Landscaping 101: Elements of Landscaping Design

Landscaping Design

When our Greenville landscaping contractors meet with potential clients, we get many comments such as “We have such a small and flat yard, no matter what we tried, it still looks boring.” Then we show them our proposed landscaping design and they doubt that it can be achieved in real life.

The reality is that even the most complex garden or park, with incredibly rich flower beds, elegant ponds, and perfectly trimmed trees, is built relying on just five basic elements of design.

Let us discuss them in detail so that you can understand how your backyard can go from drab to fab.

1. Line

Lines are essential for guiding the eye over the surface of land. They also control movement, directing people where you want them to reach to admire a landmark. Walkways and alleys are the simplest ways of creating lines and arranging them as you wish.

These lines can be straight or curved. They can be horizontal or vertical, or they may appear to wander aimlessly. However, there is a precise science in their design.

In general, straight lines create a formal design – for example, that of an English garden or the sumptuous and geometrically precise gardens at Versailles Palace in France. Curved lines define informal gardens, with a bohemian touch and the impression of freedom of movement.

2. Form

Form takes landscape design from 2D to 3D. Lines can define a surface. Forms define the space. These forms come in many types:

  • Trees and bushes
  • Retainer walls
  • Pergolas.

Just like with lines, you can use clear geometrical forms to create a formal, well-structured garden. Or you can opt for free forms to give a sense of wilderness and untamed nature.

For instance, consider the difference between planting flowers in the garden all over the place or containing them in flower boxes and beds. Each of the two landscape designs will create a different look.

even a small backyard can look beautiful if you know what to plant in it

3. Color

Colors, especially color combinations, are essential for setting the vibe of your garden. Many people opt for a few colors, such as the green of grass plus the red of roses or the white of lilies.

Others want an explosion of colors, opting for a variety of plants and flowers. Hardscape elements are also included in the choice of colors. Many people opt for natural stone to pave alleys and concrete retainer walls with a finish that imitates stone, brick, or wood.

4. Texture

Every element in your garden has texture. The walkway, the bark of trees, grass, a pond, and shrubs – they are all perceived as soft, hard, gentle, or sharp in terms of texture. The most beautiful gardens use a clever mix of textures, guiding the eye from one element to another.

This is why you should not leave your backyard as a simple lawn with grass. The single texture, with a lack of form and shape, plus the uniform color, makes it look small and boring. Add just a few elements, such as a winding path, a few trees, and flower beds, and you are now looking at a chic garden, where you’d love to sit down and have a picnic.

5. Scale

Scale is the last element of landscape design that can trick the eye into perceiving a small garden as a much larger one. We are talking about adding elements of various heights and widths.

Thus, just planting a few trees is not enough to give depth to the garden. Add some shrubs, raised flower beds, and a sunken fire pit, and now you have a complex landscape, making visitors look not just straight ahead, but also up, down, and sideways.

Our Greenville Landscaping Contractors Can Transform Your Garden!

No garden is too small for us. Using these concepts of landscape design, we can turn it into whatever you dream: a fairy wonderland or a formal garden, ideal for a tea party.

All you have to do is get in touch with one of our Greenville landscaping contractors and share your vision with us. We will create a realistic design plan and, after you approve it, we will get to work. Your beautiful garden is just one phone call away, so reach out to us at 864-635-2560!


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