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How to Learn the Basics of Landscape Gardening Design

Landscape gardening design is both an art and a science. If you understand these basic design principles, you're sure to create a beautiful space.


  • Step 1: Maintain a sense of proportion in the landscape design. If the garden is small, adopt a scale that does not overwhelm the space.
  • Step 2: Take the time to sit and relax in the space you've created, and watch as your landscape changes with the seasons.
  • FACT: The traditional elements of art are color, line, value, texture, shape, form, and space.
  • Step 3: Layer plants so that they form a progression from one element to another. For example, try planting large trees beside smaller trees, and shrubs beside bedding plants.
  • Step 4: Strive for a sense of unity by repeating design elements throughout the garden, creating a motif.
  • Step 5: Use color differences to achieve contrasts in the landscape. For example, try planting brightly colored flowers in front of a dark tree trunk.
  • TIP: Consult a color wheel to see what colors complement each other.
  • Step 6: Aim for balance. The linear patterns in the landscape can be either symmetrical, where each side of the landscape mimics the other, or asymmetrical, where contrasting elements give equal weight to each side.

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