Achieve a rustic landscape in your outdoor area by adding items that are natural and weathered to your existing landscape. Plants should be placed randomly throughout the landscape setting, rather than in structured rows. Mixing and matching plant styles and colors creates a more natural look to the landscape. A rustic landscape fits in with most home styles including cottages, farmhouses, Italian styles or log cabins.
Wood and Natural Elements
Wooden elements are important in displaying a rustic design throughout your landscape. Natural wooden fences provide division between gardens and yard areas. They can also serve as a neutral backdrop for plants and flowers. Wooden buildings can also add old world charm to the landscape and create a focal point for the garden area. Use the side of a barn or old shed to attach a wall fountain or rusty and weathered sign. Hand carved wooden benches and log tables create great accents for outdoor living areas. Railroad ties or wooden landscape borders can wind around the yard area to break up grassy areas with pathways.
Create winding paths, natural stone patios and walkways with weather-treated bricks, aggregate, gravel, pebbles, paver bricks, travertine and flagstone. Edge garden areas or small ponds with stones to create a warm and natural tone to your garden. You can also add a brick or stone retaining wall to add dimension to your landscaped area.
Look for a combination of annuals, seeds and perennials to make your garden flourish throughout the summer season. Begin by placing perennials that will make their permanent homes in your garden. Hostas provide balance for borders and edges. Their natural appearance blends nicely with almost any design element. Add a flowering hedge such as a rose of Sharon bush, lilac bush or hydrangea. This will create a perimeter for your landscape. Fill in with an old fashioned seed mixture such as cosmos, hollyhocks and foxglove. Add instant color to bare areas with impatiens, begonias, geraniums or your favorite flowering annual. Flowering cabbage or kale adds an interesting contrast to the garden with its green foliage and white, pink or red centers. Lavender plants and herbs also add to rustic charm.
Copper and Wrought Iron
Substitute wrought iron as an alternative to wood fencing and borders. Start by outlining your garden and flowerbeds with wrought iron fencing and gates. Add accents such as iron trellises, furniture and topiary bases. Weathered wrought iron with a hint of rust adds to the rustic look. Copper accents add a rich flair while making the landscape earthy and welcoming. Copper pots can be placed along winding walkways or on the edges of decks to hold flower arrangements.