Introduction to Landscape Design
The Definition of Landscaping
Improve the aesthetic appearance of (an area) by changing its contours, adding ornamental features, or planting trees and shrubs.
“the site has been tastefully landscaped”.
What is Landscape Design?
Landscape design is not something that anyone needs to be fearful of, if you have an idea for your landscape or garden space you will be able to make it reality with a little bit of research and desire to create something beautiful.
As a potential Landscape Designer you need to be aware that your backyard masterpiece is going to be a living and growing thing that will change as the plants grow and develop, the environment changes through the season and you and your family use the space you have created. You will also grow as a person and landscaper as you learn through the experience and as a direct result of your personal growth and confidence in your ability your landscaping ideas and designs will also advance dramatically.
However you choose to Landscape your garden the priority is always to create something that you love, it will be your space and you will create something that is visually pleasing, functional and ultimately a landscape that works for you and for your garden.
What are the Landscaping Elements?
The first step in any design process is to put the ‘Elements’ in place for your Landscaping Space, obviously this changes for every single project because of the size of your space, the level of the ground, the conditions of the site and the soil and what is already there and may need to be worked around.
You, as the landscaper, need to sit and draw a rough plan of your space and place in any fixed feature that you may be required to work around (eg. a manhole cover). I would recommend doing a rough scale map of the area you have available to work in. It does not have to be fancy but a plan that is easy for you to work on and visualise your landscaping ideas.
When you have your basic plan (make sure you make a few copies) you can start to organise the hardscape materials and plants. Hardscape and Plants are referred to as features.
Features are anything that can be physically described by the visual qualities of:
Line – Form – Colour – Texture – visual weight.
These are the Elements of Landscaping Design.
What are the Landscaping Principles?
The principles of Landscaping are the guidelines that we use to arrange and organise the features to create a beautiful landscape, the fundamental concepts of landscape composition are proportion (always remember that plants grow over time), order (remember size and colour), repetition (how large or small a space do with to cover with a certain effect), and unity (will they and do they work together).
Understanding the Elements and Principles of Landscaping Design is the basic foundation of all landscaping Design, at this stage you just need to put your ideas down and think about what you want to create.
If you are brand new to landscape design do not be afraid, just apply your thoughts, ideas and what you are wanting to create to your design and deal with the details as you research and progress further into your landscaping experience.