns that look on the free space; in this form, the elements that make up the roof can be both horizontal and inclined, relative to the style of the garden. In the most common meaning, the term Pergola defines a kind of tunnel consisting of two parallel rows of pillars, made of wood, brick, concrete or iron, opposite to each other and connected at the top by horizontal elements; the whole is a scaffolding that acts as a support for every type of climbing plant, both ornamental (floriferous or foliage, to create shady corners), and fruit. And this, in fact, is a typical and characteristic way of cultivating the vine in the rustic gardens of the Mediterranean countries and of the European Mezzogiorno; it is possible to taste good and fresh table grapes and to use the shade of the vine leaves to repair the garden street-beds. On the contrary, in some Italian regions, the pergola is a characteristic system of planting the vineyards, even if it is in disuse due to technical and mechanization reasons; the terms of pergola and pergola are used interchangeably, even if, strictly speaking, the pergola is to mean a very long and large Pergola or a pergola set. The materials with which to create a Pergola are various; very common are the Pergola made of wood or with frames of iron, more rustic instead those obtained with pile-streaks of cement or brick, used especially if the environment is rural and old style; the least exploited material to date is marble, but it has had the greatest use in the past and has remained in the most classic examples, found in many patrician villas, as in the Doria palace in Genoa. Whatever the material with which a P is intended to be made, even before construction, great care must be taken in designing a whole that harmonizes with the masonry of the house, which is proportionate to the size of the garden and has a certain strength. the pergola, in fact, once covered by a thick curtain of branches and leaves, offers a strong resistance to winds, with the consequences that can easily be imagined. If the choice of the building material is fundamentally important, the actual dimensions of the pergola are equally fundamental; in designing this fact we must take into account many factors and, among many, also the type of plants that will grow on the pylons, because, if these are particularly thin and rather vigorous and thick plants, the stability of the construction may be compromised. ; or, if the plants are slender and delicate and the roofs somewhat strong, these are not sufficiently covered by foliage and the whole loses some of its charms. Generally it is considered a minimum height of two meters to allow the transit of people; the width depends on the path or path that you want to cover, but it must not hinder the ease of the passage; on the contrary, a minimum width of 1.20 m should be considered, in order to allow walking at least two people side by side. Among the easiest to realize are the wooden structures; the best construction timbers, available on the market, are oak and chestnut, both very resistant to rotting and to attacks by parasitic insects; naturally, other more current wood can also be used, but these are not as resistant, and therefore there is the need to treat them with suitable wood preservatives, especially in the parts that are buried. The main supports of the pergola must offer the maximum guarantee of resistance and durability; it must be checked that they are healthy, they do not show too many nodules or cracks. The dimensions of the section, mostly square, vary from 8 to 15 cm, depending on the size established for the item; when calculating the length, it must not be forgotten that the poles will be placed in the ground for at least 40-60 cm. The vertical uprights must not be more than 2-2.5 m apart so that the structure is adequately robust; for the same reason the connections between one and the other must be fixed firmly and with particular accuracy. An always advisable method is to keep these poles in place, sinking them into a concrete cast; with this (expediency the stability of the whole construction is never bought even if the plants that grow there develop excessively.

