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Landscape Design Principles


A good landscape design will not only create a pleasant outdoor environment for you to enjoy; it can also increase the overall value of your property.

Residential landscape design covers aspects of the design, construction and maintenance of your outdoor spaces. It includes hard landscaping (paving, decking, fences, walls, pathways, BBQ areas and pools) and soft landscaping (plant design, plant placement and ponds).

There are many things our landscape architect will consider when creating a landscape design. First and foremost is incorporating existing elements such as the contours of your house, plants and trees. Beyond this we consider the many principles of garden design. Here we look at some of these key principles.


Key Principles



Balance is the principle that everything in a design will carry a visual weight and will ensure the weight feels even throughout the design. There are two types of balance a landscape architect can use in garden design.

  • Symmetrical balance (formal) - is where one side of the garden design is the same as the other, they will mirror each other in shape, size, form and plant selection. This setting is commonly used in formal garden design.
  • Asymmetrical balance (informal) - will be equal but not matching and can be more complex to achieve. Unity in an asymmetrical design is achieved through the principles of rhythm and harmony, ensuring the design flows together nicely without necessarily being symmetrical.




Rhythm refers to the repetition of a certain element in a landscape design to achieve harmony and wholeness of the overall garden. The element chosen for a rhythmic repetition could be a colour, a plant, or a hardscape element. Rhythm makes the design fun and energetic while ensuring it flows together nicely.




Harmony is the concept that everything works together. A simple way to create harmony in your landscape is by creating themes and ensuring good interconnection between areas. In garden design, interconnection is gained by using paths, walkways, stairs and fences to physically and visually link areas.

It can be helpful to think of areas in your garden as you would your house: your front of house (entrance way), entertainment/BBQ area (family room) and utility areas. The principle of harmony will ensure that the right areas are linked for seamless transition, visually hiding the not-so-appealing areas (washing line, sheds, rubbish bins) while still allowing for good flow between all parts of your garden.



Hierarchy relates to the allocation of space and volume based on the importance and function of an area.  For example, depending on the size of your family, you might want to use a bigger space in your garden for entertainment areas, and have a small vegetable garden. On the other hand, if you are into sustainable living, you might want to have a big orchard and vegetable garden with a smaller entertainment area.



Colour and Texture

Clever selection of colour will add dimension and interest into a landscape. Different colour combinations can draw the eye to an area and complement your house and plant selection.

Texture relates to both the feeling of a surface and what it looks like. Is it rough or smooth; or coarse, medium or fine? Surfaces in the landscape can include buildings, pathways, patios, groundcovers, and plants. Different plant texture combinations can make an area look closer, or further away. With so many options on the market for hardscaping materials and plants it is easy to select a variety of textures that will complement each other in your design.



Whether you are at the beginning of a building process or enhancing an existing garden, taking the time early in the process to create a design that is in tune with the surrounding building and property will result in an environment that is both pleasing to look at and comfortable to relax in.

At Oderings Landscaping our experienced and friendly Landscape architect is ready and waiting to help you create your dream space.








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