Landscape design is a distinct field, combining nature with culture. It is an independent profession that bridges the gap between landscape architecture and garden design. It is a creative practice that focuses on a property’s appearance and the way it is used. There are several common themes in landscape design. These include: Form, Color, Scale, and Scale.

Common Themes

The design of a landscape involves a combination of plants and other materials. A thorough knowledge of horticulture is crucial. However, it is also an art form, and many decisions are based on personal preference, intuition, or prevailing consensus. For example, curving foundation plantings are not supported by hard scientific data, but most people agree that this style of design makes a home appear more elegant. It also softens the linearity of a structure.

Landscape design should strive for unity and proportion. Unity is the feeling that everything in the landscape fits together. To achieve this, a design must use repetition and mass planting to connect elements. The right use of color can also create a sense of unity within a landscape.

Color Theme

There are a number of important considerations to consider when using color in landscape design. First, you need to decide on a color theme. This color scheme should be based on the colors found inside your home. Then, you can expand those colors outside. Another thing to consider is contrast. A good color scheme will include many different forms and textures.

You should keep in mind that small amounts of color will have just as much visual weight as a lot of weaker hues. It’s best to use color sparingly and to emphasize more enduring elements such as texture, form, and hardscape features. For example, if your house is white, you should choose plant material in a color scheme that contrasts with it.

Form Theme

The form theme in landscape design is a design element that determines the shape and structure of the yard. It can be used in both modern and traditional design styles. The rectilinear form theme works well in a flat, small yard, while a curvilinear form theme is more effective on sloping terrain or in a hilly setting. The shape of the yard will also determine the materials you choose to use to create the design.

A form theme can be as simple as a favorite shape, such as a circle, and repeated throughout the design. If you have a traditional house, you may want to use a form theme that mimics the shape of your home. For instance, a house with an octagonal-shaped bay window can be echoed in the hardscape, as can curved walls or plant beds.


Scale is an important element of landscape design. Landscape designers have many options to consider in selecting the right scale. They can take into consideration the total square footage of all architectural components on a property and the area that needs to be landscaped. The scale of a landscape can also be influenced by color and texture. Colors and textures can have subtle psychological and emotional effects on the viewer. Many plant materials have various textures. Those with broad leaves tend to be more eye-catching than those with smaller leaves.

When creating a landscape design, the size of objects should be proportionate to each other. This will create an overall balanced look. It is important to consider the size of the house or other structure in the landscape. Likewise, smaller spaces require smaller, low-scale elements. On the other hand, larger spaces can benefit from high-scale elements.

Plants Used in Landscape Design

There are several types of plants used in landscape design. Some are more visually dominant than others. For example, Italian cypress can be 50 inches tall and six inches wide. A smaller, prostrate version can reach 12 inches. And shrubs come in many forms, including vase, rose, and viburnum. Depending on the season, they can add drama, color, and texture to the landscape. Trees are the tallest plants used in landscape design, but vines and shrubs can also grow to heights of more than 15 feet. Taller plants like trees draw the eye upwards and may also provide shade and ornamental value. Deciduous trees lose their leaves during the winter months but regrow them in the spring. Many trees also function as privacy fences and natural windbreaks.


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