The Basics of Landscaping

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paving1 300x225 The Basics of Landscaping


According to some definitions, landscaping is quite similar to gardening with a twist because the former is considered an art. It is the method of modifying and beautifying the outdoor land environment. It is the process of planting trees, plants, grasses and flowers and arranging water, soil, and man-made structures. The main goal of a landscaper is to make a beautiful look in his or her own landscape. This is the reason why skills on design are very important when considering landscaping.

There is no specific or strict rule for landscaping. The designs can be abstract and the creativity depends on the landscaper. A good landscaping has a good combination of its elements and principles. Here are some of the elements and principles of landscaping to help you produce the best landscaping design you ever dreamed of.


Lines and other geometric patterns include the pathways, waterways, and other moves and flows in the landscape. Lines give a natural or flowing effect to the designs.

Scale is the different selection of colors that brings life to the trees, water and plants and the rest of the landscape surroundings. Bright, neutral and cool colors can be used. Colors are used in the landscape to catch viewer’s attention.

Texture refers to the different quality of leaves, stems, and flowers that can add more detail to your landscape design. You can use dark and coarse textured and fine and light textured plants in the area.

Form is the physical characteristics of the plants, trees, and flowers that produce natural patterns and styles which are very appealing.


Unity is creating harmony and consistency with the use of the elements that fit together. Use elements with similar textures, shapes, sizes, color schemes and hues to achieve unity. But a little contrast might help to avoid a boring landscape.

Balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial. Symmetrical balance is having the same design on both sides. Asymmetrical balance or abstract has sides that do not look the same. Radial balance has a center spot design. Balance creates a uniform appearance for your landscape.

Proportion is the relation of the size of the elements to each other. This principle needs a careful planning and attention to avoid plants and objects that are out of proportion.

Focalization is also referred to as “Emphasis”. This principle will direct the attention to a major focal point of interest in the landscape. You can use any plants, stone, fountain, or any objects as your focal point

Transition creates “illusions” or any visual movements in your landscape. It is seen in ascending or descending arrangement of the colors, sizes and textures of the elements. From coarse to fine textures, shorter to taller and large to medium sizes, and lighter to darker colors. Transition can make the landscape look bigger or wider.

Repetition from the word itself is the repeated utilization of elements with similar sizes, textures, and colors which give a variety of styles and expressions. This principle is quite difficult to achieve but when done correctly, it can produce unity and focalization in the landscape.

Some of the basics of landscape design might be simple but combining these elements and principles is not an easy task. Planning therefore is important in landscaping design.

Beginning with your initial consultation, a design specialist is assigned to your project and is devoted to making your experience with Sonoran Landesign positive and pleasing. As professional scottsdale landscape designer, we thrive on solid communication, seamless project management and customer satisfaction. For all your landscaping needs, contact us today at:


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