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How Landscaping Principles Work

Landscape Grouping

Grouping is a landscaping principle that insists an observer will get the most visual pleasure from a given landscape if the pieces are placed in clusters. It takes into consideration several of the principles discussed previously. For instance, you may want to start with a focal point, or one object that serves as the scale for the rest of your landscaping elements.

­Let's pretend you want to have a grouping of coniferous plants. Maybe you would want to establish the area with a full pine tree such as a Mugo pine and then surround that tree with an even number of dwarf and slow-growing conifers that can complement it. Numbers matter to the overall picture, since landscaping experts suggest you group elements in odd numbers [source: Morley].

Once you have a grounding point in a grouping, you will want to consider the other aspects mentioned on previous pages, such as color and texture. When you are grouping, you want to have related objects in an area. That's the point of grouping things together: clusters give you a sense of unity and completeness, rather than dissonance.

When grouping elements for your garden or lawn, it is essential to remember to group them in a natural, soft pattern. You do not want to space things out too evenly or in geometric shapes such as a rigid triangle. Nature doesn't typically fall into perfectly geometric patterns, so you want to mimic the natural spacing you might find in a forest. If you have many different groupings you want to highlight in your garden or lawn, it might be a good idea to look into creating different "rooms" on your land with different themes [source: Boulden].

Read on to learn about landscaping repetition, rhythm and sequence.