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5 Principles of Simple Garden Designs

Written by Anne Marie DiMatteo | Sat, Apr 02, 2011

The most basic principles of garden design include simplicity, rhythm and line, proportion, balance, and focal points. Every gardener should follow these principles in order to achieve a garden space that is aesthetically pleasing and an enjoyable outdoor space.

1. Simplicity- This refers to a design that has a simple theme with just enough colors and elements to achieve an aesthetically pleasing garden. A simple design is found by using basic garden bed lines and curves.

2. Rhythm and Line- Rhythm is a sense of motion created from the elements in the design, it also controls eye movement. This is achieved through the use of colors, form, and lines. Lines create patterns, forms, as well as control movement.

3. Proportion- Using elements and features in the design plan that all agree in size. Cannot see proportion from a plane view, only in 3D, it shows how tall plants are in relation to the house and other features in the garden.

4. Balance- There are two types of balance, formal (symmetrical) and informal (asymmetrical). Formal arrangements have the same types of plants on either side. Informal arrangements include plantings that are not alike on either side.

5. Focal Point- A feature that is used as the central object to draw the attention of the eye. An example, is a water feature (such as the image above).

Each principle is applied differently and in varying degrees within gardens. Not every principle is at the same level of intensity or boldness within a garden.



What do you think is the most important principle of garden design? Leave a comment here or email and send us your opinion!

We look forward to hearing what you think!