William Schoellkopf
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Residential Gardens – Landscape Design Principals

5 rules of thumb for designing a garden that is neither overdone nor confined

It is rather peculiar if you come to think of it that a domain as intuitive as the garden design has rules that are applicable each to its own style. However, it really does is true that no matter how instinctive your garden design is or maybe a more personal one for your client, it has some rules of thumb that are neither overdone nor confined.

They have generally been proven successful as they can be easily applied by any gardener, amateur or even professional in making an amazing and satisfying design.

First and foremost, we’ll start with the basic pair of rules that can give your initial process a boost. Then we will move over to giving rules more focused to be guidelines that assist in the division of the features in the layout and then last but not the least, choosing and utilizing the right plants.

1. The Law of Significant Enclosure
This one, in particular, is not just a rule but an actual law derived from behavioral psychology studies that states:
“A person feels encloses when the vertical edge of a space is at least one-third the length of the horizontal space we are present in.”
This means that in residential landscape design for gardening it is absolutely crucial to creating the feeling of being embraced or surrounded by the beautiful natural environment – created by plants and greenery – which you are inhibiting.

2. The Regulating Line
Getting formal architectural knowledge really helps in landscape design. A phenomenon that any prominent or distinctive landscape feature like a huge tree, fence or a pool etc. can give an effect of an imaginary line that supposedly regulates the design by connecting and organizing it.


3. The Golden Rectangle
Some rules are ancient and have been observed from time to time making regular appearances in history, like legendary sculptures from Great Pyramids to the Greek Parthenon, such rules have been used to pertain a satisfying sense of balance among set things. One such rule is the Golden Rectangle that states:
“The ratio of the short side to the long side is equal to the ratio of the long side to the sum of both sides.”

4. Step Designing with Thomas D. Church
When a successful professional states a rule of thumb, it is worth practicing. To simply put it, the rule states:
“Twice the height of the riser plus the tread should equal 26inches.”

5. Less is more
We all abide by this rule even generally in our lives and so why not it is applicable to residential landscape designing? When planting in masses remember this rule and plant accordingly. Obviously, you are designing a garden so you would plant from everything to anything. But can you imagine a brick wall looking good with completely different bricks aligned? It won’t appeal to many people, that are for sure, so similarly plant matching plants together and move about with care to what plant you switch to. Sudden changes are distracting for the overall effect of the aesthetic.

So in conclusion, these were the 5 rules of thumb that William Schoellkopf Landscape Design follows when they design your residential garden for you. A professional landscape company like ours is only going to give you the opportunity to get a formal conduct of work that will simply outshine in your design.


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