The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms

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If we interpret the well-known proverb “A man is not fed up with bread alone” in relation to landscape design, it turns out that “The landscape is not decorated with greenery alone.” Indeed, although the main elements of the ennobled local area are plants – flowers, trees, shrubs, lawns – to make the territory not only beautiful and green, but also functional, without the use of so-called small architectural forms it will not work.

What is it – small architectural forms (LFA), where they are used, how they differ from ordinary buildings and structures?

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Small architectural forms are an integral part of almost any landscape design

Definition and characteristics

Small architectural forms have been used in landscape design for a very long time, from the very beginning of the appearance of gardens outside the fortress walls of ancient settlements and the emergence of large cities as such.

Small architectural forms are constructions that serve for decorative design and fulfillment of functional load in landscape design. That is, such small structures, structures and individual structures, in addition to attractive external parameters, can also have practicality, in addition to aesthetic ones, they often also have a functional purpose. The LFA as a whole includes any architectural elements that complement certain buildings and their environment.

According to their purpose, small architectural forms are usually divided into:

  • universal, mass use. These include urns, flowerpots, street lamps, garden benches, and so on;
  • decorative MAF. All kinds of statues, sculptures, fountains, gazebos, mosaic-lined sides of the pool, an elegant bridge thrown over an artificial stream – all these elements serve more simply to decorate the landscape design;
  • play and sports small architectural forms. Swings, a sandpit, a slide, a wall bars – all this is also an MAF, and very functional, allowing you to equip a children’s and sports grounds on the territory.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A playground at a summer cottage is a vivid example of the use of small architectural forms for play purposes

Small architectural objects can be made of a wide variety of materials: metal, wood, natural or artificial stone, brick or concrete. One of the main differences between such objects from ordinary buildings and structures is the absence of a capital foundation..

The size of the MAF can be very different – it all depends on the size of the site itself and on the wishes and needs of the owner. So, the fountain on the site can be quite large, or it can be a tiny garden fountain.

In general, each type of small architectural forms deserves a detailed description and a separate article, let’s try at least briefly to list the main types of small architectural forms that are most often used in the design of the local area.

Gazebos, pavilions and rotundas

Of all the MAF, gazebos and pavilions can be called one of the largest and most significant objects. They often occupy a central place on the site, becoming a favorite resting place for hosts, receiving guests, family lunches and gala dinners..

Today there is a huge selection of gazebos in a variety of styles: from simple square open structures to closed, fully glazed pavilions that can be used not only in summer, but also in the cold season..

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A small, fully glazed pavilion, the windows in such a structure are best done
opening completely to enjoy the fresh air and scent of flowers in summer

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Hexagonal, open, openwork gazebos are one of the most popular options today.

Gazebos are built from a wide variety of materials, one of the most common is wood, forged metal structures are popular, as well as reliable stone structures. In any case, it is worth remembering that the gazebo will stand in an open space, its roof must withstand the weight of snow and climbing plants, which are often used to decorate such structures, and all parts of the summer house must be resistant to external influences, moisture and temperature changes.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms The gazebo, in addition to its main function – a place of rest, can also serve as a support
for climbing plants such as grapes. Even the simplest design,
decorated with plants, looks very beautiful

Another type of fairly large, noticeable small architectural forms that can be erected on a house plot and serve as a place for a pleasant pastime is the rotunda. It differs from the gazebo in that it always has a round shape, a colonnade and a dome, and is built of stone or concrete. The rotunda will not look appropriate in every garden, its best neighbor will be a classic-style mansion, and next to a wooden cottage it will look at least strange.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A light rotunda with an unusual openwork roof, such structures are more often associated
with large parks and palaces, in a small summer cottage surrounded by beds will look inappropriate

Trellis, arches and pergolas

These types of small architectural forms refer to structures that are built specifically to support plants and look too simple and boring without their green neighbors. Trellis in landscape design is not a mirror with a curbstone at all, but a light garden and park lattice used as a support for climbing plants.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms The trellis is always a lightweight construction, usually made of wood or metal,
can be made in the form of one or more screens, as well as in the form of an arch

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A plant arch is often used to decorate paths

A pergola is a more solid structure, usually metal or made of a reliable wooden beam, which also serves as a support for plants, unlike a trellis or an arch, it always has a roof. In general, everyone who has seen a typical courtyard entwined with grapes at least once is familiar with the pergola – just such a structure serves as a support for the vine..

Pergolas are also usually placed above the walkway to create a cozy shaded area. If the pergola is large enough, it can hide the entire yard, and a seating area with garden furniture can be located under it. This design can replace the gazebo – a roof hidden under green plants will protect from rain.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Pergola, not yet entwined with grapes or vines, over a cozy courtyard with garden furniture

Garden bridges

An elegant, most often a small structure made of wood or metal, with railings, can be installed both above a pond – a pond or stream, created artificially or already available on the site, or simply on a path.

The bridges installed above the reservoir perform their main function – they allow you to get to the other side, but the bridges built on an ordinary walking path are buildings with a purely decorative purpose.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Small footbridge with a wooden base and graceful wrought iron railings over an artificial stream

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Such a simple bridge, created entirely of wood, will fit into almost any landscape design

B-B-Q

A picnic area can be arranged even in the smallest summer cottage, an indispensable attribute of such a corner will be a barbecue – a stove that must have a metal grate installed over an open fire, which serves for cooking in the fresh air. Of course, you can choose the simplest barbecue model – metal, lightweight, mobile, and does not take up much space. However, most often, owners of large enough sites prefer to build a real stove from brick or other refractory material. Often, a barbecue is adjacent to a separate storage facility for firewood and various kitchen utensils..

