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Principles of Good Landscaping

Principles of Good Landscaping

Landscaping can be considered both an art and a science. A lot of skill is needed, but there are also a few principles that the landscaper should keep in mind when working on any project. It is only by incorporating the various principles that they will achieve both unity and flow in their design. 


When coming up with a landscaping plan, it is important to ensure that it is practical. It should be able to consider the size of the property as well as the shape. The design should also be able to work in the specific environmental conditions.


All clients usually have a vision in mind when looking for a landscaper. The landscaper should be able to fulfill the needs of their client by ensuring that their needs are met.


Landscapers could go for symmetrical design, an asymmetrical design or a distal design. Symmetrical balance is usually used at the front of houses or in formal setups. Asymmetrical balance is usually more informal in nature. Distal design is also referred to as near/far balance. All landscapers should be careful with the distal design as it can be tricky to implement, but it always looks spectacular when done properly. One important tip that exterior designers can use with this type of balance is that they can place pictures from the different angles of the yard on their workspace during the planning process. It will also help if they can have pictures of the sun’s movement at the design table.


A lot of landscapers overlook this principle, but it is one of the most important. This principle should work hand in hand with balance. For example, tall trees are usually proportional besides tall buildings, while shorter trees are suitable for bungalows and ranch style homes. It is also important to consider the size of each feature in proportion to the entire yard.

Focal Points

All designs must have a focal point. It is also possible for a yard to have more than one focal point. However, creating too many focal points could lead to confusion in any landscape. In yards, one of the major focal points is the front door. Therefore, all the different components must lead towards the entryway in order to compliment it.


This usually has to do with the intervals between plants or features. For example, if one is designing a walkway that is fifty feet long, they can choose to plant the shrubs at measured intervals of ten feet apart. This will help to ensure flow in the design. 


This usually has to do with the borders that are created by the different features. A landscaper should be able to follow this principle, as it will make it easier for the client to maintain their yard or garden. 


In landscaping, less is always more. Too many varieties or too many colors will make the landscape appear confusing, cluttered and busy. Therefore, never use too much of anything, and limit the design in order to keep things simple.

The principles of designs are the secrets to success in landscaping. Sometimes it is not possible to use every single one of them in a project. However, maximizing their use will always result in a beautifully done landscape.

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