5 Design Principles to Consider for Your Garden

garden design


No matter what you plan to use your garden for, following just five design principles can help you to shape the space in a way that works. Brett Landscaping explains more on how to incorporate these principles, which can be helpful if you’re planning to partake in some garden landscaping.


Find the visual balance

Being able to achieve visual balance in your garden can bring a sense of equality, whether you opt for symmetrical or asymmetrical design. While symmetrical often looks more formal, an asymmetrical design can offer a more casual and free-flowing style. Establish balance in your garden by determining a central reference point, from which to draw an imaginary line. This could be anything, from the back door of the property to a tree.

Ensure elements in your garden on each side of the garden are equal, as this will avoid creating too much emphasis on one side. Should this happen, those who look out into your garden will often be drawn to that side, instead of taking in your outdoor space as a whole.

You can create balance with various uses of shape and height, for instance one large tree on the left can be balanced with three smaller trees on the right. Don’t forget your hardscape materials when creating balance too, and consider adding paving areas to both sides.



Creating contrast in your garden can help you to avoid predictability and keep things looking interesting, so that you’ll never grow tired of your design. Contrast allows you to emphasise differences between objects and their surroundings, but it’s important not to overcomplicate it.

Contrast can refer to everything in your outdoor space, from plants and shrubbery to your choice of hardscaping. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is through the colours of your flowers and plants, such as blue and orange or red and green. However, contrast can also refer to form, which means the shape of your plants.

Complement your choice of contrast by adding in paving areas that add eye-catching detail. For instance, if you have a lot of box hedges and clean lines, consider a rounded paving pattern within your garden to soften its overall appearance and offer a distinctive finish.



Choosing a colour scheme for your garden can be a matter of trial and error, with many plants offering seasonal blooms that may only appear for a few weeks at a time. Consider whether you’d prefer a seasonal garden that blooms differently throughout the year, and what colours you’d like to include. This can help to evoke mood and set the tone, as well as expressing your personality.

Sticking to one colour can look incredibly charming, as can offering different hues of the same colour. If you want more varying colour in your outdoor space, try to limit it to three to avoid your garden looking too chaotic. 

To bring your colour scheme together, look for paving that will fit in. If your colours are based around shades of red, orange or yellow, consider golden paving with hues of rust, brick and sand for a cohesive appearance.



Texture can provide tactile and visual elements to your outdoor space that add intrigue and eye-catching detail. Even subtle changes in texture can create an attractive appearance, whether it’s in the leaves or other shrubbery. Combine fine textures, like ferns and grass with coarse textures like the leaves of rhubarb plants and rhododendrons.

This can help to avoid too much repetition throughout your garden, instead creating an adventurous and creative design to the space. Even adding the likes of paving, stones or other similar features can help to create various textures that are appealing to the eye. Many paving styles have variegated surfaces and textured finishes to create a visually attractive space.



One of the most important design principles to bear in mind is unity. This brings consistency and harmony to your outdoor space, helping you to create the haven you’ve always wanted. Keep it simple, with a clear structure and layout that makes it easier to pinpoint where trees, shrubs, flowers and paving should be placed.

Focusing on the idea of harmony and unity can help you to navigate the never-ending choices in the landscaping world. With the right products and materials, you can create an outdoor space that not only meets your needs, but is somewhere you can relax and enjoy.








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