Landscape design: Principles of Design and Their Affect

Customers often ask, “Do I really need to start off with a design?” The answer is YES. A design creates a landscape that meets the principles of design, provides continuity as well as helping to lay out the installation steps.

According to the University of Minnesota’s Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series, the 6 principles of design are Simplicity, Variety, Balance, Emphasis, Sequence and Scale. Each principle can be tested and tweaked while creating a landscape plan on paper.

A good landscape has a balance between simplicity and variety. Filling an entire landscape with one plant may seem ridiculous but planting a small residential lot with several hundred different species is just as awkward. In between these two scenarios is balance that works. Simplicity provides continuity and order through out the landscape while variety adds interest and creates a unique space.

Balance, emphasis, and sequence refer more to the placement of specific components in the landscape. Balance can be formal or informal. Emphasis highlights specific locations. Sequence describes how the different parts of the landscape transition from one another.

Finally scale refers to the human experience within the landscape. As an example, does one feel different sitting under a towering shade tree than next to hedge row of waist high shrubs? Achieving the proper scale will improve the encounter one has with the landscape and the desire to return.

With these principles in mind a landscape plan offers the resident an opportunity to lay out all the parts of a landscape. It is much more cost effective to play with lines on paper than to remove and replace things with a poorly designed landscape.

3 comments (Add your own)

1. Jessie wrote:
You're the one with the brains here. I'm watchnig for your posts.

Sun, January 29, 2012 @ 11:28 PM

2. Katty wrote:
Intleglience and simplicity - easy to understand how you think.

Sun, January 29, 2012 @ 11:50 PM

3. vwdycudi wrote:
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Mon, January 30, 2012 @ 2:22 AM

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