What do you call designing landscape?

Designing a landscape is a creative process that involves the planning and manipulation of outdoor spaces to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional environment. It involves considering factors such as plant selection, placement, and arrangement, as well as the use of hardscape elements like rocks, paths, and water features. Landscape design can range from small-scale residential projects to large-scale commercial developments, and it requires a deep understanding of horticulture, aesthetics, and construction techniques. Whether you’re looking to create a serene oasis in your backyard or a vibrant public park, landscape design can help bring your vision to life. So, let’s dive into the world of landscape design and explore what it takes to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space.

Quick Answer:
Landscape design is the process of creating an outdoor space that is aesthetically pleasing and functional. It involves planning and arranging the natural and man-made elements of the landscape, such as plants, trees, rocks, water features, and hardscaping materials like concrete and stone. The goal of landscape design is to create an outdoor space that is both beautiful and functional, providing a place for relaxation, recreation, and entertainment. A landscape designer will take into account the specific needs and preferences of the client, as well as the environmental conditions of the site, to create a design that is unique and tailored to the individual.

The Art of Landscape Design

Exploring the Creative Process

When it comes to designing a landscape, the creative process is an essential aspect that requires careful consideration. It is during this phase that landscape designers explore various ideas, draw inspiration from different sources, and begin to develop a concept that will ultimately transform a space into a beautiful outdoor environment.

The initial brainstorming and conceptualization phase of landscape design is a critical part of the process. This is where designers begin to explore different ideas and possibilities, taking into account the client’s vision, the site’s unique features, and the designer’s own personal preferences. During this phase, designers may use various techniques such as sketching, drawing, and modeling to develop a concept that will bring the client’s vision to life.

One of the most important aspects of the creative process is drawing inspiration from various sources. Landscape designers often look to nature for inspiration, studying the way that plants grow, the shapes of trees, and the patterns of natural formations. They may also look to architecture, drawing inspiration from the design of buildings and structures, as well as the way that light and shadow interact with different materials.

Another crucial aspect of the creative process is understanding the client’s vision and incorporating it into the design. This involves working closely with the client to understand their needs, preferences, and goals for the space. It is essential to listen carefully to the client’s input and to be open to feedback throughout the design process. This collaboration between the designer and the client is essential to creating a landscape that is both beautiful and functional.

In addition to drawing inspiration from various sources and incorporating the client’s vision, the creative process also involves exploring different design elements and considering how they will work together to create a cohesive whole. This may include choosing plants, hardscaping materials, and water features, as well as considering the layout of the space and how it will be used.

Overall, the creative process is a critical aspect of landscape design, involving the exploration of different ideas, the drawing of inspiration from various sources, and the collaboration between the designer and the client to create a beautiful outdoor environment.

Elements of Design

When it comes to designing a landscape, there are several key elements that must be considered in order to create a visually appealing and harmonious outdoor space. These elements include balance, proportion, color, texture, and form.


Balance is an essential element of landscape design, as it helps to create a sense of stability and harmony in the space. There are several ways to achieve balance in a landscape design, including using symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements, incorporating visual weight, and creating focal points.


Proportion is another important element of landscape design, as it helps to ensure that the various elements of the space are visually pleasing and cohesive. This can be achieved by using the rule of thirds, which involves dividing the space into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and placing elements at the intersection points.


Color is a powerful tool in landscape design, as it can be used to create contrast, draw the eye to specific areas, and set the mood of the space. It is important to consider the color scheme of the landscape design, and to choose colors that complement the surrounding environment and the desired mood of the space.


Texture is another important element of landscape design, as it can be used to add visual interest and depth to the space. This can be achieved through the use of different materials, such as plants, rocks, and mulch, as well as through the use of different surface textures, such as smooth or rough.


Form is the shape and structure of the elements in the landscape design, and is an important element in creating a visually appealing and harmonious space. This can include the shape of plants, the structure of hardscaping elements such as paths and walls, and the overall form of the space.

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By considering and incorporating these key elements of landscape design, it is possible to create a beautiful and harmonious outdoor space that is both visually appealing and functional.

Principles of Design

In the field of landscape design, there are several fundamental principles that guide the placement and arrangement of various elements within the landscape. These principles include unity, focalization, rhythm, and hierarchy. By understanding and applying these principles, designers can create a cohesive and well-designed outdoor space.

