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Landscaping DIY: Learning the Basics

Landscaping DIY style can be successful only if one has learned about the basic principles regarding landscaping in general. Whether you are borrowing a certain landscaping idea that you found in a magazine or on the Internet, knowing about the basic landscaping principles would be able to help you understand what you would be doing later on. Knowing about these principles can even help you improve your own creativity as you try to develop your own landscaping ideas. One of the basic principles of landscaping is aiming to achieve some form of unity in design. Unity, as a principle, should be considered as one of your main goals in landscaping design. Unity can either be applied in the form of consistency and repetition.

Repetition creates unity in landscaping design by repeating similar elements such as plants, plant groups, or other types of decor throughout the landscape. Consistency creates unity by enabling some or all of the various elements of a planned landscape to fit together and be considered as part of a whole. It can be achieved through the consistency of character of the different elements such as height, size, texture, color schemes, etc. Another important principle essential for landscape design is balance. Balance is a sense of equality in the overall design.

There are basically two types of balance being employed in landscape design. Symmetrical balance is characterized by the equal spacing of the matching elements in the garden design. A garden design strikes up a symmetrical balance when the elements share all or part of the same shape, form, groupings, colors, theme, etc. Achieving asymmetrical balance in garden design can be a little more complex. While element characteristics such as textures, forms, colors may remain constant to create some unity, some shapes and design may be more random. In achieving this form of balance, it is often essential to makes use of separate or different themes in the landscape design but with each one having an equal yet different type of attraction. Another principle to consider in landscape design is natural transition. This principle can be used to avoid radical or hasty changes in your landscape design. Transition is basically gradual change. It can best be shown in terms of plant height or color.

Natural transition can also be applied to all the other elements in the landscape such as textures, shape and size of the different landscape elements. The transition can be achieved in the natural means by gradual, ascending or descending, arrangement of different elements. A good example of achieving natural transition would be employing a stair step effect from large trees going to medium trees then to shrubs and then finally to bedding plants. Simplicity is another basic landscaping principle that can be one of the best guidelines you can follow when just beginning landscaping DIY. The aim to just keep things simple can provide certain advantages to begin with. One is that you can achieve more by doing less. Improvements can be done later. Picking two or three basic colors to use for the landscape and then repeat them throughout the garden design is a means of keeping things simple. Keeping the use of decor to a minimum and limited to a specific theme is also a means of achieving simplicity in garden design.


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