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Garden Landscaping Devon
The Principles of Landscape Design
Garden Landscaping Devon
Over the years Plantation Landscape Gardening has built an excellent reputation.
"Understanding the principles of landscape design will help you to create your perfect outside space."
Devon Landscape Gardeners, Plantation Landscape Gardening offer a wide range of landscape design and gardening services. We value our customers and realise that our work speaks for itself.
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1. Unity
Unity is better understood and applied as consistency and repetition. Repetition creates unity by repeating alike elements like plants, plant groups, or decor throughout the garden landscape. Consistency creates unity in the sense that some or all of the different elements of the landscape fit together to create a whole.

Unity can be achieved by the consistency of character of elements in the design. For example the height, size, texture, colour schemes of different elements.

A simple way to create unity in your landscape is by creating themes. And one of the simplest ways to create themes is by using a little garden decor. Creating a theme garden is easier when it's related to something you're interested in or have a passion for.

If you're into butterflies for instance, you could create a theme using plants that attract butterflies as well as using statues, ornaments, and other decor that are related to butterflies.

Unity should be expressed through at least one element in your landscape and preferably more. Using elements to express a main idea through consistent style and a specific theme is what creates harmony.
4. Colour
Colour adds the dimension of real life and interest to the landscape. Bright colours such as reds, yellows and oranges seem to advance toward you and can actually make an object seem closer to you. Cool colours like greens, blues, and pastels seem to move away from you and can make an object seem further away from you.

Greys, blacks, and whites are considered neutral colours and are best used in the background with bright colours in the foreground. However, to increase depth in a landscape, you can use dark and coarse textured plants in the foreground and use fine textured and light coloured plants in the background.

Colours can also be used to direct your attention to a specific area of the garden. A bright display among cooler colours would naturally catch the eye.
6. Line
Line is of the more structural principles of landscape design. It can mostly be related to the way beds, walkways, and entryways move and flow. Straight lines are forceful and direct while curvy lines have a more natural, gentle, flowing effect.
7. Repetition
Repetition is directly related to unity. It’s good to have a variety of elements and forms in the garden but repeating these elements gives variety expression.

Unity is achieved by repeating objects or elements that are alike. Too many unrelated objects can make the garden look cluttered and unplanned.

There's a fine line here. It's possible that too much of one element can make a garden or landscape feel uninteresting, boring and monotonous.
However, unity can still be created by using several different elements repeatedly. This in turn keeps the garden interesting.
2. Simplicity
Simplicity is actually one of the principles in design and art. It's one of the best guidelines you can follow as a beginner or do it yourselfer. Just keep things simple to begin with. You can do more later.

Simplicity in planting, for instance, would be to pick two or three colours and repeat them throughout the garden or landscape. Keeping decor to a minimum and within a specific theme as well as keeping hardscapes such as boulders consistent is also practicing simplicity.
3. Balance
Balance in garden design is just as the word implies. A sense of equality. There are basically two types of balance in landscape design. Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is where there are more or less equally spaced matching elements of the garden design. With a garden equally divided, both sides could share all or part of the same shape, form, plant height, plant groupings, colours, bed shapes, theme, etc.

Asymmetrical balance on the other hand is one of the principles of landscape design that's a little more complex. While textures, forms, colours, etc. may remain constant to create some unity, shapes and hardscapes may be more random. This form of balance often has separate or different themes with each having an equal but different type of attraction.

Asymmetrical may be better understood as actually being unbalanced, abstract, or free form while still creating unity and balance through the repetition of some elements.
5. Natural Transition
Natural transition can be applied to avoid radical or abrupt changes in your landscape design. Transition can be achieved by the gradual, ascending or descending, arrangement of different elements with varying textures, forms, colours, or sizes.

An example of a good transition would be a stair step effect from large trees to medium trees to shrubs to bedding plants. This example is where a little knowledge of proper plant selection would come in handy.

Transition is one of the principles of landscape design that can be used to "create illusions" in the landscape. For example a transition from taller to shorter plants can give a sense of depth and distance (like in a painting), making the garden seem larger than it really is. A transition from shorter to taller plants could be used to frame a focal point to make it stand out and seem closer than it really is.
8. Proportion
Proportion simply refers to the size of elements in relation to each other. Of all the principles of landscape design, this one is quite obvious but still requires a little thought and planning. Most of the elements in landscape design can be intentionally planned to meet the proper proportions.

For instance if you are creating a small courtyard garden, an enormous seven foot garden statue placed in the centre would be way out of proportion and a little tacky to say the least. Or a small four foot waterfall and pond placed in the centre of a large open yard would get lost in the expanse.
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