The 5 Elements of Landscape Design

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There are five fundamental elements to landscape design. These are the building blocks to success in landscape architecture, and they lay the foundation for building your elements. These elements are not independent and act together as interactions to create the big picture. Since landscape design is an imposing study, we break it down into the five fundamentals to get you started.

The elements of landscape design are used as tools in combination to enhance the beauty of any landscape area. 

They are:

  • Colour
  • Form
  • Line
  • Texture

These seemingly abstract terms may be vague for you. However, they can guide you in revamping tangible spaces, like your backyard. So let these act as guidelines for your landscape.

Colour is an essential element in our day-to-day lives, whereas landscaping is very complex. Colour tends to express a specific taste of a person or designer. Warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows advance towards the viewer, while cooler tones like violets, blues, and greens tend to lie in the background. Warm colors make an impact on the eye faster than cool colors.

Lines can be actual or implied. Lines are related to eye flow and movement. They can be created horizontally, vertically, or curvilinearly. Lines are created vertically based on the height of the shrubs, trees, or groundcover species in the arrangement. Horizontal lines are created based on the plan of the area of landscape. So the arrangement and sequence in a garden are dictated by the lines used to create the landscape design.

The form is closely related to the line. The line is formed with the outline of the plant material in a design, whereas the form is more encompassing in comparison. Form refers to the shape of the object forming the landscape. Form comes into play while placing objects based on their habit, such as linear, upright, spreading, drooping, etc. Plants can change their appearance based on whether they are grouped or planted individually.

The scale is all about the relativity of the area. Scale refers to the size of any object in comparison to its surroundings. Since it is relative, it’s all about the feeling, “does this look right?” Therefore, scale and proportion are to be perceived in context.

The objects in the landscape design should have a sense of size or individual components concerning groups.


The texture is a subtle but important element of landscape design. The coarseness or fineness of a leaf, the texture on bark, or even the heaviness of the foliage, every object plays a part in the design’s overall look. The texture of plants differs between twigs, leaves, bark, branches, and even flowers. Contrasting textures add interest to an area and play an important role.

The object of utilizing all the landscape elements is to create a visual attraction for your home. This will direct the eye of visitors in the right direction to appreciate your home and landscape together. For instance, take a look at your current landscape and see if it makes the most of your land’s potential. Visual attraction is based on Colour, Scale, Line, Form, and Texture in the landscape.




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