A vaulted flat vault is much easier to make than those with a barrel vault; we use smaller beams than the vertical, at most 8 x 8 cm, to connect these last to each other, fixing them with screws and nails; the most expert in carpentry can make joints that increase safety. If desired, or it is considered appropriate for the aesthetics, these vaulting beams can protrude beyond thirty centimeters. If instead, you prefer to make a barrel vault, you can find on the market, or have a craftsman prepare, metal arches with galvanized iron pipes or rods that will then be firmly fixed to the vertical support posts; but although they may be robust, it can be verified that, once abundantly covered by climbers, under the action of strong winds, they have oscillating movements; for this reason it is preferable to prepare the entire metal arch, even if this, although deeply rooted in the ground, will certainly be lighter than the previous one; it is almost always recommended to increase its resistance by welding horizontal crossbars on it, both sideways and on the vault. This type of pergola has the advantage of being practically invisible, once the plants have completely developed on it and are, therefore, the most suitable to give relevance to particularly interesting plants. Once the supporting structures have been created, any decorative elements may be placed in position, but in most cases, it is preferable not to weigh down the whole with superfluous details and to give maximum emphasis to the vegetation, which, if opportunely chosen, will be the best decoration of the garden. Almost all the gardens are bordered on the boundary by walls of the fence and are accessed inside them through the entrance gate, supported by pillars often completed by an arch or a small rustic roof on which it can grow, with remarkable decorative effect, a beautiful flowering creeper, like roses, rincospermo or bignonia. An arch, of both ancient and modern style, can be a pleasant decorative element even inside the garden: it can be inserted at the beginning of an avenue or to interrupt a too compact hedge; it is also an excellent solution to support climbing plants with a showy bloom, such as roses, which, even on their own, always give a very pleasant ornamental note. A succession of individual independent arches can form a variant to the classic pergola, to be built along an avenue, to obtain a less intense shading. Many archers are built in bricks or even stones similar to those of the house, materials that have a more rustic and natural appearance, but, if the style of the house and the garden allows it, can also be realized in wood or even in live cement. In this case it is very complex to be able to give the construction the usual semicircular shape and it will be possible to resort to flat or corner cladding, which perhaps harmonizes better with the type of material; as has already been said several times, on several occasions, the modern designer ‘must take into consideration the character of the garden in which the arch or the arches must be inserted. The construction of a masonry arch requires great care not only in placing the individual building blocks in situ, thus harmonizing with the surrounding environment. In the front row, among the most exploited plants for this purpose, those climbers predominate, especially the roses, and among these the re-flowering forms. When the plants, once chosen, must be placed in the home, the holes must be prepared by digging them between one upright and the other of the pergola, at least 30 cm away from them or from the supporting wall, so that the roots do not interfere with the foundation structures that, over time, would lose their stability. The pit will be slightly wider than the maximum root development so that it has the maximum ease and does not have to branch off in inappropriate directions. The soil with which the hole will be filled again must be the most suitable for the cultivation needs of the chosen plants and, if the soil is particularly unfavorable, it will be necessary to perform a bonsai in good time. We mention some of the most used plants: Clematis, Jasminum, Passiflora, Lonicera, Wistaria, Ampelopsis, Parthenocissus, Bignonia, etc. (see Climbers, plants).

07 Jun 2018

Formal project

Create a focal point

The elements of this graceful small garden are simple, but the central axis directs the look along the narrow path creating an effect theatrical. High Verbena bonariensis are enclosed by hedges of dwarf shaped boxwood which, being an evergreen, provides an important architectural framework too in the middle of winter. A traditional brick driveway opens in a circular paved space with the center a large Greek vase, which could be replaced from a mosaic of pebbles or a sculpture.

vase formal garden

Elegant dining room

Although often associated with large period houses, the formal use of symmetry itself suitable for many situations and manages to make surprising the most banal space. Here the French doors open on one wooden platform used as a dining room. The garden, seen from above, it is framed by tall and elegant containers full of lavender and a vine pergola. The formality yes extends to the matched steps, to the shaped box hedge and to the twin vases of daisies.

Contemporary cutting

Why not use elements of the Renaissance gardens to make it even more fascinatinga modern space? Here high perennials (Miscanthus and Rudbeckia) are circumscribed by a low hedge evergreen, which creates a modern parterre, and masses highlighted by the intelligent introduction of topiary forms shaped in matching terracotta pots. It would be fine also a stream, or a small channel, that flows through the wooden platform.

Mirror image

Symmetry and minimalism they blend for a garden that is easy to manage. The project, with plants arranged with simplicity, it is based on a skilled one accommodation. A row of shaped boxwood cubes the central axis conveys the gaze of those who enter towards the “water curtain” effect sculpture. Everything is framed from two white formal containers and raised flowerbeds containing bamboo, whose branches cross in an arch. Keep the surfaces intact to avoid visual distractions.

