Landscape Designs

Creating an effective landscape design

It can be somewhat intimidating to think about designing the entire landscape of the yard around your home. After all, that's a lot of decisions to make, and if you aren't experienced at do-it-yourself landscape design, you may wonder if you will be able to make good decisions.

To help with your landscape design plan, it can be quite beneficial to get some landscape design software. Not only will the landscape design software likely include free landscape design examples, but it will also likely provide a way for you to work on your own landscape designs. Do-it-yourself landscape design is much easier with the use of software.

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Even with software, however, it can also help to understand the eight basic principles of landscape design. Having knowledge of these principles can aid you in making the right decisions about your yard's landscaping.

The Principles of Landscape Design

The eight basic principles of landscape design are:

  1. Unity. Some landscape designers incorporate unity by using the same design element, such as a certain type of design landscape stone, in several areas throughout the landscape. Others may repeat a specific color in key places throughout the yard. Unity is basically consistency in design throughout the landscape. Whether it is done through repeated use of one design landscape stone or color, or through some other means doesn't matter – what matters is that unity is incorporated somehow.
  2. Simplicity. Less is more in landscape design. Keep things simple, at least at first -- you can always add more at a later time.
  3. Balance. This can be symmetrical (where the landscape is alike from any angle) or asymmetrical (where there is a distinct contrast, such as height, curvature or texture from one side to another of the landscape).
  4. Color.This is what catches interest against a (usually) mostly green backdrop. Color can also be used to direct attention toward a specific part of the landscape.
  5. Natural transition. Landscape design plans should avoid abrupt changes through the course of the landscape; transitions should be gradual. For instance, rather than going from tall trees directly down to short shrubbery, there should be some other element, such as medium-sized trees, in the middle to ease the transition.
  6. Line. This principle relates to how the edges of the garden beds and the walkways through the landscape flow. The lines in landscape design plans can be straight or curvy.
  7. Proportion. Landscape designs need to keep proportion in consideration. For example, large garden areas should not be dotted with tiny statues. The statues would be out of proportion and would get lost among the larger design elements.
  8. Repetition. It is good to repeat several different design elements – landscapers should not simply repeat one element dozens of times.

Using these eight basic principles, with or without the aid of landscape design software, can help ensure a cohesive, aesthetically pleasing landscape design.

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