Principal of Designing a Garden

Principal of Designing a Garden

A garden may be defined as An area embellished with plants, a valuable and pleasui^able adjunct to a house.

A mere collection of plants will not make a garden. It is the skilltul arrangement and disposition of plants over the area making a design or pattern or picture as it were that forms a garden. Therefore, gardening warrants apart from a knowledge pf the Science of Plant growing, an artistic aste on the part of the gardener.
Before planning a design one must be used for what purpose the garden is Utility or Beauty or Both.

Initial Approach of Designing a Garden:

In theory, everyone would like to have a perfect plot of land, but in actual practice the plot available for gardening, in three out of five cases, either will not be in a good site or the shape and size will not be ideal. Whatever, may be the case, one should not throw one’s hands up in despair even if the site appears to be not so good. A good designer is orte who will make best use of such a site-. As has already been stated, land with natural undulations should never be leveled, but rather the. differences in levels should be utilized with advantage.

The other terms and principles used in landscape design are briefly discussed below:

Axis :

This is an imaginary line in any garden around which the garden is created striking a balance. In a formal garden, the central line. is. the axis. At the end of an axis, generally there will be a focal point although another architectural features such as bird-bath or sundial can also be created at about the mid point,

Fwral Point:

In every garden there is a center of attraction which is generally an architectural feature focused as a point of interest. A focal point is one of the elements of good landscape design.

Mass Effect:

The use of one general form of plant material in large numbers in one place is done to have mass effect To see that mass airangements do not become monotonous, the sizes of masses should be varied.


Unity in a garden is very important as when this is achieved it will improve the artistic look of the garden. Unity has to be achieved from various angles.

First, the unity of style^ feeling, and function between the house and the garden has to be achieved

Secondly, the different components of the gardens should merge harmoniously with each other. The aim is to give the visitor an overall impression of the garden rather than blowing up some special features.

The last point, which is also very important, is to achieve some harmony between the landscape outside and the garden.


The aim of every garden design should be such that the garden should appear larger than its actual size. One way of achieving this is to keep vast open spaces, preferably under lawn and restrict the plantings in the periphery, normally avoiding
any planting in the center.

Divisional Lines:

In a landscape garden, there should not be any hard and fast divisions] lines. But there is necessity of dividing or rather screening a compost pit or a mali’s quarter or a vegetable garden from the rest of the garden, [n fact areas under lawn, gravel, stpne or cement path, and shrubbery border have their natural divisional lines from its immediate neighbour though these are not discreet. This is what is exactly needed. The divisional lines should be artistic with gentle curves and these should also be useful. Above all these lines should be harmonize with one another.

Proportion and Scale:

Proportion in a garden may be defined as a definite relationship between masses.

For example a rectangle having a ratio of 5:8 is considered to be of pleasing proportion. As this ratio comes down the form looks neither in square nor a rectangle, and the design becomes undesirable.


The surface character of a garden unit is referred to as texture. The texture of the ground, the leaves of a tree or shrub will all determine the overall effect of the garden. The texture of rugged looking ground can be improved to an appreciable extent by laying metaculously chosen small pebbles from fee river beds, if establishing a lawn is out of the question.

Time and Light:

In a garden the time factor is very important There are three different categories of time in a garden.

First comes the dally time, which provides different quantities and qualities of light during the course of the day. As the morning Sun is vital for all flowers, the designer has to take this into account while planning.

Tone and Colour :

A tendency on the part of an amateur gardner is to create a riot of colours by indiscriminately planting flowering annuals of all shades. This practice is not desirable. Moreover, such riot of colours has only temporary effect. In a landscape garden, the permanent backdrop is the green tones of the various trees and shrubs. It is possible to lay out a garden with subtle tone of the entirely white or yellow flowers, but at the same time making it charming also. Another important point is that it is better to have masses of a single colour against a mixture of colours. A bed of roses containing only a single colour of say red, yellow1 or pink has a much soften tone and beauty than a bed containing a mixture of colours.


In a temperate country, the "garden changes colour very sharply and contrastingly from one season to the other thus symbolizing mobility or movement. As for example, many trees ia the temperate regions attire themselves with wonderful hues due to the changes in their leaf colour in the autumn’. Then suddenly in the winter leaves fall and everything goes to rest bringing an atmosphere of melancholy and dullness-all around


Lastly, one has to decide about the style to be adopted for one’s garden. Broadly speaking, every garden lover has to invent his own style of gardening commensurate with his budget, taste, and the nature of the site.

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