The rustic, shabby-chic look is a growing trend in landscaping. A rustic outdoor aesthetic creates a welcoming, homey atmosphere that doesn’t look too manufactured or cookie cutter. It’s naturally beautiful without looking like you’re trying too hard; the “I woke up like this” of landscaping designs.
If you want to give your outdoor scenery a refresh, but also want it to feel warm and inviting for outdoor entertaining, follow these principles of rustic landscaping designs. It’s charming and peaceful, but with a little bit of attitude and edge, creating a perfect backdrop for making memories with family and friends.
What is Rustic Landscaping?
Rustic landscaping features design elements that don’t appear brand new or state-of-the-art. Instead, it has a more vintage feel and a worn-in look, with plenty of character. It isn’t unkempt or messy—rather, it celebrates the natural beauty of raw elements and includes decorative accents that remind us of simpler times.
Key Elements of Rustic Landscaping Designs
How do you make your yard and garden feel rustic without it looking like an abandoned farmhouse? Follow these design principles to nail that effortlessly beautiful, rustic look that combines modern-day style with vintage, old-world elements.
Integrate Raw Materials
Ditch the plastic planters and technicolour garden decor—rustic landscaping is all about raw, natural materials. Opt for fixtures and features made from materials like stone, reclaimed wood, and metal. Repurposing and upcycling vintage items like crates, wagon wheels, canisters, or rowing oars for decorative accents will really help pull the look together. Wood or wrought iron patio seating is also a must-have.
Whenever possible, stick to natural, neutral tones, and avoid ultra-bright neons. Leave the colour accents to the plants—they’ll bring plenty of excitement to the scenery, and they’ll pop beautifully against your rustic furnishings!
Avoid Perfectly Manicured Landscaping
Symmetry is out, and embracing the glorious imperfections of nature is in! No need to prune those hedges into a perfect rectangle. Consider alternatives to grass, like clover, rock gardens, or plant a wildflower meadow instead! Use paver stones with uneven shapes, and plant a diverse mix of flowers and plants that bring texture and colour to the landscape. Retaining walls built with rough stones look especially beautiful in rustic landscaping designs, and you can embellish them with trailing vines or creeping plants that thrive in rocky areas.
Plants that Suit a Rustic Style
Exotic tropicals don’t really fit the natural vibe. If you want your rustic landscaping to look dreamy and idyllic like a prairie cottage house, then wildflowers and perennials that offer a ‘breezy’ aesthetic are the way to go. There are so many fabulous perennials to help you create a rustic landscaping design in your Alberta backyard:
- Goat’s Beard
- Limelight Sage
- Joe Pye Weed
- Ornamental Grass
These low-maintenance plants not only look beautiful, but they’ll save you tons of time in the garden! Just plant them, water them, and let them do their thing—their natural beauty will shine! Plus, local wildlife like butterflies and hummingbirds will flock to your garden.
Add a Rustic Water Feature
We love a good water feature, whether it’s a fountain, pond, or even a birdbath. But you need to strategically choose your water feature style with rustic landscaping aesthetics in mind. An ornate, tiered fountain isn’t going to jive with the raw materials and perfectly imperfect design accents throughout your space.
Ponds bordered with chunky rocks and grassy plants help to create a lovely, peaceful ambience in your landscape. Fountains featuring uneven, raw stone materials also complement the look. Look for a birdbath made from stone, or possibly one with a metal basin that has a rustic patina finish.
If you’re looking for landscape designers in Alberta, make Salisbury Landscaping your first call. We’ve got our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the exciting world of creative landscaping design, and we’d love to make your vision come to life. Book a design consultation with us so we can help you get started!