Perhaps one of the more important principles to think about when planning your landscape design is color. As mentioned previously, color can be used to generate the contrast needed to create a focal point. Additionally, the principle of color, like that of texture, can be used as a secondary design tool to develop a complex, layered aesthetic. When planning your landscaping project make sure to remember to plan for the various changes in colors that your selected plants will make throughout the year.
In design, color is primarily conveyed in terms of the color wheel. The color wheel is a reference that separates colors onto schemes and groups based on tint, shade and compatibility. Red, blue and yellow are primary colors, while green, purple and orange are secondary colors (colors that can be created by mixing two primary colors). Tertiary colors are created when one primary color and one secondary color are combined.
When creating your landscape design, your primary concern will be utilizing the color schemes of the color wheel to present the most visually pleasing appearance. The color wheel presents three major color schemes -- monochromatic, analogous and complementary. A monochromatic color scheme is achieved when using various tints and shades of one color. An analogous color scheme uses colors that are side by side on the color wheel. A complementary color scheme consists of colors opposite each other on the color wheel [source: Ingram].
Much like the principle of texture, it is a generally established rule in landscape design that more light colors should be used than dark in order to better attract the eye.
Read the next page to discover what landscaping scale and proportion entails.