Landscape Design Basics

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Landscape DesignProfessional Landscape Designers put considerable thought into the planning and layout of any client's yard or garden. Good designers are able to pull inspiration from the homeowners to create a visible personality of the person residing behind the hedges. But what factors go into the design aside from colorful plants and clean lines? What are designers doing with my responses to their questions? The following aspects of landscape design are considered for every client of Ground Source:

Unity:

Unity will be one of the main goals in designing your landscape. It may be better understood and applied as consistency and repetition. Repetition creates unity by repeating alike elements like plants, plant groups, or decor throughout the landscape. Consistency creates unity in the sense that some or all of the different elements of the landscape fit together to create a whole.

Unity can be achieved by the consistency of character of elements in the design. Character references the height, size, texture, color schemes, etc. of different elements. A good example would be in the use of landscaping rocks and accent boulders. If you've ever seen a landscape design that had one large white round boulder here and another large red square granite boulder there and so on, then you've seen that unity wasn't created by this particular element. This is just one example but the principle applies to all other elements such as groups of plants and materials.

Simplicity:

Simplicity is actually one of the principles in design and art. Simplicity in planting, for instance, would be to pick two or three colors and repeat them throughout the garden or landscape. Keeping decor to a minimum and within a specific theme as well as keeping hardscapes such as boulders consistent is also practicing simplicity.

Repetition:

Repetition is directly related to unity. Its good to have a variety of elements and forms in the garden but repeating these elements gives variety expression. Unity is achieved by repeating objects or elements that are alike. Too many unrelated objects can make the garden look cluttered and unplanned. There's a fine line here. It's possible that too much of one element can make a garden or landscape feel uninteresting, boring and monotonous. However, unity can still be created by using several different elements repeatedly. This in turn keeps the garden interesting.

Balance:

Balance in design is just as the word implies. A sense of equality. There are basically two types of balance in landscape design. Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is where there are more or less equally spaced matching elements of the garden design. With a garden equally divided, both sides could share all or part of the same shape, form, plant height, plant groupings, colors, bed shapes, theme, etc.

Asymmetrical balance on the other hand is one of the principles of landscape design that's a little more complex. While textures, forms, colors, etc. may remain constant to create some unity, shapes and hardscapes may be more random. This form of balance often has separate or different themes with each having an equal but different type of attraction. Asymmetrical may be better understood as actually being unbalanced, abstract, or free form while still creating unity and balance through the repetition of some elements.

A good example of this would be where bed shapes or paths differ on both sides of the landscape dividing line while still sharing some of the same elements and plants. One side could be curved with a sense of flow while the other side is straight, direct, hard, and completely opposite. Again, unity and balance will be created through other elements.

Proportion:

Proportion simply refers to the size of elements in relation to each other. Of all the principles of landscape design, this one is quite obvious but still requires a little thought and planning. Most of the elements in landscape design can be intentionally planned to meet the proper proportions.

For instance in creating a small courtyard garden, an enormous seven foot garden statue placed in the center would be way out of proportion and a little tacky to say the least. Or a small four foot waterfall and pond placed in the center of a large open yard would get lost in the expanse.

Don't misunderstand this to mean that if you have a large yard you can't have smaller features or garden decor. Proportion is relative and elements can be scaled to fit by creating different rooms in the garden. The goal is to create a pleasing relationship among the three dimensions of length, breadth, and depth or height.

For more information on designing your landscape, or to get a free consultation, Contact Us today!