  • Unity: Unity is the harmony and continuity of the visual elements within the landscape. It refers to the way that the different elements of the landscape work together to create a cohesive whole. This can be achieved through the use of similar colors, textures, and shapes, as well as through the repetition of certain elements throughout the landscape.
  • Focalization: Focalization is the process of directing the viewer’s attention to a specific point or feature within the landscape. This can be achieved through the use of contrast, color, and size, as well as through the creation of focal points such as water features, sculptures, or seating areas.
  • Rhythm: Rhythm is the repetition of visual elements within the landscape, creating a sense of movement and flow. This can be achieved through the use of repeating patterns, shapes, and textures, as well as through the placement of elements in a linear or curved configuration.
  • Hierarchy: Hierarchy is the arrangement of elements within the landscape to create a sense of importance or emphasis. This can be achieved through the use of size, color, and placement, as well as through the creation of a dominant focal point or feature.

By applying these principles of design, landscape designers can create outdoor spaces that are not only visually appealing but also functional and enjoyable. Whether designing a small urban garden or a large public park, understanding and applying these principles is essential for creating a successful landscape design.

The Science of Landscape Design

Key takeaway: Landscape design is a creative process that involves exploring ideas, drawing inspiration from various sources, and incorporating the client’s vision to create a harmonious and functional outdoor environment. The design process considers key elements such as balance, proportion, color, texture, and form, and follows principles such as unity, focalization, and hierarchy. Sustainability and functionality are also important considerations in landscape design, with factors such as climate, soil, and topography affecting the choice of plants and features. Effective communication and collaboration between designers, clients, and stakeholders are crucial for successful projects, and innovative approaches such as green roofs and walls, living walls, and digital design tools are being incorporated into contemporary landscape design.

Environmental Considerations

  • The environmental considerations in landscape design refer to the various factors that need to be taken into account to ensure that the design is sustainable and environmentally friendly.
  • The three key factors that need to be considered are the local climate, soil conditions, and topography.
  • The local climate plays a crucial role in determining the types of plants that can be grown in a particular area. For instance, in areas with hot and dry climates, drought-tolerant plants should be chosen, while in areas with cooler climates, plants that can tolerate frost should be selected.
  • Soil conditions are also a critical factor to consider as they affect the growth and health of plants. Different plants have different soil requirements, and it is essential to choose plants that are suitable for the soil type in the area.
  • Topography refers to the natural features of the landscape, such as hills, valleys, and waterways. These features can affect drainage, erosion, and the flow of water, which can all impact the success of the landscape design.
  • By taking these environmental considerations into account, landscape designers can create designs that are sustainable, resilient, and environmentally friendly.
  • Some sustainable practices and strategies used in landscape design include using native plants, reducing the use of non-native plants, conserving water, reducing waste, and using sustainable materials.
  • In addition, landscape designers can incorporate features such as rain gardens, permeable pavements, and green roofs to help manage stormwater and reduce runoff.
  • By considering these environmental factors and incorporating sustainable practices, landscape designers can create beautiful and functional landscapes that also support the health of the environment.

Functional Design

When it comes to designing a landscape, functionality is a crucial aspect that cannot be overlooked. A functional landscape design is one that considers the needs and preferences of the users, while also incorporating features that enhance the overall functionality of the outdoor environment. In this section, we will discuss the role of functionality in landscape design, and how designers incorporate it into their designs.

  • The layout of pathways, seating areas, and recreational spaces is a critical component of functional design. Designers consider the flow of traffic and the movement of people through the landscape to ensure that the spaces are easily accessible and user-friendly. The placement of seating areas and recreational spaces is also carefully considered to provide users with areas to relax and socialize.
  • Designers consider the needs and preferences of the users when creating functional outdoor environments. This includes taking into account the age and ability level of the users, as well as their interests and preferences. For example, a landscape designed for children will differ significantly from one designed for seniors.
  • Integration of features such as lighting, irrigation, and drainage systems is crucial to enhancing the functionality of the landscape. Lighting is essential for safety and security, while irrigation and drainage systems ensure that the plants and grass are healthy and well-maintained. Designers must consider the placement and maintenance of these features to ensure that they function properly and do not detract from the overall aesthetic of the landscape.
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In conclusion, functional design is a critical aspect of landscape design that cannot be overlooked. Designers must consider the needs and preferences of the users, as well as the placement and maintenance of features such as lighting, irrigation, and drainage systems, to create outdoor environments that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Plant Selection and Horticulture

