If you think back on some of your favorite films, art, or experiences, you’ll likely notice a common theme, uniqueness. The introduction of a new, uncommon experience etches a stronger response in our minds which may create a greater enjoyment. So, it stands to reason that in most cases a unique landscape is often received as more enjoyable.
At Belknap Landscape Company, we’ve been fortunate to design and install some of the most unique landscape features in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. We’ve received dozens of awards, and have had countless happy clients who enjoy the unique landscapes we created for them, and we’d like to share what we’ve learned.
In designing a landscape, the function should always be the primary consideration. What is the use of installing a landscape feature if it cannot be enjoyed for it’s intended purpose? Next, the form should also be given strong consideration. The most memorable and best-enjoyed landscapes are both functional and beautiful, yet the ones that truly stand heads and shoulders above the others uniquely deliver form and function.
Unique landscapes can be accomplished through the way a landscape features are designed, the construction methods, the materials used, and/or the details. There are methods for every budget and taste, but the common theme in execution is creativity.
In the example below, the unique attribute of this fire pit was achieved through creative design. The fire pit was installed below ground level, as a sunken feature with stone seating and the firebox in the center. It plays off of common themes and shapes of many fire pits, but the design is unique creating a point of interest for the rest of the outdoor space.
In the following example, construction methods played a role in creating a unique landscape feature. This project, currently still under construction, required a way of entering the home across a depression in the landscape. As is common, a bridge was determined to be the most logical conveyance. Bridges in residences are overwhelmingly constructed of wood, occasionally of metal, and sometimes of stone masonry. This bridge is unique because it was constructed of stone, utilizing one large slab as opposed to the more common methods expressed. This has given an unexpected and unique attribute to this feature, providing greater appeal to the bridge, surpassing its functional role.
This next example illustrates how creative materials choice can attribute a unique quality to a landscape. When it comes to construction of fire pits, stone masonry is a common choice. Stone is both functional and beautiful and can be installed in a variety of ways. While this fire pit is stone, a common material, the scale and method of material use is uncommon. In this instance, the firebox was chiseled out from the stone material instead of the firebox being built out of the stone material. This transitions a familiar material into a focal point because of the way the material is used creating a unique point of interest.
Finally, and often most affordable is the use of creative details in landscape features to create a unique experience. This is where creative use of plant life, accent pieces, or lighting can make a significant impact. In this stone stairway pictured below, the construction methods and materials are relatively common, but the introduction of plant life creates a natural, long-lived appearance that differentiates this install from similar properties. This gives the stairway a different feel to the viewer providing a different experience.
When creating a unique landscape, it’s important to think about what outcomes you’re looking for, and then seek inspiration on how to achieve those outcomes. Looking through landscape magazines, websites, and social media is a good place to start. Just remember being unique means finding inspiration from others, not copying them.
Another option is to seek help. Our designers have decades of experience finding unique and creative solutions, of which an exceedingly small representation is illustrated in the photos above. They specialize in helping you find, express, and realize your unique dream. Check out our gallery for more photographs of some of their work to help you find your inspiration here, or give us a call for a partner to help you in this process.