28 May 2018

Ideas for easy-to-manage gardens

Open spaces that require little maintenance can have an elegance and a beauty equal to those that require constant attention. In the following pages we present some extraordinary projects for all tastes and all sizes. You will find ideas to create refined urban gardens enclosed in a courtyard, flowery meadows or zen gravel gardens with a few specimens of plants arranged in the right places.

Veranda outdoors

Sometimes the careful selection and arrangement of individual plants is a real art exhibition. Just a simple and neat background is enough to appreciate the shape and the composition of the selected plants. A layer of gravel over a non-woven cloth is a excellent coating, but also an aesthetic element, and aggregates can be highlighted by tiles, pebbles or rocks.
In this garden, large boulders block the plants and the flooring with impregnated wooden planks, arranged in parallel rows, directs the gaze towards a circular mosaic on which rests a singular modern vase, which constitutes the focal point.
Alternatively, a structural element such as a fountain of bubbling water can be used.

small garden focal points

Dining room

The wooden flooring creates an elegant outdoor area, similar to that of a room, even more appreciated if the interior space of the house is limited, as for example in a studio or small house. Because the project has its own charm and requires little maintenance, the background and the surrounding vegetation must be simpler than ever. Few bright colors and night lighting add a brilliant design effect.


Simple division

The largest gardens with minimal maintenance are often divided into several sectors, partly hidden from one another or left open to enjoy the sense of space. To enhance the characteristics of each sector and add interest, use contrasting architectural elements: changes in level on flat surfaces, such as floors or raised flower beds, or recessed seats. If the variety of plants is limited, be creative in the details and introduce many evergreens such as these grasses (Stipa tenuissima) and ciperacee (Carex).

jardin sans gazon

Paved patio

Small spaces are perfect for paving: they are an alternative to the lawn, require little maintenance and are relatively free of weeds.
Plants planted in raised flower beds, borders and vases can give great satisfaction. Design the garden with care, build everything you need to keep it well and create interest with different compositions and schemes. Here the fulcrum is large pebbles and ceramic fountains, while the hosta and the bamboo introduce an oriental note.


Mediterranean Garden

The curved wall, painted in dusty terracotta, recalls sunny gardens.
To reinforce the Mediterranean flavor there are a thin cypress, an old jar and wrought iron furniture.
The wall can be transformed into an occasional session and the whole atmosphere is pervaded by the scent of white lilies, roses and aromatic plants.

Space for children

Although children like to play on lawns, other surfaces are more versatile. The little ones have fun with a sandbox (covered when not in use) and the differences in materials and levels create opportunities for play. An anti-shatter wood floor is suitable for barefoot and the flat surface is ideal for play activities. Choose sturdy plants such as Phormium, grasses and bamboo.

Raised flower beds

In addition to easy accessibility, the flower beds raised are real design elements. They become informal seating and move otherwise flat spaces and uniforms. This flowerbed, with a dry stone wall effect curved, it is ideal for cultivating rustic alpine plants that they require good drainage.


21 May 2018


A lot has been said about how the look of a garden or landscape could make or mar the valuation of a property. But very little has been said about how landscape architects can make gardens and landscapes heal the soul and mind with their garden designs. A garden could serve as a center point for relaxation, meditation etc. No wonder, the Ancients held a lot of religious rites and rituals in gardens. Some say you get closer to nature and to your creator in a garden. The senses come to live in a well-tended garden. Imagine yourself lazing away, soaking your skin in a lovely swimming pool. Assaulting your nostrils with the exotic smell of flowers and sensitizing your taste buds with juicy salads prepared from plants in your garden.



When you want to examine the importance of energy in an outdoor living area, a good place to start from is by taking a look at the core principles of Feng Shui. They are water and wind. Water is great for calming people. It can make healing faster, it can improve the overall physical health, and it is good for regulating the blood pressure. This is one reason why some landscape designers try so much to add water features to their landscape designs. Some even add large water features that serve as focal points or main points of attractions. These large water features include waterfalls, cascading ponds and fountains.

