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How to Attain Symmetry in Your Garden Landscaping Work

How to Attain Symmetry in Your Garden Landscaping Work

The universe is surrounded by symmetry, even human beings themselves are symmetrical. This is perhaps why it is so important to have a sense of symmetry in whichever space you may be designing. But how do you have symmetry within an outdoor space while still maintaining the interest of that space and not making it boring and drab? It is hard, but it can be done as it has been done before. It is the right of the customer to get what they pay for. 

Bilateral symmetry

This is the most common kind of symmetry, but it is not used that much in landscaping because it gives very formal effects. Such can be seen in the traditional Tudor knot gardens. Here, herbs were planted in strict patterns and given very tight clipping to result in a very formal landscape. 

Bilateral symmetry gives a sense of stagnation and the entities would be viewed as being stationary rather than animated. Asymmetrical symmetry has the advantage of giving elements an aspect of animation whereby they appear to be moving and are not just constant.

However, there are strategic outdoor spaces that would call for string bilateral symmetry. Such would be the entry points. By utilizing string bilateral symmetry, you would be drawing attention to the entrance of the house; which is essentially a space worth highlighting. 

Approximate Symmetry

This is the most common kind of symmetry used in landscaping. Just as the name suggests, it is not perfect symmetry but rather, it is a near depiction of the same. In this case, the features are balanced, but not duplicated. For instance, on one end of the garden you could have a large vase with a small flower while directly opposite it, you could have a small vase with a large plant. When observing the two, they would give off a sense of balance; but you would not consider them as one unit because they are not exactly the same. 

Radial symmetry

This is not seen so commonly in gardens, but that does not mean that it cannot work. Radial symmetry can work in the case of herbs whereby you may plant different herbs radially around a circular entity which may as well be the focal point. 

Asymmetry is most commonly used in Cottage gardens, English gardens and Oriental gardens. The traditional Japanese Zen garden is famed for its utilization of asymmetrical symmetry. On one end, you could be having a shrub sculpture while on the other, you would be looking at a rock boulder. 

Normally, designers tend to play about with both symmetry and asymmetry. Say you have an asymmetrical backyard with a gazebo. You could put some symmetry into the gazebo by having two similar flower pots on opposite ends. In fact, for the best results when it comes to symmetry, it would be prudent to use a combination of the two because while asymmetry breaks monotony, symmetry gives the space a sense of harmony and enclosure. It is best used to enhance an enclosed space such as an outdoor bar or even a patio. 

Symmetry is a tricky aspect of design and many designers would get lost while trying to achieve it. But this need not be the case as long as you try playing around with both symmetry and asymmetry.

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