September 22, 2020

Garden Design: The Natural Palette

Practical gardens and landscapes, no matter how mixed in style and period, all possess certain basic design principles with their core. To create a masterful backyard, there must be attention to: unity, scale, area division, light and shade, texture, and tone and color.

Backyard designers must also consider maturation of plants and seasonal changes. Finally, there is time-a design principle not required by other fine and decorative arts.


Perhaps, it is a reflection of our contemporary era that oneness is the most lacking in today’s garden. We live piecemeal, hurried lives plus tend to patch together lives plus gardens as we go along. But the objective of unity is to give a totality, or strength of purpose towards the design. Tone and color or even texture can be used as unifying components, but they are not enough to create a backyard whole.

Modern gardens tend to be back to the inside looking as very few of us possess country estates where we view the horizon over the hill. But nevertheless, we can design our gardens to be progressive or static. The first qualified prospects the eye down an axis, while a static garden is built on the central open space where the attention is brought to rest.


In either design it is important to think about scale. Even an outdoor room must compete with the vastness of the sky. There exists a need for ample proportion, and a nodding acquaintance with the laws of viewpoint. There must be a definition of the space, and it also must relate to the human scale. When you have assets of gigantic proportion, like enormous trees, it is best to insert the transition or buffer of medium scale that then relates more to people in the landscape.

As for the range of all the parts of your design, you might have two choices. Either all the parts should fit together as one whole, or even one (only one) should master. That is how you create a focal point. Think about also how your eye responds. A view is shortened as you look uphill and lengthened while you look down. You can enlarge and blur boundaries by placing them in shade.

Division of Room

You must also divide your space to be able to interesting. You create pattern by how you distribute, and the proportion associated with, open spaces and solid bulk. A prime example is a colonnade of trees leading the eye forwards. You must decide how many trees, associated with what size girth (when they mature) and how far apart in order to plant them.

In dividing your space, you can either use a firm, architectural style or a loose even more organic style.

Light & Tone

Light and shade also are essential additions to your palette with the potential to elicit emotional response. Consider the appeal of sunlight falling with an open spot in a glade. The particular sunlight is a wonderful surprise, and much more exciting when viewed from a shady region.

Keep in mind that texture can only be shown with light. For example , site something highly carved or intricately detailed where it will be illuminated. On the other hand, the structural element can be strengthened if it is sited to appear in silhouette, with little detail and only the shape obvious.


Texture itself becomes more and more important as pattern decreases. The use of texture is strongest in Western garden design. The classic garden, with a highly formal pattern, relies on simplicity of surfaces.

The more modern garden, particularly those of smaller range, can successfully use textures to create pattern. This is especially appropriate exactly where elements are seen at close variety and texture can be fully valued.

Tone & Color

Finally, probably the most appreciated and least understood backyard design element, is that of shade and color. We all think we can use tone and color successfully, but it is no surprise that most great garden designers were also performers. To fully utilize color, you need to understand the particular principles of color harmony.
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That said, we’ll all continue with our illusions, and have a wonderful time creating our own gardens.

Basis For Expression

In the event that all of these design principles are well used, they create a wonderful basis regarding truly original expression. The basics associated with garden design are like the foundation to get a house. Once in place, there is limitless opportunity for personal expression.

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