To implement a large water feature in a garden design, a landscape architect must consider the cost involved, the layout of the landscape and the overall size of the landscape. The water feature must fit in nicely with the whole garden else it risks becoming a nuisance instead of a beauty. For excellent jobs, a water feature should be designed and constructed by an experienced landscape designer. They must not be made hastily. They must be carefully customized to match with the garden.


The most popular water feature in gardens is a swimming pool. Finding a large house without a swimming pool is rare. With a swimming pool, one can relax in the calm water and exercise the limbs and heart by swimming laps in it. Swimming pools also serve to attract birds. The sound of the water has a special soothing nature, and it creates a nice ambience in a garden. Before building a swimming pool, some factors have to be considered. The size, depth, color, filtration system and others must be considered. Blue swimming pools are a favorite, but you can’t go wrong with black and white swimming pools.

A black swimming pool will look elegant and classy. It will also serve as a great place for reflection or freeing one’s mind of thoughts. A white swimming pool looks inviting and will serve to remind one of a beachfront. It recreates the feelings of nature and unsoiled beauty. White swimming pools reflect the sky above further enhancing their calming effect.

When selecting a filtration system, you can’t go wrong with mineral filtration systems. Mineral systems contain magnesium which is a vital mineral for the body. It helps to regulate the sleeping patterns and improve the general health. The use of a mineral filtration system won’t affect the color of the water. The water will feel softer on your body and your eyes, hair and skin will feel much nicer. Mineral filtration systems are not as expensive as you may think they are. They are cost-effective, easy to maintain and more conducive to the environment.


Apart from the water features, the flowers and plants in a garden also serve the purpose of tantalizing one’s senses. Textured plants like banksias and lamb’s ears are prime examples. They appeal to the senses, and they create a nice atmosphere in a garden. For lovely natural scents in a garden, a landscape architect can use sweet smelling flowers like honey-scented white flowers, jasmine, port wine magnolias, gardenia and sweet alyssum. You can cut off a leaf, keep it in your pocket and immerse yourself in the scent anytime you wish.


Plants in a garden are also great for healing and tending to one’s health. You can’t go wrong with aloe vera and eucalyptus. Eucalyptus can be planted in normal gardens and pots. Aloe vera can also be planted in naturally in gardens and in pots.

Herb gardens and veggie patches are perfect for tantalizing your taste buds while they still give off lovely scents at the same time. Herbs can be integrated into traditional landscape designs, and they can also be grown in balconies, atriums and rooftop gardens. To prepare a veggie patch, all you need is a small patch of land with good soil.

Herbs and vegetables can also be grown in little vegetable boxes from local retailers. Plants like lettuce, peas, kale, tomatoes, spinach and others can be planted. These gardens satisfy your senses of taste, touch, sight and smell.

If you don’t have a lot of space for veggies in your garden design, you can make use of planter boxes and pots. There you can grow ginseng, stevia, mint, thyme, basil, rosemary etc.

You will enjoy eating what you grow in your garden and you will also enjoy the cultivation process. Gardening is a good way to relax your body and take your mind off other matters. It is quite refreshing to plant something little, tend it, watch it grow and finally see it blossom.


For those that love hearing good vibes, a well-tended garden might just be the next place for you to enjoy your jams. You can attract birds, bees and other insects that will produce the sounds of nature and make you enjoy your garden better. Plants like palms, bottlebrush and banksias will do well to attract birds and insects. You can grow various types of plants that blossom in various seasons so that you can enjoy them all through the year. For even better results, you should consider getting nesting boxes and bird baths so you can attract birds to your garden.



14 May 2018


In this article, we examine modern shades like awnings, shutters, blinds and other things that should be considered when buying shades for a home or a garden design.

