Garden Design …. getting started
Designing gardens is tremendous fun and very satisyfing, especially designing our own gardens. There are some excellent guidelines and tools (eg. Feng Shui from the Orient) to help us to do this. Having an awareness of them can make the task of designing a garden a lot less daunting.
The Principles of Design
This is a set of guidelines or understandings which forms the foundation to any good designs. There are briefly described as follows:
- Unity - Ideas, design details and the style used in a design should have strong links with one another.
- Simplicity - Avoid using too many different hard landscape materials, garden features, plants, and colours. Simplicity gives a calm and uncluttered look.
- Balance - The right ratio between Mass (eg. Trees and shrubs, upright structures) and Voids (eg. lawn, paths and patio)
- Scale and Proportion - Generally, a larger scale is needed in the garden then within the house. For proportion, using the rule of a third often achieves pleasing results.
- Rhythm and Repetition - Repeating forms or planting can be used to create a sense of rhythm and will bring calm and order to the garden.
- Focal Points - Sculptures, water features or architectural plants can be use to create interests and lead visitors around the garden.
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The style of a garden is determined by the geometry used in the design process. The style can be formal, informal and asymmetrical. The layout of a formal garden is made up of rectangles and circle with strong symmetry along its axis; whereas an informal garden uses curves outlines and without lines of symmetry. Asymmetrical gardens is a similar to formal gardens but without an axis of symmetry. To achieve Unity, a garden should only have a distinctive style.
Designing on a Grid
Using a square grid can help to plan layouts for formal and asymetrical gardens. The size of the grid is determine by choosing the strongest feature of the house eg. patio doors or windows.