Importance of Balance in Garden Design
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated January 4, 2019)
When most people think about balance in garden design, they really only think about one type, and that is symmetrical balance. To many people, there is another type of balance that can also play a huge role in the way that your garden looks, and that is asymmetrical balance. To truly understand the importance of balance in garden design, here is a bit of information about each type of balance, and how you can achieve the overall look. That way you can make a more informed decision about what you would like in your own home garden.
- Symmetrical. Gardens and landscapes that achieve symmetrical balance are among the most traditional types of gardens around. This type of balance is easily achieved when all the elements of the design are divided equally, and is usually seen in things like formal gardens, or Renaissance styled gardens. There are many ways that you can envision this type of garden, but one of the easiest is that if you took a mirror, and ran it down the middle of your garden. Whatever you saw on one side is reflected in the mirror. By no means is this limited to only two sides of a garden though. More advanced and intricate formal gardens have their landscapes quartered, cut into eights, or even more and mirror everything. One example of what a symmetrical garden would look like is the garden out of the movie The Count of Monte Cristo.
- Asymmetrical. The best way to describe asymmetrical balance is that it is more along the lines of controlled chaos. Another way to look at asymmetrical balance is that it is more of an abstract, or free form design that still maintains an overall sense of unity and balance. This is usually attained by repeating a couple of elements. When compared to a symmetrical style garden, it can be difficult to see the similarities that are an inherent part of an asymmetrical garden. That being said, that is part of the goal...for the similarities to be there, but difficult to spot. Another advantage of using an asymmetrical garden compared to a symmetrical one is that they tend to look more natural and less formal than the highly stylized and strict formal gardens. In fact, this type of garden design is perfect for a country, or English cottage garden. A perfect example of an asymmetrical garden are the ones that you see in just about any kind of movie based off of a Jane Austin book.
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