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Past Articles Library | Gardening Design | 8 Basic Principles - Simplicity

8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design - Part 2 of 8

Last month we began our 8-part series on the Basic Principles of Landscape Design by discussing "Unity" and how to use it best when planning and organizing your design.

If you missed it you can read it here: 8 Basic Principles of Landscape Design - Part 1.

Keep in mind you don't always have to use every principle we talk about here for each project you undertake, but knowing them gives you guidelines to help you generate ideas, and spark creativity.

Never feel landscape design is full of "rules" that you need to follow, because that just isn't true. Once you begin to learn what to look for in a good design however, you will see a lot of these principles being used quite frequently by some of the top landscape designers. Let's continue with:

SIMPLICITY - Principle 2 of 8

Simplicity is one of the principles that applies very heavily in both design and art.

In fact photographers use simplicity to great advantage. They use it to help you focus on what they feel is the most important element in the picture and they purposely cut out any other clutter that might distract your eye or attention.

The same can be done in landscape design, and the great thing is, it's one of the easiest and best guidelines you can follow as a beginner or do-it-yourselfer.

Just keep your design simple to begin with, using few plants and design elements. Remember, you can always add more later when and where it's appropriate.

Some Examples:

1. Use simplicity when planting. Pick two or three colors and repeat them throughout the garden or landscape.

2. Pick two or three plants that you really like and repeat them throughout the garden or landscape.

3. Keep decor to a minimum and within a specific theme and use very sparingly.

4. When using hardscapes such as boulders, practice using simplicity by placing only a few rocks in key locations so they make a bold statement, but don't look cluttered.


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Planting Depth

As a general rule, most bulbs are planted at a depth that is equal to 3 times their diameter at their widest point.

Tulips like to be planted about 6 inches (15.2 cm) deep and 4-6 inches (10.2-15.2 cm) apart.

Always plant bulbs as soon as possible after purchase to prevent them from drying out.

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