The first principle of landscape design, according to William Hedges, is, “The plain is beautiful.” “A plain, beautiful garden,” he wrote in his book The Art of the Plain. The first rule of landscape design for beginners is that a large open space is most beautiful. Open-air locations are especially pleasant to look at due to abundant foliage and natural light. Naturalized plants, gradual transitions from one area to the next, and water-conserving vegetation help make open spaces beautiful.
The second principle, as quoted by Hedges, is, “The simplest thing, the greatest object, the most beautiful object, which may be made use of in any way, is a garden.” Principles of landscape design include the idea that gardens should “fit the size of the house and the size of the family.” A family with many children will want a garden that is both large enough to accommodate them all but small enough so that each child has room to play. Similarly, a minimalist design can be very attractive, while providing adequate protection from the weather. Gardens should also be arranged so that they maximize the sunlight and shade that they receive.
Principles of landscaping include the idea, “A wild plant, cultivated to some extent, may become a useful and aesthetic addition to the neighborhood.” However, these additions should be planned and implemented so that they do not conflict with the existing natural landscape. In particular, planting trees and bushes should never interfere with access to other landforms or affect the drainage of a stream. Landscaping should also not cause deterioration of the existing landscape. When doing so, the landscaping will detract from the beauty of the existing landscape rather than enhance it.
The principles of landscape design are designed to make our outdoor spaces aesthetically pleasing while functionally protecting our outdoor spaces from the elements. A landscape can range from simple fields and woodland shrubs to massive rock formations and manmade mountain ranges. Most landscapes take a seasonal form, such as rolling hills of grasslands, to which plants can be added. However, some landscape forms are permanent, such as forests or beach lands. In this case, we plant trees and shrubs to give color and shade to the landscape and then we keep the plants in the landscape to provide a variety of food and habitat. If we allow the vegetation to grow too fast, it can result in a bog or a forest of overgrown trees that detract from the beauty of the landscape.
An important principle of landscape design relates to climate change. If we do not attempt to alter the current landscape, then we may find ourselves forced to deal with drastic changes in temperature and precipitation levels that will impact our landscape and our daily lives. Although most of us know how to deal with these natural changes, changing the landforms can sometimes be more difficult and requires a bit of planning. In order to save money and plan for future changes, homeowners should consider purchasing insurance to protect them against future land changes that may occur without advance notice.
Homeowners who are just beginning to the garden should also consider purchasing a home landscape guide. Some of the guides can be found in the local library, while others can be purchased through online sources at a reasonable price. A home landscape book usually contains information about how plants grow, why they grow, where to place certain plants, how to care for your plants, how to prepare your soil, watering requirements, and other general gardening information. Additionally, many guides provide information about popular home landscape designs, such as arbors, pergolas, arbors with lattice and trellises, gazebos, sundials, wall-hung lights, pillars, decks, and more. If you are new to gardening, or if you have been doing it for a while, a home landscape book can help you learn about new ideas and techniques while making you a more knowledgeable home gardener. Many landscape books can be found at local bookstores, through online retailers, or at home improvement centers.