With an extensive range of shading in your garden design1

The summer season is approaching and shading away the rays of the sun off one’s window, and home is now a priority. No one wants to face the severe effects of the sun. When you shade your home, you make your home more energy efficient, and you make it more comfortable for you and your guests as they sweat less. Good shading options will also keep you warm during the winter season. Now there are various products available that you can use to shade your home. Some are interior products while others are outdoor products. Shading structures are visible to everyone, so you must choose something that matches well with your home and garden ideas. You must take your time and select a shade that will make your home more valuable and stylish. When you use the right shade solutions, you use your air-conditioner less thereby saving you more money.

Today, people are now well-aware of the environment, and they take so much care in selecting materials that won’t impact the environment negatively. It doesn’t matter whether they are selecting materials for garden projects or handling their waste. They also do the same when it comes to selecting shades for their homes. The following are some shade solutions that will beautify your home, save you money and make your home more valuable.

Shading the home is one of the most important aspects


Awnings are canopies that can be attached to walls on the exterior of buildings. They come in the form of roof-like canvas or shelters that extend over a doorway or window. They project over the top of a deck or a window for protecting a home against harsh weather. They are perfect, and they serve the dual purposes of decoration and protecting a home from severe weather conditions.

They are great external shading solutions that take away most of the heat before they get into a home. They are now in high demand due to their effectiveness. They are flexible, and they can affect the temperature of a home favorably. There are various types of awnings available, and a homeowner can select any of them to cool their home. You can also use them for garden projects.


Shutters and blinds are perfect for those that need more flexibility and classy materials for their home. They are made from various materials of different qualities, and they offer a wide range of choices to homeowners. You can find them in lots of styles, colors, and types so you won’t have a problem finding something you like.


Shading is important for any home, and as the summer season is fast approaching, there is no better time to consider shading options for your home and garden project. Trends come and go for various things. Shades are no different in this aspect. There are some things that are in vogue when it comes to shading options. You need to take note of these trends, so you don’t end up with something outdated when you want to pick shades

Some homes use externally placed motorized blinds with mesh fabrics that are almost transparent. They are in vogue, and they help to protect one’s privacy and protect inhabitants and guests from the harsh rays of the sun and the heat. Outdoor rooms now use retracting awnings that can be used in any weather. You can leave them out in heavy rain and high winds as they are not affected by rain. They are usually installed with clear, motorized PVC vertical blinds.

Awnings look good on most buildings and they perform well making them a popular choice for many. You can get them in straight drop or folding-arm. Today, dark plain-colored fabrics are used more.

One could get overwhelmed with the number of options available and it could be difficult to get a shade in the right color, design, size and shape. Before you decide to select a shade, you must understand that there are somethings that you must consider.

shade garden 2

Some shades might be more expensive than others, but you should consider them first as they are usually of a higher quality. If you go for something because it is cheap, you might end up regretting your decision. It is better to go for something that will protect your home well, fit well with your garden design and protect your home for a longer period of time. It could be painful when you spend your hard-earned money on a shade and the shade barely lasts for long.

shade garden design

You also need to consider what you are trying to achieve with the shade. Some buy shades primarily for decorative purposes while others buy them majorly for their functionality. Some buy shades majorly because of the hot summer sun while others live in places that are prone to lots of rainfall and purchase shades because of the rain. Some prefer retractable shades while others prefer fixed shades. Some people are aware of the shades that will fit their home well, but they do not know all the shading options that might be available to them. But if you take your time, you will find shading options that will provide a perfect blend of style and functionality.


Folding arm shades are one of the most popular options in the market. They can be retracted when they are not in use.


These are awnings that are good for shading the windows of houses, and they are good for protecting a home against rain. They are also stylish. You can get them in motorized or crank operated versions.


This is perfect for those that have a pergola structure on their deck. The shades can be bought with the fabric zipped into the side channel or not. The zipped version protects a house from rain better when it is set with adequate pitch.


This is the oldest kind of awning available. To use them, you attach galvanized rods to your wall. The rods serve to guide the awning. The awning is then pitched out a little on small arms at specific points in time depending on where the awning is to be spread along the galvanized rod. They may be old, but a lot of people still use them.

Also read: Garden Design: 8 quick tips to get you started on the right foot …