“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Clare Boothe Luce
The minimalist movement that started in the 1960’s thrived on simplicity in both content and form. It devolved into the excesses of the Reagan era in the 1980s, and then saw a resurgence in this country during the ‘great recession’ we experienced at the beginning of 2007 when people made concerted efforts to live with less.
For many minimalists, the philosophy is about living life based on experiences rather than an abundance of worldly possessions.
Outdoor Craftsmen is particularly tuned into minimalism when they design outdoor environments for clients who request “low-maintenance” landscapes. Low-maintenance isn’t just about less lawn to care for (although that is a great start and great for being water-wise). It is about creative use of both hardscaping (boulders, walls, pavers, sculptures, water and fire features) and plantings.
For those of us who don’t relish the physically demanding activities associated with keeping your landscape looking good, having a minimalist landscape is the way to go.
The key to low-maintenance landscape design is to work with the natural beauty of the land. We first consider major features like grades, views, privacy, and the overall surroundings i.e. close-by neighbors, fencing, street traffic etc. We specify trees, shrubs, and perennials that require little water, pruning, or human-intervention, including ornamental grasses for their four-season appeal, pest-resistant trees that are non-fruiting but still have beautiful spring blooms and gorgeous fall color, and perennials that are hardy and don’t require deadheading.
Our landscape designers’ overarching goals for low-maintenance is to create landscapes that provide a family the ability to enjoy being in their gardens and entertainment spaces without thinking about them, per se. We don’t want you having one on one time with family and friends while also thinking “I should sweep up those pine needles” or “I need to weed…again”.