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How can the average person design an attractive landscape?

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The average person can design an attractive landscape by learning basic landscape design principles. Good landscape design creates harmony between the house and its surroundings. It addresses the purpose of the outside space, creating an environment where everything has a specific role, whether for entertaining or relaxing. Well-planned landscape design has a major effect on the way the homeowner lives in the space.

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Good landscape design always starts with the homeowner's needs and wants, whether it's an outdoor play space, a gathering and eating place, or a garden in which to grow herbs and vegetables. Good design adapts to sun and wind patterns, creating solutions to temper situations such as a blazing sun on a west- facing patio or a windy corner close to a fire pit. A design featuring rounded bed lines helps balance the straight lines of the house, garage, deck and driveway, as does softening the drive and sidewalk edges with creeping ground covers. Pathways and arbors create a sense of destination, and hiding a portion of the walkway adds a feeling of mystery.

All good designs have at least one focal point, such as a tree, a grouping of shrubbery, an outstanding plant, or a sculpture, around which the plan develops. After drawing the eye, the design moves it throughout the space by repeating two or three colors or interesting shapes at regular intervals.

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