Principles of Landscape Design

Landscape design presents unique challenges. After all, when you design a room, the pieces stay static, but in landscaping, the elements of the design are constantly changing. Plants grow, environmental conditions shift, and the living, breathing canvas is constantly in flux. To account for these changes and ensure that a landscape design stays as aesthetically pleasing as the day it was created, there are some specific principles that designers follow. The broad categories of design principles for landscaping are proportion, order, repetition, and unity. Here is a look at what they mean.


When designing a landscape, it’s important to consider how the sizes of the objects used in the design relate to each other. In landscape design, it is especially important to consider the proportion of plants in relation to the hardscape features that are being used, and to ensure that the proportions will remain in balance even as the plants grow. Proportions should also take into consideration the size of the home, and all proportions should be considered relative to human scale, so that the landscaping looks balanced.


In landscape design, order can be either symmetrical or non-symmetrical. Symmetrical order, or balance, is achieved by having the same objects on both side of an axis in the design. Asymmetrical order is achieved by using different objects that have the same visual mass on two sides of an axis.


Repetition weaves predictable features throughout a landscape design. For example, a particular type of plant may appear repeatedly throughout the design in groups of three, to tie the look together.


Unity is all about perception. The overall design should feel like it goes together and that each element works with the other elements to achieve a fully conceived and realized design. This principle is key to making a landscaped area feel harmonious.

Let Horticulture Unlimited help you create a landscape design that you will love and that incorporates all of these important design principles. For more information or to talk to a landscape designer in Tucson, call (520) 321-4678.

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