8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design – What to Incorporate

Following the 8 basic principles of landscape design will aid designers in creating comfortable and visually appealing landscapes. Like any other field, rules apply when designing a garden, a water feature or any different landscapes forms. Whether you are an expert, or just a curious DIY person, following these principles will help you design your landscaping.

8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design

1. Unity:

This principle helps in creating a uniform scene that gives off a natural vibe. Every unique feature you intend to include in a landscape must blend in well with the landscape and complement the existing central scheme. Each element must have purpose, and you can achieve unity by repetition of landscape features or mass planting.

2. Balance:8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design

This is the importance of creating balanced visual attractions. Symmetrical balance is when two sides of the landscape have matching designs with similar color schemes, shapes, sizes, and textures. Landscape designs work better with asymmetrical balance. Asymmetrical balance is when opposite sides of a landscape contrast in colors and textures to create the same visual attraction.

3. Transition:

This refers to the gradual change between one aspect of the design to another. A transition can be made with color (different flower colors) or by lining objects of varying textures, size or form together. For instance, short plants can be mixed with towering plants, or thorns and shrubs grown.

4. Proportion:

The size difference between different parts of the design and the rest of the landscape. For instance, a gigantic tree can tower over a low rise bungalow, but it would complement a multiple story building. An infinity pool would make a small area look compressed, but it would fit beautifully in a large estate. If your backyard will have a pool or hot tub, one way to keep your backyard visually proportional, is by removing some elements on the side where the hot tub/pool is, and adding them to the other side. This will help keep it visually proportioned and balanced.

5. Rhythm:

The design should create a feeling of smooth motion, leading the viewer’s eye from one aspect of the landscape to another. Color schemes, outlines, shapes, and sizes of features can be repeated to achieve a rhythmic flow in landscape design.

6. Focal Point:

This involves drawing attention to a landscape feature by installing the element at a center point between radial and approaching lines. The viewer’s vision is guided to a focal point along straight lines. Flowing lines to a focal point are preferable in residential settings. One type of element you can add to your landscape as a focal point is a fire pit. Using a fire pit don’t only serve as a focal point, but it also functions as a source of warmth when outside during the colder months.

7. Repetition:

This is the use of features like plants or identical colored, shaped or sized features in the landscape more than once. However, remember that excessive repetition in the design creates monotony. Clever use of repetition can help to achieve rhythm.

8. Simplicity:

You can achieve simplicity in landscape designs by eliminating excessive detail. Unnecessary details confuse a viewer’s perception. To keep it simple, you will have to reduce every aspect of the design to its basic functional form. It also helps to reduce the costs of installation and maintenance.

Bottom Line

The 8 basic principles of landscape design are unity, balance, transition, proportion, rhythm, a focal point, repetition and simplicity. These principles guide in the arrangement of landscape features to create the desired effects.

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