Landscape Design Rules
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Landscape Design

Landscape Design Rules

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  • A student created plan that starts from the house and works outwards.
  • This student’s plan incorporates geometric shapes with straight lines near the home.
  • A skilled designer knows how to successfully break the rules, as this student’s plan shows.

Rule 1: The House is the Most Important Part of Any Garden

You can’t ignore it! It’s almost always the largest, most dominant structure in the garden. Your journey starts and ends with the house and therefore any garden plan, should always start from the building and work outwards.

Rule 2: The Designers Main Objective is to Link Building with Site

Probably the most important rule of all and yet the one that is least understood. This rule applies to any landscape scheme, whether residential or commercial. If the design is to be successful, then it must blend the building seamlessly into its environment. To achieve this, the designer needs to be able to combine symmetry with biology, i.e. architecture with landscape. Because most buildings are made from geometric shapes and the garden is essentially a biological environment, great care is needed to join these two opposing forms together. Try linking them too quickly and they will clash, creating a meaningless amorphous squiggle where the house looks like it’s just landed from space.

Rule 3: All Shapes Close to the House Should be Symmetrical

This follows on from rule 2. Because the building is predominantly made up of straight lines based on squares and rectangles, the area around the building should copy these geometric, mathematical shapes to help link the house with the garden. The terraces, paths, formal pond and planting beds should be designed using straight lines.