When we talk of principles, we are referring to the standards or acceptable rules for working with or arranging different elements required to produce the intended landscape design. A great landscape design fundamentally combines seven universal principles of: unity, balance, proportion, focalization or emphasis, sequence or transition, rhythm, and repetition.
Unity implies the creative use of various elements to create harmony and sameness within the main scope of the landscape design. Unity showcases the landscape design’s sense of singleness and interconnection. Achieving unity in landscape design can be facilitated by the use of natural entities such as: plants, trees, or materials that have repeating lines or shapes, a potent and most common hue, or similar texture. However, exhibiting too much unity in landscape design can make it to be stereotypic. Therefore, it is important to introduce some form of variety or contrast into the landscape architecture.
Balance is conferring the landscape design a sense of equilibrium and symmetry in visual attraction. There are three traditional ways by which balance may be actuated in landscape design. Formal or symmetrical balance; which is achieved when the mass, weight, or number of objects on both sides of the design are exact and the same. Informal or asymmetrical balance in landscape design is one that suggests a feeling of balance on both sides, even though the sides do not look the same. Asymmetrical balance in visual attraction may be achieved by using opposing compositions on either side of the axis at the center. Landscape design with radial balance has a center point. A wheel, and the cross-section of an orange are also common examples that have radial balance.
Proportion refers to the size/dimensional relationship between parts of the landscape design or between a part of the design and the design as a whole. A large fountain would definitely swallow a small garden at the backyard, but would rather add up to a sprawling public courtyard. In addition, proportion in landscape design must put into consideration how people interact with various components of the landscape through normal human activities.
Emphasis is aimed at directing visual attention to a point of interest or prominent part of the landscape architecture. This could come as a hanging earth-formed sculpture, a stone-finished Corinthian garden fountain, a mass of architectural herbaceous perennials, or an elegant spruce. Emphasis in landscape design may be scored by applying a contrasting color, a different or unusual line, or a plain background space. Paths, walkways, and strategically placed plants lead the eye to the focal point of the landscape without distracting from the overall landscape design.
Sequence or Transition
Sequence or Transition effects the visual movement in landscape design. Sequence in landscape design is achieved by the gradual progression of texture, form, size, or color. Examples of landscape design elements in transition are plants that go from coarse to medium to fine textures or softscapes that go from large trees to mid-range trees to shrubs to bedding plants. Transition in landscape design may also be used to create depth or distance or to emphasize a focal point.
Rhythm’s effect is a feeling of motion which leads the eye from one part of the landscape design to another part. Exerting a color scheme, shape, texture, line or form evokes rhythm in landscape design. Proper expression of rhythm eliminates confusion and monotony from landscape design.
And conclusively, repetition in landscape design is the repeated use of objects or elements with identical shape, form, texture, or color. Although it gives the landscape design a unified planting scheme, repetition runs the risk of being overdone. However, when correctly implemented, repetition oft lead to rhythm, focalization or emphasis in landscape design