Don’t feel that you have to apply every principle to every part of your plan. Just having an understanding of these principles can help you generate ideas and increase your creativity.
Great landscaping is based on your eyes of the its creator. So, as the principles of landscape design are wonderful guidelines to follow, don’t seem like they’re the “have to rules” of landscaping. Abstract and creativity are permitted.
Unity ought to be one of your main goals inside your design. It might be better understood and applied as consistency and repetition. Repetition creates unity by repeating alike elements like plants, plant groups, or decor through the landscape. Consistency creates unity meaning that some or all of the different elements of the landscape fit together to create an entire.
Unity can be created through the consistency of character of elements within the design. By character, I am talking about the dimensions, height, texture, color schemes, etc. of various elements.
A good example would be in the use of accent rocks and boulders. Have you ever seen a landscape design which had a number of different sizes and colors of boulders, then you need seen that unity wasn’t created by this specific element.
This is just an example however the principle pertains to other elements such as categories of plants and materials.
A simple way to create unity inside your landscape is by creating theme gardens. Creating a theme garden is simpler when it is related to something you’re interested in or have a passion for.
If you are interested in butterflies for example, you could create a theme using plants that attract butterflies as well as using statues, ornaments, along with other decor which are related to butterflies.
Unity should be expressed through at least one aspect in your landscape and preferably more. Using elements to express a main idea through consistent style along with a specific theme is what creates harmony.
Simplicity is actually one of the principles in design and art. It’s one of the best guidelines you are able to follow as a beginner or do it yourselfer. Just keep things easy to begin with. You can do more later.
Simplicity in planting, for example, 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.
Balance in design is just as the word implies. A feeling of equality. There are basically two types of balance in landscape design. Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.
Symmetrical balance is where you will find more or less equally spaced matching elements, areas, and shapes of the garden design. Having a garden equally divided, each side could share any part of the same shape, form, plant height, plant groupings, colors, bed shapes, theme, etc.
You may remember creating something similar to this when you were a kid in art class in school. In which you take a piece of paper, splash paint onto it, fold it in two, unfold it, after which it magically creates a fascinating symmetrical design. So symmetrical balance or design is sort of of the mirror image or reflection.
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 type of balance often has separate or different themes with each having an equal but different kind of attraction.
Asymmetrical might be better understood as being unbalanced, abstract, or free form while still creating unity and balance through the repetition of some elements.
A good example of this is 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 part is straight, direct, hard, and completely opposite. Again, unity and balance is going to be created through additional factors.
Contrast can be very intriguing and this type of form can create a neat contrast. Flowing line is pleasing to the eye but the bold contrast of a curve coupled with a straight line can be very interesting.
Asymmetrical balance isn’t dependent on the form of the garden. It can be but generally it’s not.
A good example might be where one for reds of the garden is mainly large shade trees as the other part is predominately a lesser growing flower garden or perhaps a mixture of both examples. Like I stated earlier, the landscaping can be abstract while still maintaining unity through additional factors such as rocks, plants, and decor.
Contrast and harmony can also be achieved using plants. Fine foliage verses coarser foliage, round leaves verses spiked leaves as well as color compliments and contrasts.
Plant height, color, and texture might be varied in one area to the next but each area should stay consistent within its own theme.
You’ll hear me discuss “themes” a great deal. Many successful do-it-yourself designs consume a basic theme to achieve most of the principles of landscape design described on this page. It is a simple starting point for do it yourselfers that can be added to later.
Color adds the dimension of actual life and interest to the landscape. Bright colors like reds, yellows and oranges seem to advance toward you and also can actually make an item seem nearer to you. Cool colors like greens, Continue reading