A renowned artist once said “Gardening is an art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas”, and we at Land-con believe it to be true. Every art form is subjective on its projection and interpretation and yet has a few rules of composition that it adheres to. Similarly, gardening too has a few compositional landscape design rules that instantly make the landscape more appealing.

With over 20 years of experience and many industry recognitions, Landcon sticks to these rules to present beautiful landscapes around Toronto and GTA. We are here to share our secret (compositional rules) to success.

Landscape Design

The Law of Significant Enclosure in Gardening:

A law which addresses the true meaning of gardening is the law of significant enclosure. The law of Significant enclosure talks about the ratio of walls to the ground space. Many who do not know this law, might believe that low walls are always better. This can be completely wrong when you have a huge ground space. So you might be thinking how to get to a perfect wall to garden ratio? The answer is quite simple.

Few studies of Behavioural Psychology proves that there is a ratio to our likings. These studies show that the ideal ratio for ground and height of the wall should be 3:1. So if you have a garden space that is 18 feet long, then you should have the wall height of 6 feet. This ratio makes us humans comfortable with our home while still feeling like we are embracing the nature.

Proportioning with Golden Rectangles:

Another important rule to Landscape designing is the rule of Golden Rectangles or the Golden Ratio. The nature, our bodies, our historical monuments among many others are governed by this rule. It has a mathematical formula that guides people to make pleasing architecture that has a complete sense of order and balance.

According to the rule, the ratio of the long side and the sum of the long side and short side should be equal to the ratio of the long side and the short side. (b/a+b = a/b), which comes close to about 1:1.16. We use this rule all the time while designing patios, lawns, terraces, and arbors.

The Regulating Line:

Our traditional architecture is based on following the regulating lines. You need to have a vision for this rule as the lines are imaginary. Have you ever come across pieces that individually look absurd but together they look complete and stand out, it is because they have been arranged in a way that it appeals to you. This arrangement is based on the regulating lines. The regulating line can be anything from your house boundary to a tree in your backyard. This will make your landscape design relate to a human mind by fixing the geometry of your garden space.

The Soul of Landscapes-Plants:

The true soul of any landscape has to be the plants and as they exist more than any other element in the garden, making it tricky to impose rules on their structure. There are many combinations to their arrangements and options.

Our suggestion will be to plant the big ones and then move to the smaller ones. Bigger plants might take some physical maneuvering around in the garden that can kill the small plants when planted before the big ones. Fight your temptations and move with the big ones first.

Thomas D Church’s Designing Steps:

Another ratio for landscape has been given by an exceptional landscape designer Thomas D Church. His ratio took two things into consideration:

  • Tread
  • Riser

He talks about the ideal ratio between them. According to him, the tread plus twice the height of the riser should be equal to 26 inches in total. So, if your riser is 4 inches then your tread should be about 18 inches.

The Massing of Plants:

Always remember while planting for your garden, “the more the merrier.” Always work with more kinds of plants and in masses as it serves as a visual appetite for your eyes. The most satisfying yet striking landscapes come from either massing plants or repeating your smaller composition for a bigger picture.

Scaling and Sculpting:

While sculpting and scaling your garden, one thing you should always keep in mind is to go big. The answer will always be bigger when in a dilemma to choose from bigger or smaller.

Our Final Rule:

There is no substitute for the soil. Always try to find the best quality of soil for your plants. One can compromise on the plant but one should never compromise on the soil as a well-rooted plant will always look more beautiful than a costly plant which is not very well rooted.

Feel like this is too much for you to comprehend, feel free to contact us as we visualize, create and care post-construction, for all our landscapes.

Call Landcon now for an expert consultation for all your backyard solutions of outdoor deck designs, backyard deck installation and a beautiful landscape.

You might also want to check our related posts: