Components of Landscaping

Components of Landscaping

There are five fundamental components of landscape design that when used properly should culminate in a harmoniously pleasing landscape. Color, line, form, texture and scale are woven into one landscaping tapestry in which no one feature overshadows the others.


Color is essential to landscape design as it can either add awe-inspiring appeal or relax those who step into that space. Although color makes the most immediate impression on a viewer, it should always be balanced with other landscaping components. When deliberating on how to apply color, refer to the basic color wheel in which red, yellow and blue are the primary colors. Combinations of the primary colors yield the secondary colors, orange, green and purple. When two secondary colors are blended, tertiary colors form-yellow/green, blue/green, blue/ violet, red/violet, red/orange and yellow/orange. Colors can be applied to define the boundaries of different landscape areas, but transitions can be smoothed using secondary and tertiary colors in between primary colors.


The notion of line in landscape design refers to how the eyes flow or are drawn along the length of the landscape. Some also consider line to additionally refer to the contours of landscape plants. An effective line is achieved through the strategic use of plants, trees and shrubs of various heights. While a straight line draws the eye directly to a particular focal point in the landscape, a curved line lets the eye meander along the landscape until the focal point is reached in a relaxed manner.


Form and line work side by side in the landscape to bring about a pleasing flow. Form usually refers to the shape of a plant. Some basic forms of landscape plants include oval, upright, columnar, spreading and weeping.


Texture concerns the look and feel your landscaping plants' surfaces. Textures can be soft or rough, coarse or fine, shiny or dull and every thing in between these polarities. Textures bring about depth and interest for your landscape design.


While size simply refers to the actual measurement of an object, scale refers to the size of the object in relation to other objects of your landscape. While you may chose to keep all of your plants proportional, some landscapers will throw something off scale for effect or to change the center.