Understanding the Basics of Landscape Design

The key to creating a beautiful, elegant landscape is achieving a harmonious balance between the classic simplicity of nature and the modern architectural elegance of your house. This perfect unity between home and garden provides enjoyable living both inside and outside of your residence.

The most basic step in planning any functional and attractive garden design, regardless of how elaborate or how simple it is, is careful consideration to the style of the home, as well as the size of the entire property. With this information, you can decide on an overall landscape design theme and begin to incorporate other essential elements and principles of garden design into your plan.

Defining the Elements of Landscape Design

There is much more to understanding the basics of landscape design than simply selecting an array of plants and positioning them in your yard. First, there are five key elements that, when properly implemented into your design, will create a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor living area.

  • Line – Lines and geometric patterns can facilitate directional movement through the landscape and showcase important aspects of your space.
  • Scale – An array of colors that present a complementary pattern can bring the entire yard together.
  • Scale – It is important to select plants and trees appropriately scaled to the rest of the landscape surroundings.
  • Texture – The various textures of leaves, stems, and petals add more detail to your garden design.
  • Form – The form and physical attributes of the plant life within the design generates natural patterns that provide appeal and style to your outdoor space.

The Seven Principles of Landscape Design

The principles of landscape design are the basic concepts used to implement the elements of garden design mentioned above.

  • Unity – Creating unity throughout your outdoor living area, as well as the inside of your home, is one of the most important aspects of a custom landscape design with a professional appearance.
  • Repetition – Repetition and rhythm are generated through the use of color and texture, creating simple patterns in nature that bring a sense of relaxation and tranquility into your outdoor design.
  • Focalization – Lines, shapes, and forms are used to build points of focalization and to direct attention to central focal points in the landscape.
  • Balance – Balance and symmetry work with these other design principles to create a uniform appearance that invites pleasure and pleases the senses.
  • Transition – The transition and flow of the design and each of its components is equally important.
  • Proportion – Proportion, closely related to scale, is also one of the basics of landscape design that require special attention.

The Importance of Planning

Each of the aspects of landscape design mentioned above play a significant role in garden planning, but attention must also be placed on several other aspects of design for a truly functional outdoor space that blends elegantly with the design of your home.

Planning living areas, planting beds, and other elements of your design is much easier with the assistance of a plot plan. You will also want to analyze the soil contents and drainage abilities of your yard to determine the best positioning for your plants, as well as the most appropriate types of plants for your local area and climate.

While the basics of landscape design are simple and straightforward, combining these essential elements and principles into the ideal garden plan is not always that easy. Many homeowners rely on the experience of a professional landscape design firm to make the most of their outdoor living space.

Garden Landscape Design – 10 Tips To Design A Beautiful Garden Landscape

1. When coming up with a garden landscape design, you should consider the size, shape, and style of your home during the landscape design phase. The landscape design of your garden should blend with the house, not distract from it. You should be trying to enhance the property as well as the existing structures with your landscape design A good garden landscape design should flow smoothly with your home by creating repeat design details, textures, colors and smooth transitions.

2. When designing your garden landscape, make sure you have a plan in mind. A garden design should incorporate height and width restrictions of the area you plan on planting your garden, especially when dealing with trees. The garden may become unmanageable blocking views or pathways.

3. A successful garden landscape design will include proper soil requirements for the types of plants that you choose within your garden. Drainage requirements have to be taken into consideration when designing you garden. Poor drainage will doom your garden from the start

4. When designing your garden landscape, make sure that you plan for future growth. Your landscape design at maturity may change how the garden receives sun and shade throughout the day. Garden plants bought with the sun in mind may end up in the shade.

5. A vital key to a great garden landscape design is to create a focal point. Whether your focal point is a tree or an oddly shaped plant or garden color, create a garden landscape around it.

6. Consider the curb appeal that your garden landscape design will bring. The backyard garden may be where you hang out, but the rest of the world will see the garden design in the front yard. A good landscape design technique is to plan curves into the garden design; nature does not work in just straight lines. This type of landscape design will increase the look and curbside appeal of your garden, adding value to your house.

7. The future needs of the family should be taken into consideration when designing your garden landscape. If you have children, design your garden with them in mind. Each member of the family will use the garden design differently.

8. One of the most overlooked elements of the landscape design is lighting, both natural and artificial. Lighting plays a very important role in any good garden landscape design. Garden lighting sets the tone for how the garden will be used during the day as well as at night.

9. Your garden landscape design does not have to be expensive, but make sure that you are being realistic about costs. It’s very easy to misjudge landscaping design costs, especially if you hire contractors.

10. When planning your garden landscape design, make sure and create it around your personality, desires and maintenance requirements. If you really like an oriental garden design, why plant a rose garden. The future maintenance of your landscape design should be a major decision during the landscape design. If you do not have the time or the ability to keep up on the maintenance, your landscape design is doomed for failure.

The Two Main Ways Through Which You Can Get Your Landscape Design Right

There are two main ways through which you can get your design of landscape right.

In the first instance, you can undertake landscape design research, read as much as you can about the subject, and put the ideas you learn into practice, to end up with decently executed landscape design. In most public libraries, you will tend to find sections with lots of books on landscape design, and as long as you have the educational background that can enable you to benefit from this information, you will find most of those books quite useful. The internet is another resource you can check for information on landscape design. There are lots of tutorials, stand-alone articles and forum discussion threads on design of landscape that you may find beneficial.

There is an upside and a downside to that DIY approach to landscape design. Starting with the upside, you come to realize that it is a very cheap way to get design done, compared to paying a design professional to do it for you. We are looking at a situation where a typical design professional could charge you thousands of dollars for an average project, those being sums of money you get to save when you opt to walk this path. Then again, as long as you can internalize the ideas you learn effectively, you can come to a position where you can be in a position to do the landscape design (and subsequent landscaping) to your full liking, which would have been quite difficult to achieve were you to leave the design to someone else.

The downside to DIY landscape design is that it is, for one, time consuming. Researching to establish all the design of landscape principles well is bound to take you a lot of time. Since you are not a professional in the area, chances are that you won’t be in a position to get your design as well done as a professional designer would. The end result may be sub-standard landscaping work.

The second option, in terms of ways through which you can get your design of landscape right, would by paying a design professional to do it for you, telling them where you want landscaping done and what you want in terms of results – and leaving it upon them to come up with a complete plan. There is an upside and a downside to this approach, as well.

Starting with the upside, it is undeniable that (provided it is a well qualified design professional you task it to), the design of landscape would tend to get better done this way. You simply can’t even start comparing a professionally done landscape design with a ‘home-made’ one. Still on the upside, contracting the whole design of landscape job to a professional is what you need to do, if you are keen on saving time. But there is a downside as well. For one, most of these design professional will tend to charge what can only be termed as a premium for their services. And secondly, when you task someone to do your design of landscape for you, it may not get done exactly to your liking.