Importance of Plant Selection in Landscape Design

Plant selection is a crucial aspect of landscape design, as it directly impacts the visual appeal, functionality, and sustainability of the outdoor space. Several factors must be considered when choosing plants for a landscape design, including:

  • Climate suitability: The climate of the region plays a significant role in determining which plants will thrive in the landscape. Plant selection should take into account the local climate, including temperature, precipitation, and humidity levels, to ensure that the chosen plants can survive and grow in the specific environment.
  • Maintenance requirements: Different plants have varying maintenance needs, such as watering, pruning, and fertilization. It is essential to choose plants that are compatible with the available resources and the owner’s willingness to maintain them.
  • Aesthetic appeal: The visual appeal of plants is a key factor in landscape design. Plant selection should consider the desired aesthetic, such as color, texture, and form, to create an attractive and cohesive design.

Principles of Horticulture in Landscape Design

Horticulture is the science of plant cultivation and management, and it plays a vital role in landscape design. The principles of horticulture include:

  • Soil preparation: Proper soil preparation is essential for plant growth and health. This includes evaluating the soil’s nutrient content, pH levels, and texture, and making any necessary amendments to create a suitable growing medium.
  • Planting techniques: The proper planting techniques can significantly impact the success of a landscape design. This includes factors such as plant spacing, depth, and timing, as well as the use of appropriate planting materials, such as compost or mulch.
  • Water management: Water is a critical resource for plants, and proper water management is essential for their survival and growth. This includes providing adequate irrigation, as well as managing excess water to prevent problems such as erosion and fungal diseases.

Tips and Guidelines for Plant Selection and Maintenance

Here are some tips and guidelines for choosing and maintaining plants in different landscape settings:

  • Consider the intended use of the space: The intended use of the space should influence plant selection. For example, if the space is intended for recreational activities, plants that provide shade or attract wildlife may be more suitable.
  • Choose plants that complement the existing landscape: When selecting plants, it is essential to consider how they will fit into the existing landscape. Choose plants that complement the existing vegetation and enhance the overall design.
  • Maintain plants properly: Proper maintenance is crucial for the health and longevity of plants. This includes regular watering, pruning, and fertilization, as well as pest and disease management.

Overall, plant selection and horticulture play a critical role in landscape design, as they directly impact the visual appeal, functionality, and sustainability of the outdoor space. By considering factors such as climate suitability, maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal, and applying the principles of horticulture, landscape designers can create beautiful and functional outdoor spaces that thrive for years to come.

The Intersection of Art and Science in Landscape Design

Collaboration and Communication

Effective communication and collaboration are crucial elements in landscape design projects that involve the integration of artistic vision and scientific knowledge. In order to achieve the desired outcomes, landscape designers must establish effective communication channels with clients, architects, and other stakeholders involved in the project. Collaboration, on the other hand, enhances the integration of artistic vision and scientific knowledge by bringing together diverse perspectives and expertise.

One example of successful collaboration in landscape design is the project known as the High Line in New York City. The High Line is an elevated park built on an abandoned railroad track that runs through the heart of Manhattan. The project was a collaboration between landscape architects, urban planners, and local community groups. Through effective communication and collaboration, the team was able to create a unique public space that combines artistic vision with scientific knowledge to create a sustainable and visually stunning landscape.

Another example of successful collaboration in landscape design is the project known as the 67th Street Park in Chicago. The park was designed by the landscape architecture firm Studio/lab and local community groups. The project involved the creation of a park that would provide a much-needed green space in a densely populated urban area. Through effective communication and collaboration, the team was able to create a park that not only provides aesthetic value but also serves as a functional space for the community.

In conclusion, effective communication and collaboration are essential elements in landscape design projects that involve the integration of artistic vision and scientific knowledge. By working together and establishing effective communication channels, landscape designers can create unique and sustainable public spaces that provide both aesthetic and functional value to the community.