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A simple metal, portable grill is also capable of handling
with the preparation of a variety of dishes, but outwardly loses a lot
stationary ovens made of brick or stone

It should be borne in mind that, since small architectural forms are not only functionality, but also beauty, an ordinary iron box, which sometimes serves the owners instead of a stylish wrought-iron portable barbecue, still cannot be considered a MAF – it does not bear any aesthetic load, although kebabs are fried regularly.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Beautifully designed and well-organized barbecue area
can be a highlight of landscape design

garden furniture

This type of small architectural forms is so diverse that it can take a long time to list all types of garden furniture. The most economical option is ordinary chairs and a round table made of plastic, which are so often used in inexpensive summer cafes. A more attractive, but also expensive option – garden furniture made of rattan, bamboo, other natural wood, usually teak or larch – they are considered the most resistant to moisture and sun.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms The original bench around the tree is an excellent decoration of the territory and a shady place to relax

The most common types of garden furniture include all kinds of benches that can be located along the paths, by the pool, in the gazebo. Usually, their neighbors are tables, large or modest in size, as well as chairs, armchairs and sun loungers..

By the way, various umbrellas and awnings are also often referred to as garden furniture, under which you can hide from the sun, often garden furniture is included immediately in the set – a table, chairs and an umbrella.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Such a deliberately rough set of solid log furniture is a real Hand-made

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms One of the most expensive options is a whole set of wicker furniture.,
such a set can be used in winter to furnish a cottage

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Wrought iron garden furniture is very durable, however it usually has wooden seats –
otherwise, sitting on such chairs and benches will not be very comfortable

Fences

Small architectural forms also include all kinds of fences – both a massive, continuous fence, hiding the territory from prying eyes, and light fences separating the garden from the garden, a path from a flower bed, a courtyard from a barbecue area, and so on..

Of course, internal fences are rarely solid – there is nothing to hide here, they simply serve to visually separate individual zones of the local area, so they are most often constructed of wood or metal in the form of openwork, light enough structures no more than a meter high.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Simple wooden fence for a flower bed

But the external fence is usually massive, high and solid – a real fortress wall, behind which owners can hide from neighbors, a busy highway and other external irritants..

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms A high stone fence will turn the site into a real fortress

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Often, hedges act as internal fences, and if on a stone
or put a grapevine on a metal fence, then into a solid hedge
over time, the outer fence will also turn

Street lights

The lighting system of the house area is an important part of landscape design, which allows you to create an amazingly beautiful landscape in the evening and at night, relax in the yard not only during the day, but also after sunset.

Each separate area of ​​the site requires its own lighting, a lantern will appear in the gazebo above the table, possibly with a textile lampshade, a bright lamp will take its place at the barbecue, ground lighting will appear along the paths, and so on.

Most often, forged street lamps are used in landscape design – reliable, beautiful, fit into any style.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Street lights can be of almost any shape and size, not only
on a free-standing post, but also on the wall of the house, just on the grass of the lawn, under the roof of a gazebo or pergola

Decorative MAF – flowerpots, sculptures, decorations

Decorative small architectural forms do not carry any practical function, however, almost no landscape design project can do without them..

Such decorative elements are very diverse, for example, flowerpots can be of any shape, size, made of ceramics, metal, plastic, concrete, stone. Some flowerpots combine elements of sculpture, look like a real work of art.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Classic flowerpots look like massive antique vases

Sculptural forms for garden and summer cottages are also distinguished by an enviable variety – there are bright gnomes who came to us from America and Europe, and classic antique “girls with jugs” and “boys with pipes”, and completely abstract figures that give the site originality and special style.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Original ceramic sculptures by Francis Doraty look like unusual, vibrant flowers and seeds

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Such gnomes in bright caps became popular first in Europe and America.,
and now they are conquering the Russian expanses

By the way, garden sculptures can be made not only from ceramics or stone, in the form of a sculpture you can trim a hedge, build very original figures from metal barrels and other materials. Forged sculptures are very popular, they differ in a variety of forms and allow you to embody any image.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Brightly painted metal barrels became at the same time flowerpots
and an excellent element of site decor

Literally anything can be turned into an element of landscape design and an unusual decoration – an old stump with a metal bowl on it, painted “under a fly agaric”, will make a green lawn brighter, an old cart can turn into an unusual flowerpot – in this case, everything depends only from the imagination of the site owner or landscape designer.

Games and sports MAF

An on-site playground is the best way to provide your child with a place to play and relax outdoors. Let such a place for games not be too big, an ordinary sandbox and a swing will already give the baby the opportunity to have fun while the parents are busy with their own affairs.

By the way, not only children are very fond of swing in the form of a wide bench under an awning – adults can also enjoy spending time on such a cozy, gently swaying bench. They can be made of metal or wood, suspended on chains or strong ropes, on special supports or on the branches of a spreading tree. The easiest option that anyone can build for their child is a wooden board fixed to ropes on a branch.

The highlight of landscape design is small architectural forms Simple, “rustic” rope swing

And the most expensive version of the game MAF – whole game complexes or wood, metal or plastic, with houses, slides, stairs and so on. But for such an acquisition, you need, firstly, a fairly large personal plot, and secondly, broad financial opportunities.

As you can see, small architectural forms are an element without which landscape design is simply impossible to imagine, because an ordinary garden, even with lush tropical plants, is not capable of becoming a multifaceted recreation area, a place where the whole family will be happy to spend time.

Of course, all MAFs that will be located on the site should be combined with each other, creating a single picture of a well-groomed, beautiful territory. Buying a garden sculpture you like “just like that” because you liked it, the owner of the territory risks turning his site into a collection of disparate, stylistically unrelated objects.

When choosing small architectural forms, you should adhere to the chosen direction, guided not only by your own taste, but also by the expediency, practical functions of this or that element..

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