Importance of Scale in Garden Design
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated August 26, 2019)
The importance of scale in garden design is rather immense. When used properly scale can do truly amazing things, but the trick is to learn how. To make the process of using scale in garden design a little easier, as well as to help stress the importance it plays, here are a few guidelines that you can use. These guidelines will illustrate the main points of what makes scale so important, and will also give you an idea of how to use it.
- An important design step. Scale can be an important element of the whole planning stage in your design process. A perfect example of this can be found in the drawing or blueprint that you create of what your garden should look like. Whenever possible, such drawings should be drawn to scale so that you can get a a proper idea of what the finished garden will look like. In addition, this will allow you to know exactly what you will need to accomplish your goals, and possibly how much time it will take to get the job done.
- Offer perspective. Have you ever noticed a tree, or group of trees, that simply looked too big for the house that they were near? This is an example of improper use of scale. When you have large things (such as a house) you will want to use other large items (though not large enough to dwarf the first thing) to help create an overall pleasing look. When used properly, you can even use the scale to help create a frame for what you are viewing.
- Color plays a role. Scale doesn't always refer to size and proportion, but it can also refer to color as well. You can use color in a variety of ways to help add a bit of depth and texture to your garden. This is often done by having the brighter colored plants in front, while you have similarly colored, though in a less bright shade, plants behind them.
- Create illusions. Another creative use of scale in the garden is to create illusions. These are not necessarily illusions of imaginary animals, or fantastic beasts, but rather size where it doesn't exist. For example if you have a rather small garden, but want to give the appearance of larger size you can simply use some color and perspective to do so. The reverse is also true, that you can make larger spaces look smaller and more intimate as well.
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