Landscape design is the process of planning and organizing outdoor spaces to enhance a property’s function and beauty. Professional landscape designers use a set of fundamental concepts to plan all kinds of open spaces—homes, parks, golf courses, and businesses. Applying the same principles that the pros use can help you create your own great landscape.
Properly scaled plants and structures make a landscape feel proportional to the surrounding architecture, and help the spaces seem larger or smaller. Scale refers to the size of an object or group of objects in relationship to other objects in a composition (Figure 19-2). The mature height and spread of a plant must be carefully considered, as plants that grow too large for their site can overwhelm a garden and lead to overstimulation and maintenance problems.
Balance is the equal visual weight of all elements in a landscape. It can be achieved by either symmetry or asymmetry, as well as through the use of regulating lines. A regulating line is a series of points in a landscape that connect different elements to each other. Often, these lines are visible from interior living spaces in homes, and they form a link between the garden and the house’s architecture.
Unity is the cohesion of a design’s various components. A unified landscape provides an attractive view from any angle. Repetition of geometric shapes and the use of a common color theme contribute to landscape unity. Contrasting textures, forms, and colors also contribute to unity by attracting the eye’s attention.