The Balancing Act of Landscape Architecture

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We were recently inspired by an interesting observation that landscape architect and writer Billy Goodnick made about the way many people approach landscape design:

“Humans have a strong attraction to color (we don’t have 6 million cones in each eye for nothing), so it might seem logical to focus your design energy on conjuring up beautiful foliage and flower combos.”

Color should be the last step in designing a landscape. The first step, rather, should be about how to strike a balance of “stuff vs. space” as Goodnick puts it.  

In landscape architecture, balance can be either formal and informal. Formal balance is often achieved with strict symmetry where the left and right sides mirror one another. This approach creates a stately look that can be very elegant.

landscaper colorado
Source: Lapicida via Houzz

A landscape with informal balance may have an equal mass of plants on each side but will differ from left to right. This approach can be used to achieve landscape designs with wonderful movement and eclectic interest. While landscapes with informal balance will have a nice, relaxed look that is natural and organic, it still must have a cohesiveness and stability to feel harmonious.

“With asymmetrical gardens, you will want to really make sure you maintain good unity through use of other elements such as rocks, plants, and decor to ground your design and keep it from becoming too hodge-podge.”  (Weekend Gardener)

landscape architecture colorado
Source: MarkDesign, LLC via Houzz

What kind of balance would you like to strike in your Colorado landscape? Whether you are looking to achieve a pristine landscape with gorgeous symmetry or an enchanted garden with boulders and butterflies, the experienced landscape architects at Lifescape can help! Contact us at (303) 831-8310 to learn more about our landscape architecture and garden design and maintenance services.