Highlighting some basic principles of landscape design

Are you planning to create a landscape design? It is important to have at least a basic understanding of the principles of landscape design.

Although you do not have to apply every principle to every part of your plan, having an understanding of these principles can help you generate unique ideas and increase your creativity.

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It may be better ratified and applied as consistency and repetition. Unity is created by repeating similar elements in a garden like plants, plant groups, or decor all around the landscape. Consistency creates unity in the sense that a few or all of the distinct elements of the landscape come together to create a whole.

Unity should be expressed through at least one element or preferably more in your landscape. Using elements to exhibit a gist through consistent style and a specific theme is what creates harmony.


Being one of the principles in design and art, simplicity is one of the best guidelines you can follow as a beginner. Keeping things simple to begin entails minimum d├ęcor, have a specific theme, picking two or three colors and repeating them are all practicing simplicity.


A sense of equality is what balance is. There are two types of balance in landscape design.

Symmetrical balance is where there are roughly equally spaced identical elements, areas, and shapes of the garden design.

Asymmetrical balance on the other hand is a little more complex often having separate or different themes with equal but different type of attraction in each.

It is actually being unbalanced, abstract, or free form while still creating unity and balance through the repetition of some elements.

Contrast and harmony

Using plants to achieve contrast and harmony for instance, red maple tree verses red oak tree, round leaves plants verses spiked leaves plants and color compliments or contrasts.

Plant height, color, and texture may be different from one area to the other but each area should stay consistent within its own theme.


Colors add the dimension of real life and interest to the landscape. Bright colors like reds can make an object seem closer to you while cool colors like greens can make an object seem farther from you.

Grays, blacks, and whites are known to be neutral colors generally used in the background with bright colors in the forefront.

Colors can used to lead your attention to a specific area of the garden for instance; a bright display among cooler colors would naturally become prominent.

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