An Insider’s Guide To The 6 Basic Principles Of Landscape Design

If you want to create your own landscaping design, you must have a basic understanding of the different principles relevant to this field.

However, this does not necessarily mean that you must apply each principle to your plan. Having a thorough knowledge and understanding of these principles will guide you in generating great ideas and help boost your creativity.

Although the principles of landscape design are excellent guidelines to follow, landscaping experts say that you must not force yourself to follow each as if they are the only laws of landscaping, to be strictly followed. Creativity and abstract are encouraged.

Landscaping experts in Port Orange share the six principles of landscape design below.

  1. Unity

Unity is better applied and understood as repetition and consistency. Repetition creates unity by using similar elements like plant groups and decorations throughout your landscape. Consistency, on the other hand, creates unity by making sure that the different elements of the landscape are well-suited to create a whole.

Creating themes is a great way to create unity. Using a garden decoration is the simplest way to create themes. Opting for something you have a passion for or are interested in makes creating a theme garden easier and quicker. For instance, if you are into butterflies, you can use plants that attract butterflies along with ornaments, statues or other decorations that are related to these gentle creatures.

Unity must be expressed through one element in your landscape. Harmony can be created by using elements to express your main idea through a consistent style and a particular theme.

  1. Balance

Balance in design means achieving a sense of equality. Basically, there are two types of balance – symmetrical and asymmetrical:

  • Symmetrical balance is when there are more equally spaced matching elements in the design. The garden will be equally divided, with both sides sharing the same form, shape, bed shapes, plant height, plant groupings, and theme.

Symmetrical design is more like a reflection or a mirror image.

  • On the other hand, asymmetrical balance is a bit more complex. Colors, forms, and textures might remain constant to create unity while hardscapes and shapes can be more random.

This type of balance has different themes – each with an equal but diverse type of attraction. Asymmetrical is being unbalanced or free of form but still creating balance and unity through the repetition of other elements.

  1. Colors

Colors will add interest to the landscape and dimension of real life. Red, orange, yellow and other bright hues seem to advance toward you and can make an object seem closer. On the contrary, blue, pastel, green and other cool colors seem to move away from you and make an object appear farther.

Neutral colors like white, black and gray are best used in the background while bright colors should ideally go in the foreground. To increase depth in your landscape, consider using coarse-textured and dark plants in the foreground and light-colored and fine-textured plants in the background.

You can also use colors to direct attention to a certain area of your landscape. A bright display among cool colors will easily grab one’s attention.

  1. Simplicity

Simplicity is one of the best principles of art and design. In fact, this is one of the best guidelines you must follow if you are a beginner. You must keep things as simple as possible, and then you can do more at a later time.

When it comes to landscaping, simplicity is portrayed by picking two or three colors and repeating them throughout your landscape. You must keep decorations to a minimum and within a particular theme. Also, keep the boulders and other hardscapes consistent.

  1. Proportion

Proportion refers to the size of the elements in relation to one another. This seems to be the most obvious of all the design principles, yet the most neglected.

For example, if you have a large open yard, a small waterfall and pond at the center may get lost in the expanse. Or if you have a small garden, a big garden statue in the center is way out of proportion.

However, this does not necessarily mean that when you have a huge yard, you cannot have smaller garden decorations or features.

Your goal is to create a pleasing relationship between the three dimensions of depth or height, breadth, and length.

  1. Transition

Transition means gradual change. This can be achieved by the ascending or descending arrangements of different elements with various colors, sizes, forms or textures. A stair-step effect from big trees to medium trees to shrubs is a good example of transition.

Transition can also be used to create illusions. A transition from taller to shorter plants will give a sense of distance and depth, making your landscape seems wider. But a transition from shorter to taller plants can be used to frame a focal point for it to stand out and seem a bit closer than it really is.

Use these principles as your guide to creating your landscape. Again, Palm Coast experts in landscaping locals trust emphasize that these aren’t laws or rules of landscaping that you must follow strictly; rather, these are guidelines that you can pair with your own creative vision. Having a basic understanding of these principles is crucial to creating a luxurious, healthy landscape.


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