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Landscape Design Principles for Residential Gardens

Garden design is one of the best aspects you need to learn if you live in a classic home with a large structure. Whether amateur or professional, any gardener would recommend a set of principles. These principles are for the construction of a garden in a home. Whatever your choice is, a satisfying design awaits you when you’ve followed all the principles. Here are the same principles every true gardener knows.

1.   Follow the Law of Significant Enclosure.

This law is all about addressing the role of an enclosure in housing your garden. According to the law of significant enclosure, one should utilize a rectangular space for a garden. The vertical edge should be one-third that of the horizontal space. Thus, if you’re designing a patio of an area of 17 feet, expect the hedge at 6 feet. As long as your garden’s design has a majestic view, then it should qualify as one of the best gardens. 

Regardless of the desired size of your garden, the most important thing is that you can have a feeling of enclosure. This rule of significant enclosure creates the feeling of openness that can give you and your garden anytime. As long as it can enclose the patio, you have an ideal space for your garden.

2.   Follow the Regulating Line.

Formal architectural education allows you the concept of the perfect garden design. Your garden design does not only need an enclosure – but it also requires a regulating line. This is an imaginary line that organizes and connects the design. You can see this regulating line from any landscape feature – from a doorway, a window mullion, or a building edge. If you organize your garden space, make sure that it aligns with the invisible regulating line of the walkway, the swimming pool, or anything else near.

Every great architect knows that recognizing the regulating line gives your work the quality of rhythm. When you choose a regulating line, you fix the geometry of your garden design at a fundamental level. The garden may be a natural or wild element, but it depends on strong principles. With the regulating line, you can professionally create the garden. That’s what separates your design from amateur stuff.

3.   Utilize the Golden Rectangle for the Right Proportions.

One way to refine garden design is to obtain the Golden Ratio. Golden Ratio refers to the proportional relationship that characterizes structures such as the Great Pyramids and even the Greek Parthenon. The Golden Ratio is instrumental in placing balance and order to your garden. However, what’s more, significant than the Golden Ratio is the Golden Rectangle. In applying the Golden Rectangle, you should make sure that the longer side (b) is equivalent to the sum of the short and long side (a+b). Your patio, terrace, and vegetable garden should be fashioned golden perfect like this.

4.   Design Steps the Thomas D. Church Way.

If you have to design the steps for your garden design, then you should turn to renowned landscape architect Thomas D. Church. Church’s California style of steps has the formulation: double the height of the rise plus the tread must sum up to 26 inches. For example, if you have a 5-inch riser, make sure your tread is 16 inches. Whatever happens, just make sure the minimum weight for two people rising through the side of the steps by hand is 5 inches.

5.   Size Matters.

When trying to sculpt the space for your garden, make sure you go big. Your garden design may have a staircase, a pool, or a pergola. Always go for the bigger, longer, and higher choice. Never think the posts of the arbor are a little too tall. Many years later, when you see your arbor still anchored to the ground and carrying a lot of pots, you will know you just did right.

6.   Always Plant Big to Small.

When planting, plant big to small. Always begin with trees and followed by shrubs. Plant the perennials next and then do the ground cover last. The most important thing is that you get to see the bigger forms first. That should give you a better perspective of the original structure. If you set up a big tree, you should deal with it first. Trees need a lot of machinery to put up. Besides, it might damage the newly planted bed if you did that first. No matter how tempting it is to plant perennials before your trees and shrubs, you must resist the temptation.

7.   Plant in Masses.

In case there’s too much to plant, like in a cottage garden, then have a great quantity of just one plant. In fact, Russell page, one of the best landscape designers of the 20th century, mentioned that the most satisfying visual pleasure is the massive repetition of a straightforward element. Do the same to one of your plants. If you’re in a for a cottage garden, then get that one plant that stands out and plant it in massive amounts. The less space you have for your garden, the less you should think of variety. For small garden owners, fill your garden with a massive quantity of just one plant.

8.   Remember the Rule.

Every landscape artist and gardener should remember the rule to counter inflation rates. The rule is to better plant a 50-cent plant in a five-dollar hole compared to planting a $5-plant in a whole that costs 50 cents. This means that better plant cheap plants while not really taking your “hole” that seriously. Remember, prioritize plants first before the hole or pit. Plants will die if their roots don’t reach the bottom, at least.

9.   Don’t Forget the Basic Essentials.

No matter how geometrically aligned your garden is, never forget the basic rules when it comes to having a plant and nurturing it. Here are some things you should never take for granted:

·         Water your plants regularly.

·         Keep your plants away from dogs and insects.

·         Make sure that the sun’s rays reach the garden.

·         Make sure that the garden has a hole in it where water passes.

No fundamental of construction will ever be greater than a conventional watering system for your plants.

Garden design is not easy to follow and make. It’s not all about the principles of geometry and math in designing your garden. However, while you’re following the rules, give your garden a signature touch. Make sure that your garden represents you. Don’t just create a garden because there’s available space. Make your garden symbolize you in the unique ways possible.

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