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Evolution and Innovation

The Evolution of Landscape Design

Landscape design has evolved significantly over time, influenced by various factors such as cultural shifts, technological advancements, and environmental concerns. This evolution can be observed in the different styles and approaches to landscape design throughout history.

  1. Ancient Civilizations: Early landscape design was often associated with religious and cultural practices, such as the elaborately designed gardens of ancient Egypt and the Zen gardens of Japan.
  2. Medieval Period: During this time, landscape design was focused on creating functional spaces for agriculture and farming, with the use of terraces, ponds, and water management systems.
  3. Renaissance and Baroque Periods: These periods saw the emergence of the “Grand Tour,” which exposed artists and designers to different landscapes and inspired new styles in landscape design. The use of symmetrical patterns and formal gardens became popular during this time.
  4. Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution: The Enlightenment period saw a shift towards naturalistic designs, emphasizing the beauty of nature. This was further influenced by the Industrial Revolution, which introduced new materials and technologies that expanded the possibilities for landscape design.
  5. Modern and Contemporary Periods: In the 20th century, landscape design continued to evolve, incorporating new ideas and techniques. The introduction of industrial materials, such as concrete and steel, allowed for more experimental designs. Environmental concerns also played a significant role in shaping modern landscape design, with a focus on sustainability and ecological restoration.

Innovative Approaches and Techniques

Contemporary landscape design often pushes the boundaries of traditional design, incorporating innovative approaches and techniques. Some of these include:

  1. Green Roofs and Walls: The use of vegetation on rooftops and walls provides benefits such as stormwater management, insulation, and urban heat island reduction.
  2. Living Walls: Vertical gardens, also known as living walls, are self-contained vertical gardens that can be installed on building facades or interior walls. They offer numerous benefits, including improving air quality, reducing noise pollution, and providing visual interest.
  3. Xeriscaping: This approach focuses on water-efficient landscaping, utilizing native plants and other water-wise techniques to reduce water consumption in arid regions.
  4. Sustainable Materials: The use of sustainable materials, such as recycled plastics and locally sourced stones, contributes to the environmental impact of landscape design projects.
  5. Digital Design Tools: The integration of digital design tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software and 3D modeling, allows designers to create more precise and detailed designs.

The balance between artistic expression and scientific advancements is essential in contemporary landscape design. This intersection allows designers to create unique, innovative designs while ensuring the sustainability and resilience of the landscape.


1. What is landscape designing?

Landscape designing is the process of creating an outdoor space that is aesthetically pleasing, functional, and meets the needs of the people who will use it. It involves planning and designing the layout of gardens, parks, public spaces, and other outdoor areas. The goal of landscape designing is to create an outdoor environment that is not only visually appealing but also enhances the overall quality of life for those who use it.

2. What are the different types of landscape designing?

There are several types of landscape designing, including residential landscape design, commercial landscape design, and public space landscape design. Residential landscape design focuses on creating outdoor spaces for private homes and residences, while commercial landscape design focuses on creating outdoor spaces for businesses and public institutions. Public space landscape design focuses on creating outdoor spaces for parks, plazas, and other public gathering places.

3. What are the benefits of landscape designing?

Landscape designing offers many benefits, including improving the aesthetic appeal of an outdoor space, increasing property value, providing a sense of privacy and security, creating functional outdoor spaces for recreation and entertainment, and improving the overall quality of life for those who use it. Additionally, landscape designing can help to conserve natural resources, reduce stormwater runoff, and promote biodiversity.

4. What is the process of landscape designing?

The process of landscape designing typically involves several steps, including site analysis, concept development, design development, and construction. Site analysis involves assessing the physical characteristics of the site, such as slope, sunlight, and soil quality. Concept development involves developing a design concept that meets the needs and goals of the client. Design development involves creating detailed drawings and plans for the landscape design. Finally, construction involves implementing the design and installing any necessary elements, such as plants, hardscaping, and lighting.

5. How do I choose a landscape designer?

Choosing a landscape designer can be a daunting task, but there are several factors to consider when making your decision. Look for a designer who has experience and expertise in the type of landscape design you are looking for. Consider their portfolio and ask for references from past clients. It’s also important to consider the designer’s communication skills and ability to work within your budget. Finally, make sure to choose a designer who is licensed and insured.

How To Design The Perfect Landscape | Landscape Design 101

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