There are so many subtle elements that make a landscape beautiful. Two of the ones that I pay particular attention to is texture and shape. What do I mean by that? Some leaves are fuzzy, some are shiny, some are dull, some are delicate looking, some are evergreen and very thick and look like they could withstand the winter. There are many elements of design that create a beautiful landscape but if you pay attention to how you put the textures and shapes together, it will make the difference between a landscape that doesn’t quite measure up to your critique eye but yet you can’t quite put your finger on why. It could very well be that! When I am designing, I am thinking of the texture of the leaf as well as its shape. You also need to pay attention to the shape and the texture of the flower. If you put different varieties of plants with shiny leaves together, it doesn’t look right. You want to put something delicate next to something heavy, something shiny like a holly next to something dull like a taxus. A round leaf next to a grasses leaf or a needle, an evergreen next to a deciduous shrub or perennial. If the leaves are large, they need to be balanced with needles, grasses, or smaller
different shaped leaves around them.
Those are some of the subtle differences in designing that create beautiful spaces. Go out into your landscape and look at it with a critical eye and see if the suggestions I made could help you landscape be all that it can be.