Landscape Designs for Ranch Homes

Landscape Designs for Ranch Homes

Landscape Designs for Ranch Homes

Ranch-style houses are quintessentially American houses. The traditionally one-story sprawling structure reap the benefits of single-family home lots. Ranch style is all about unpretentious and low-maintenance dwelling. Homeowners today will increase the curb appeal of ranch-style houses by upgrading landscaping. Taking into account the nature of the architecture and existing site condition, will help create a cohesive layout program that improves the property, potentially raises resale value and fits to the neighborhood.


Ranch homes located in the West from the 1920s. Residential architects took inspiration from dwellings built on working ranches. The interpretations were usually one-story and comprising horizontal lines and restricted ornamentation. Architect Cliff May (1909–1989) was a pioneer of the style, and landscape architect Thomas Church (1902–1978) highlighted functionality in gardens, declaring,”Gardens are for People,” in his 1957 seminal work on landscape style. After World War II, ranch houses became the de facto new house style and remained so until the 1970s.


Landscape designs for ranch-style homes traditionally emphasize functionality and simplicity. Front-yard design can function to transition between private and public space and to direct attention to the principal entry. Back yards have multiple functions, such as recreation and outside dining. Choosing low-maintenance surfaces for pool surrounds and patios minimizes maintenance and is in keeping with the spirit of a ranch house.


Landscapes that complement ranch-styles homes seem casual, effortless and unstudied. Making use of the horizontal lines of the ranch home can create a feeling of calm and balance. Tall vertical trees at front lawn can overwhelm one-story ranch houses. Limiting the height of plants right in front of the house to no more than two-thirds of the home’s wall elevation keeps a home from getting swallowed up in the landscape. Medium-size shrubs or smallish trees planted on both sides of the house help anchor the house, and remain in ratio to the elevation of the house.


Evergreen trees which take shearing make decent foundation plantings or side yard hedges. A group of trees such as rhododendron or pineapple guava round front entry steps will help focus attention on it. Normally, ranch-style houses feature a large picture window looking out to the road; keeping hedges low in order that sight lines are not blocked helps to highlight this traditional ranch house feature.


Personal style might prompt a homeowner to select one form of substance over another. Privacy issues resulting from the neighbors adding a second story might call for tall hedges from the back. Lawns initially created for the uniform blank lines they supply can take much more care than ranch-home owners are willing to supply. Limiting the amount of yard in back by adding pathways and patios can conserve water bills and improve utility in the garden.

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