Balance is a crucial principle in all forms of art. Landscape design is no exception. Quite simply, it is an implication of the feeling of equality. That’s an oversimplification, but if you’re new to landscape design or trying to do it yourself, then it helps you understand what’s so powerful about it.
When your landscape, garden, or yard is designed with equal portions, then it is a space that naturally looks balanced and feels natural. On the other hand, the majority of landscapes and gardens aren’t exactly symmetrical, much less exact, in terms of form and shape. Abstract and asymmetrical form throws off natural balance, but the right landscaping choices can rely on different elements to harmonize and unify the area.
If there is a lack of balance, quite often the culprit is a simple lack of repetition.
“When rocks, plants, or other alike elements are repeated, then it only helps to unify the various areas of the landscape to one another” says Paul Karrer, a professional architect with Hardscapes Indianapolis who’s been creating unique designs for over 20 years. If you want to accomplish this yourself, all it takes is a single repeated matching group of things like a hardscape, color, plant group, or even decor piece, but unless you feel confident, go ahead and leave it to professionals.
If you put too many elements across a landscape or have too many elements that don’t match, it can create a decided lack of balance. That might make the area look unkept and even cluttered with things grow in. When you just start your design, try planning for less, putting only a handful of matching plant groups across your terrain, aiming for minimal decor matching. You can always add more later far easier than taking things out.
It’s also different wherever you live. For example: Don’t worry too much about shape in terms of your Indianapolis landscape design, as your shape will be distinct to your property, eventually following your visions and any needed pathways. Of course any form or shape will have space for elements you can use to make it unbalanced, cluttered, loud, void, or even dull. Balance can be created in certain shapes, but it’s not always dependent on it.
Keep in mind that designing a landscape is still an art form, so principles you might have learned in other mediums could still apply here. Balance, unity, and repetition are all art principles that work in conjunction with one another.
Your own home might be a source for inspiration or at least acknowledgement of the power of balance. Architects use the concept of design repetition by using trims, fixtures, windows, and doors of the same style, shape, and size throughout a home. Consider how your residence might feel if everything had its own size, color, and shape. It would quite frankly feel chaotic and even uncomfortable. Designing a landscape isn’t any different.
If you want your landscape to feature the appeal and comfort of balance, then you need some sort of consistent repetition. Even a single pair of matching elements put on opposite sides of something can imbue some atmosphere of consistency and unity.
It’s easiest to accomplish this when you create the softscape, which would be ornaments, plants, lawn, and decor, although you can also keep it in mind when you work on the hardscape, which would include physical boundaries, raised beds, walls, fences, driveways, walks, and pathways, among other necessities.