Landscaping 101: What You Should Know About Landscaping

For landscape designing, there are many factors to take into consideration. In this article today, we will be diving into the many different aspects and factors that homeowners will have to keep in mind when doing landscaping. The same applies to outdoor homes.

Landscape Design Principles

Landscaping has a couple of fixed golden rules that landscapers would employ to create their artwork. These aspects coupled with the factors would help make landscaping less of a hurdle and more like an accomplishable task.

  • To create organization and balance in a landscape
  • To provide sufficient emphasis through the difference in size.
  • To create predictable and familiar patterns and sequences in the landscape.
  • To create coherence and a complementary atmosphere.
  • To create aesthetically pleasing difference yet appear uniformly.


Colour is important. It brings greenery to life by introducing dimension and character. It can be added in the form of plants and/or hardscapes, such as pavements, walls, or fences. The hardscapes not only help to classify, structure but also compartmentalise the colours of a landscape.

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Warm colours have a different effect than cooler colours. A mix of both can be used to create contrast while dedicating to one aspect of the spectrum can create the effect of harmony. Landscapers would usually decide and devote their landscape to a specific colour theme and work their way around it.

Ways colour can be used in a landscape:

  • Attract wildlife
  • Blend the outdoors with the colours of the home
  • Create an atmosphere
  • Draw attention to a certain area of the landscape
  • Provide seasonal variety

Colours can also affect mood. It is a fact that popular brands know and exploit, explaining the different reasons for the colours behind popular brands like Pepsi, Google or Facebook. Designers have long believed that colours can affect moods, feelings, and emotions. Science and research have also backed this fact up.

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A research by ColorPsychology lists some of the superpowers that colours have:

“Colors in the red area of the colour spectrum are known as warm colours and include red, orange, and yellow. These warm colours evoke emotions ranging from feelings of warmth and comfort to feelings of anger and hostility.”

“Colors on the blue side of the spectrum are known as cool colours and include blue, purple, and green. These colours are often described as calm but can also call to mind feelings of sadness or indifference.”

“Green is thought to have the ability to evoke strong emotions due to its dominant position in Mother Nature. Green creates a feeling of abundance and security, using it to calm the mind with peace and respite.”

In terms of therapy, the primary colours of red, green, and blue all serve different yet significant purposes. Red and Green are probably more common when it comes to landscaping, while blue can be included through the use of painted structures, or silently existing in the background as you gaze pass your landscape and into the blue wide sky. For more information on this topic, you can consider reading up on chromotherapy.

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Often, shape refers to the linear structures within a landscape, such as the curvatures of a walkway or pavement, or the perimeter of the flower bed.

Hard angles and linear lines can help create a formal look, while curved and irregular lines create the opposite informal effect.

Ways shape can be used in a landscape:

  • Vertical lines can be used to pull the eye up and make space feel larger. Tall trees or buildings can help add vertical depth to a yard.
  • Horizontal lines make space feel bigger by pulling the eye across the garden. Garden walls and walkways are commonly used to achieve such an effect.


While some items can be used to provide practical usage or fill your colour pallet, a combination of soft and hard structure can be used to introduce structure too.

Plant texture refers to the fineness or coarseness, roughness or smoothness, heaviness, or lightness of a particular plant. Varying it can create diversity, which explains why a different type of plants is used coherently in common landscapes.

The shape or structure of a plant also contributes to its ‘texture’. For example, a formal garden with clipped hedges and topiaries gives a smooth texture, while an informal garden with overgrown greenery will have a rougher texture.

Another way to categorise texture is by the shade or tint of the leaf or bark’s colour, as well as the leaf’s thickness. A common golden rule to follow in landscape design is that more plants with fine textures should be than those with coarser textures. The following rule, albeit a simple one, can help you maintain an aesthetically attractive appearance when selecting plants for your landscape design.

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Examples of How to Create Textural Contrast

  • Red salvia is also a good companion for yellow French marigolds (Tagetes patula). In this case, you get not only the textural contrast between the fine foliage of the marigolds and the grainier leaves of the salvia but in colour contrast sense – a vibrant red-yellow flower combination.
  • Similarly, the same effect can be achieved by pairing Red Salvia with Silver Dust.
  • Lavender, combined with coneflower, allows for the former’s finer and fragrant leave to contrast the latter’s coarse exterior.
  • Roses give off coarse vibes due to their pricks and flower patterns. By contrast, it will pair well with plants with a finer texture, such as the Mountain Bluet.


The relationship between elements within the garden it surrounding spaces is also an important factor if you are looking to create an attractive and pleasing environment. Once again, variety is key. Alternatively, uniformity is appreciated in a more formal symmetrical layout.

It is important to think about the proportion between plants and hardscapes, for not only aesthetic purposes but also for emotional and psychological purposes. You wouldn’t want your structures to be too intimidating. For example, a tall structure just right beside your benches or seats may provide some sort of shade but maybe towering over you the entire time, making it less than ideal.

Another aspect of size to consider is scale. The goal is not to diversify items in your landscape by scale, such that everything is drastically out of proportion or off-scale. Contrary, it is also not to streamline every item’s size. This would be boring and signal a lack of imagination and creativity on your part. Instead, consider how items bounce off each other in terms of size. Plan from small, and scale back and zoom out. That is a key aspect of landscape grouping.

The last aspect of size to take note of is the space you have to work with. You want to fill up your area with a landscape but not overcrowd it with items. A Bigger-space landscape idea might not work for you, even if you scale down the dimensions and settings. Contrary, smaller landscape areas would appreciate a little more crowd than expected, while a larger landscape area might appreciate a larger empty-to-occupied ratio.

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The principles of landscape design are basic but important. They are commonly used to create comfortable landscapes, by having variety, but not appear messy.

After the planning stage, the next step to move on to would be the logistic issues. Upon reaching this bridge, you will have to consider objects such as artificial grass, benches, flooring and wallpaper.

Landscaping is an art, combining the best of nature and science. Do not be afraid to try and find your style. Seek constructive feedback from your closed ones or the ones who will see your Garden of Eden the most. Like many hobbies, interest and source of joy, landscaping should have a balanced sense of fun and seriousness, yet not invoke stress or anxiety.

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