By using a series of basic design principles, a landscape designer is able to create a pleasing, harmonious and ultimately useful outdoor space. The first of these is balance.
Balance is a very important design principle when it comes to planning your landscape. Simply put, balance is the overall distribution and spacing of similar landscape elements. There are two types of balance, formal and informal. Formal balance tends to describe a layout which repeats the same, left and right, giving stateliness and stability. Here is an example of a formal balance in the landscape.
Informal balance, on the other hand, will differ between left and right giving a sense of curiosity and movement throughout the layout. The total mass of plants on either side should be equal for a balanced plan.
Balance as a principle can also be applied to colors in the landscape. Keeping a consistent mix of flower and foliage colors on left and right sides can help to achieve this. Check back next week when we discuss the principle of scale in landscape design.