The 7 principles of landscape design

There are some things that will never change and one of those things is the principles of landscape design. It doesn’t matter if you are landscaping for Central Park, the Queen of England, or your next-door neighbor, one must understand the foundational elements of landscape design in order to successfully accomplish their work.

In this article, we’ll dive into the 7 most important principles of landscape design, what they mean, and how you can translate any one of these principles of landscape design into your yard.

7 Principles Of Landscape Design

1. Unity

Unity is known as the feeling of oneness. When something is unified, it acts as one operating unit creating harmony within the land. This is important when developing a landscaping design because it allows for each component to compliment the next, creating one general theme. You can achieve unity in your landscape by using repetition (which we touch on later), and also arranging plants by their shape. For example, trees and shrubs should have some uniformity with their shape, however the textures of each can be varied to create subtle interest without looking too chaotic.

2. Balance

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; balance; Brick pathway in front yard with multiple plants and shrubs

One of the principles of landscape design is balance. Within a landscaping project, there must be balance. Balance is more appealing to the eye creating a feeling of control. Unbalanced projects can create a feeling of chaos. One way that you can incorporate balance into your next design is to incorporate a formal balance ( where everything is dispersed the same amount across the land from left to right) or an informal balance (where the components differ from left to right but are still weighted the same.)

3. Line

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; line; Stone stairs in garden

In landscaping, lines can be physical barriers that create a sense of movement within the land. Examples of this can be a body of water or a walkway. They both create connections within the space and the people who experience it.

So with this principle of design, lines do not need to be straight. Just like these flights of stairs, they have a curve to them.

4. Contrast

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; contrast; Hand holding bright pink flowers in vertical planter boxes

Contrast is when two items contradict each other, but in the same manner, compliment each other. In landscaping, it is common to see lots of green: green shrubs, green trees, etc. A great way to diversify and break up the color blocking is to add a touch of contrast. This could be done with colorful flowers, different stones, or even a small pond.

5. Repetition

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; Repetition; Round bushes surround outdoor wooden chairs

Next on our list of principles of landscape design is repetition. Repetition doesn’t have to always be so monotonous. It can be elegant and give a very balanced look to the land.

Repetition can be fulfilled by patterns, but it can also be used to dictate the placement of certain items or fulfill a certain ongoing trend throughout the land. So similarly to this image, you can have circular bushes hugging your patio that creates that repetition in an elegant and balanced way.

6. Simplicity

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; simplicity; Blue table and chairs surrounded by garden foliage

No one wants to live in a chaotic jungle. Well, most of us do not want to live in one anyway! One component that every landscaper must consider is the simplicity of the project.

Sometimes less is more, but that doesn’t mean that less is boring. Think about how you can combine different elements like water features, foliage, lighting and garden decor in a way that doesn’t look cluttered, but intentional.

7. Focalization

7 Principles Of Landscape Design; Focalization; Round stone water feature with fire in foreground

In most cases, establishing a focus can be helpful when designing a landscaping plan. Placing emphasis on one aspect and then allowing all the surrounding elements to complement the focus will guarantee a fresh look.

Perhaps you want a stand-out water feature, how might you bring attention to it at different points of the day or night? By incorporating different elements like outdoor lighting and foliage placement, you can really help draw the eye to one particular feature.

End Note:

At Eichenlaub, we work hard to design a landscaping plan that works best for you and your outdoor living space! Our landscape design process transforms your vision into reality, and our innovative designers will create a landscape environment beyond your expectations! Are you ready to get started! Contact us today!

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