Landscape Design – Symmetry and Balance

Colorado LandscapingSome lawns look as though there was no plan involved in the planting of trees, shrubs, flowers and grass. If you take some time to learn landscape design, or have someone with knowledge in that area assist you, your lawn can be an area of beauty that you will enjoy for years.

There are various principles involved in designing an attractive lawn area, and if you have a basic understanding of them, it will help you to become more creative and implement good ideas. A beautifully landscaped area is prepared as much for you as for neighbors, and even though knowledge of principles is helpful, they are not set in stone.

You’ll want to show unity in the design for the area you are landscaping. Using repetition means selecting plant types that are somewhat alike, and using them throughout the plan. Consistency will enable you to make the overall picture attractive.

It’s fairly easy to establish a unified look if you create themes for your lawn. Garden décor is a simple way to start a theme. These are more easily done if they are related to plants or animals that interest you. If you like certain breeds of birds that live in your geographical area, for example, you can add plants and trees that will attract those types of birds to your yard.

You’ll also want the overall look of your landscape design to be somewhat simple. Especially if you’ve never done any design work in the past, it’s harder to go wrong if your plan is simple. Select a few favorite colors and plan for them to be repeated through the lawn or garden. Staying within your theme and keeping excess items to just a few will also make the overall look more appealing.

Landscape designs also include balance. Symmetrical balance is applied by using elements that are spaced in an even way. You’ll use similar plant heights, forms and shapes to establish this. On the other hand, asymmetrical balance involves adding some random shapes and colors. It may show various themes, and each shows a different attraction.

Contrast in your landscape designs makes your green area more interesting. Flowing lines can be quite pleasing to view, but you can also include straight lines with curves to create more interest. You may also achieve harmony or contrast with the types of plants you choose. Using coarse foliage instead of fine foliage or varying colors of plants can provide your landscaped area with an interesting look.

Color will also add a lot of interest to your lawn or garden. Brighter colors make plants feel closer to the viewer, and cooler colors seem farther away. Neutral colors work well in background areas. You can also use colors to draw attention to areas of the garden that are favorites. Bright flowers among neutral colors is a very natural way to catch people’s eyes.

The elements of your garden or lawn should also be in proportion with one another. Most people are able to achieve proper proportions without a great deal of thought. You can still use large and small objects and plants in your garden area, as long as they are scaled to fit the area in which they are used.

Article is Courtesy Denver and Boulder, Colorado landscape architect Tom Altegelt and Associates who have been in business for over 20 years.