The Basics of Landscape Design

Landscape design, like most professions, is a talent that is acquired with experience, yet there are certain principles that should be adhered to when designing an outdoor space. One of the main core concepts is to make the best use of the available resources, and this is something that the DIY designer often overlooks, and with that in mind, here are a few of the basics that will help you in your quest for the perfect garden design.

  • Balance – This could be called a sense of equality, and there are two types of balance; symmetrical and asymmetrical, and both can be used to good effect. With a symmetrical design, you would have two sides that are very similar in layout, which gives a feeling of balance, as you have a central area that might be turfed, with an equal balance on either side. Asymmetrical balance means there are several features that are evenly spread across the area that are in proportion to the overall design. A rockery on the left could be balanced by a fish pond on the right, and with a single feature in the central area, you still have a balance.
  • Good Use of Colour – There are so many shades that nature provides, with reds and oranges evenly spread, while cool colours like green and blue bring about a sense of harmony. A lush green lawn, for example, can be blended with a light beige or brown terrace, and small pathways can help to break up large grassed areas. Ask any landscape design firm about the use of colours, and they will certainly be able to make some suggestions.
  • Proportion – If your garden is a little on the small side, you should avoid large features, as they will look out of place, and by keeping everything in relative proportion, you have a balanced look that is easy on the eye. The same can be said for trees and shrubs, which should also be in proportion with the surroundings, and with some regular pruning, this equilibrium can be maintained.
  • A Balance Between Consistency and Chaos – Consistency involves having fauna of similar colour and size, yet this should be limited, otherwise the garden will take on a chaotic look. It is OK to repeat colours, textures and shapes, but not to the point where it is obviously repetitive.
  • Multiple Seating Locations – If you have enough space, think about creating a small seating area that can be shaded by a trellis, or even a covered walkway that has a bench underneath. It is nice to be able to vary where you sit, and you get to appreciate another view of the layout.

Most homeowners lack inspiration when thinking about a garden layout, yet by approaching a landscape designer, you can have a wide range of layout ideas to think about. Think about it like painting, and having a blank canvas allows you to build from that, adding features gradually, reworking them if necessary, and if you bear in mind the above basics, your garden should look stunning.