Is your landscaping tired, overgrown, overgreen, underused, or just plain uninviting?

Earlier this month, Earthadelic was invited to a Knoxville Garden Club meeting to present about landscape design and revamping existing landscapes. Dale Madden, co-owner of Earthadelic and board member of Trees Knoxville, along with one of Earthadelic’s highly talented landscape designers, David Dalton, gave a highly informative talk about revitalizing your landscape with simple steps incorporating all your senses.

This month, we are sharing some of David’s top tips for revitalizing your landscape so that you can be prepared to have your best garden yet! It is important to be in tune with your plants and natural materials. Using the “five senses method” allows you to have the most immersive experience with your landscape to develop a holistically pleasing atmosphere.

Let’s break it down by each of the five senses:


  • The visual aspects of your landscaping include more than just color. Texture, form, and depth should all be considered when developing the composition of your plant material and various accents, such as boulders, hardscapes, or architectural pieces. Your landscape should be multi-dimensional: incorporating complementary elements that are not only pleasing to you, but also to invaluable pollinators, such as bees, that keep our gardens beautiful. According to the New York Botanical Gardens, bees see colors on a different spectrum than humans, so plants that bloom on the blue and yellow spectrum are much easier for bees to identify as opposed to plants with red hues, which bees will perceive as black. In addition to plants, remember to bring in stone or wooden elements to complete the overall look and feel of the space. Creating a paver patio, seat wall made of boulders, or pergola (just to name a few examples) are aesthetically pleasing ways to enhance your outdoor area and enjoy being outside with more comfort and ease.
  • Questions to Ask Yourself: Is what I am looking at giving me the same sensation as looking at a good piece of art? Does it evoke the desired vibe or environment? Are the plants I am using appealing to pollinators?



  • There are several ways to add sound to make your space even more tranquil, enjoyable, or even hype. Elements such as water features, wind chimes, plants that produce sound (ornamental grasses), or attract songbirds are all ways to enhance your outdoor experience. Another way to incorporate sound is through outdoor speakers. Some are made to blend in seamlessly with the outdoor feel by taking on the appearance of boulders. So, next time you have a gathering in your garden, and one of your guests is wondering where the music is coming from, you can just point to the mysterious rock that is playing Ricky Nelson’s “Garden Party”.
  • Questions to Ask Yourself: Will I be entertaining in this space and need music? What elements can I include that will attract songbirds? Is this going to be a meditative space where trickling water and windchimes are more appropriate?


  • Who knew landscaping involves neuroscience! Your olfactory receptors are some of the strongest triggers of information to the brain. To have a full sensory experience, consider a wood-burning fire pit, flowering herbs, or fragrant flowers such as rose or gardenia. As Earthadelic’s designer, David, would say “create an olfactory symphony!”
  • Questions to Ask Yourself: Do I have a good place to incorporate a fire element? What floral scents bring back fond memories that I could include in my garden?


  • Yes, taste! Edible landscapes are becoming more and more popular as subsistence farming, or the concept of victory gardens are making a comeback; but even if you do not want to create a 2,000 sq ft food forest, you can still plant edible items on a smaller scale. Easy and delicious plants to include alongside your ornamental plants are violets, berries, tomatoes, leafy greens, herbs, peppers, or even something like eggplant make a beautiful addition.
  • Questions to Ask Yourself: What foods or herbs do I cook with most often? Can I supplement some of my grocery store items with my own garden? What are some fun new things I can try?


  • Texture is more than just visual. If you are a tactile person, then you would really enjoy elements with “feel appeal”. Dusty Miller or Lambs Ear produce soft foliage while plants such as dill or fennel are more light and airy. In addition to plants, masonry elements can also provide an artful touch to your space.
  • Questions to Ask Yourself: What kind of textures does my outdoor space need?

Need help designing your own oasis that is HGTV or Southern Living worthy? Call (865-806-1125) or e-mail Earthadelic today. We would love to help you create the space of your dreams!


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