To include examples of how a successful garden design (one which is pleasing to the eye) demonstrates accepted principles of garden planning (unity/cohesion, balance, form, scale/proportion, movement/direction, rhythm, repetition, simplicity).

DESIGN PRINCIPLE Principles of design relating to garden planning Principles of design relating to garden planning Unity/Cohesion Scale/Proportion Rhythm Repetition Movement/Direction Balance Form Simplicity

COHESIVE DESIGN unity in a small area/section of a garden; cohesive joining up of these small areas into a larger garden Unity and cohesion Unity and cohesion can be created by use of a limited palate of colours. By use of hard landscaping materials that match each other and the house. Repetition of shapes e.g. circles Rhythm or pattern. Understand the effective and appropriate use of hard landscaping materials.

How to use hard landscaping to create cohesion in garden design? Use identical materials to those that the house is built in for paths/walls; Reflect any motif or pattern used in the house, perhaps on a building or seat; Use local stone where available to link with the landscape/buildings or walls; Use a limited number of hard landscape materials; Consider the scale and proportion of features; Consider the use of colours and styles to be appropriate to the site. Consider the shape, style, theme and colour of the material or garden feature, e.g., a Lutyens bench or a circular tree seat to act as a focal point to provide emphasis on an area.

UNIFIED DESIGN see COHESIVE DESIGN unity in a small area/section of a garden; cohesive joining up of these small areas into a larger garden


RHYTHMIC DESIGN A garden can have a sense of rhythm e.g. similar features or themes repeating themselves throughout the garden (pattern)


REPETITIVE DESIGN The repetition of a shape or a feature can unite the garden. For example, a flower border design might be punctuated and unified by dark evergreens repeated along its length.

MOVEMENT (DESIGN PRINCIPLE) Moving through the garden Movement of the eye through the garden Physical movement of plants e.g. grasses, water

DIRECTION (DESIGN PRINCIPLE) Direction can be indicated by paths or by focal points

BALANCED DESIGN For example an evergreen shrub on the left of a path and close to the view from a window may be balanced by a much larger evergreen shrub some distance away planted to the right of the garden.


A huge grand house with a small front gate might look ‘out of proportion’ Proportion in a garden relates not only to features in the garden but the relationship of the garden to the house. Trees and shrubs will grow, their ultimate size will determine whether or not their proportions are suitable. There are some proportions that seem to work better than others.



The spatial relationship between ‘you and everything you see around you’. Scale, like colour is relative, so a small person standing next to a small tree, will make the tree look bigger than if a tall person is standing next to the tree.


Tricks of perspective can alter the appearance of the scale of a garden.

TEXTURE (DESIGN PRINCIPLE) Texture can be determined by ‘feel’ and by the effects of light on different surfaces Texture can guide movement through the garden Creates depth by making a flat area more three dimensional, or by leading the eye through the garden e.g the smooth texture of a path through the tracery effects of flowerbeds. Visual interest through contrast Mark out different areas for different functions


The overall form of the garden will help with the overall harmony and balance of a garden. The easiest way to think of what ‘form’ might mean in a garden is to think of what a ‘formless’ garden might look like. A garden that gathered in as many different plants as possible might be ‘formless’ unless the plants were carefully arranged. Serpentine form, curving form, rigid form.



LIGHT (DESIGN PRINCIPLE) Spotlight Silhouette Backlighting from the sun Dappled light Coloured light eg sunlight through glass



SERENTINE FORM A serpentine shape is any of certain curved shapes of an object or design, which are suggestive of the shape of a snake (the adjective “serpentine” is derived from the word serpent).



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