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Landscape Design

Understanding the elements of landscape design

Landscaping is a combination of art and science. The elements of landscape design are the artistic characteristics of planning an outdoor garden. These basics of landscape design are used to design a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing with an attractive, inviting appearance.

The five elements of landscape design include:

• Colour - It is important to use a complementing colour scheme throughout the yard.

• Line - Linear patterns are used to direct physical movement and to draw attention to areas in your garden.

• Form - Form can be expressed through trees and shrubs of various shapes and sizes which create natural patterns.

• Texture - Plants with varying textures can add to the atmosphere of your outdoor area.

• Scale - Your outdoor design should balance the size of the buildings it surrounds, while maintaining a comfortable environment for the individuals who will use the area.

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Understanding the principles of landscape design
The science of landscaping can be found in the principles of design. Here, the elements of landscaping come together to develop a garden design that is not only attractive and inviting.It is also balanced, providing a unified appearance between the house and the outdoors.
The seven principles of landscape design include:
• Unity - One of the basics of landscape design is creating a central theme to build your outdoor plan upon. A unified look is important to a beautiful landscape design.
• Balance - The plants, walkways, and other features of your outdoor plan should be laid out in an asymmetrical design that complements the entire yard.
• Transition - Changes in colours, plant styles, and accessories will blend better with planned transitions to slowly move into the new look.
• Proportion - Plan a design that incorporates trees and shrubs that are relative to the size of the people and things around them.
• Rhythm - The patterns created with colours and lines give the landscape design a natural rhythm that is relaxing and enjoyable.
• Focalization - With the use of lines, form, and balance, you can develop a landscape design with specific focal points to draw interest and turn heads.
• Repetition - Repetition of these patterns and rhythms, in just the right amount, gives your outdoor design the perfect look without being overpowering.
Putting it all together
There is much more to planning the ideal landscape design than selecting colours and creating lines and curves. There are a few other basics of landscape design that should be addressed before developing the plans. 

You should determine the primary purpose and function of your outdoor area first.
Other essential steps in the basics of landscape design include:
• Designing specific activity areas for these purposes.
• Deciding where these areas will be located.
• Obtain a plot plan of the property whenever possible to create a more balanced design.
• Examine the landscaping site and make note of any troublesome grades. A soil analysis will assist in choosing the right plants for your area.
• Select plants that complement one another, as well as your home. Carefully plot the best location of each with the principles of landscape design in mind.