Landscape gardening is
an aesthetic branch of Horticulture which deals with planting of ornamental plants in such
a way that it creates a picturesque effect. It is a very fascinating and interesting
subject. There are several definitions and expressions to define this subject. According
to Chambers dictionary, the definition of landscape is the appearance of that
portion of land which the eye can view at once and landscape gardening is the art of
laying grounds so as to produce the effect of a picturesque landscape. Landscape gardening
can be defined as the decoration of a tract of land with plants and other garden materials
so as to produce a picturesque and naturalistic effect in a limited space. So landscape
may or may not include plants. According to Bailey, Landscape gardening is the application
of garden forms, methods and materials to the improvements of the landscape and the
landscape in this connection is any area large or small on which it is desirable to
develop a view or design.
can also be defined as the beautification of a tract of land having a house or other
object of interest on it. It is done with a view to create a natural scene by the planting
of lawn, trees and shrubs. Landscape gardening is both an art and science of the
establishment of a ground in such a way that it gives an effect of a natural landscape. It
can be also defined as the imitation of nature in the garden. It can also be defined as
improving of total living environment for the people. The expression of landscape may be
gay, bold, retired, quiet, etc. This expression will conform to the place and the purpose.
It should be a picture and not a collection of interesting objects.
Since the landscape
gardening is the making pictures on the ground with plant and other material, landscape
designer should be proficient in art, ornamental gardening, ecology and physiology. He
should be an architect and engineer to appreciate the relationship between plant form,
colours and buildings.
Natural Elements of
Different types of
landscape depending upon prevailing geographical and agroclimatic conditions characterize
Earth. There are mountains, hills, glens, valleys, seas, rivers, forests, plains, deserts,
lakes, swamps, streams, etc. which comprise major part of natural landscape. At certain
points, there is harmony between natural elements like ground forms, vegetation and even
animal life. The landscape of such place is beautiful and conveys the feeling or mood of
the landscape character like exhilaration, sadness, ceriness or awe. There are many
qualities of natural landscape beauty like the picturesque; the ethereal, the serene, the
delicate, the idyllic, the graceful, the majestic, the bold etc.
Man has copied the
natural elements for improving landscape around him and converted certain areas in the
form of garden for his pleasure.
General principles of
landscaping are as follows:
The ideal landscape
garden is like ideal landscape painting which expresses some single thought or feelings.
Its expression may be gay, bold, retired, quiet, etc.
Beauty and utility
should be harmoniously combined.
Area should be
divided into different parts and plan should be conceived for each area. Overall plan
should be such that the observer catches the entire effect and purpose of the plan without
stopping to analyse its parts.
Simplicity of design
should be aimed at in the execution of the plan.
An ideal landscape
should have open space.
Let the garden and
building merge into each other. There should not be stopping abruptly particularly in
front of building. The view of garden from the windows and doors should be very
attractive. Planting around the building, climbers against wall and on the porch,
decoration of verandah and rooms with attractive foliage, flowering plants, hanging
baskets serve to unique the building with garden. Every part of the compound should be
planned in such a way that it gives surprising effect to visitor.
Over crowding of
plants and objects should be avoided.
Factors affecting the
There are several
factors which affect the making of suitable design for particular site. These factors are:
Mans ultimate desire is to make his living pleasurable and surroundings confortable.
His dominance in making designs and selection of plant material is very well evident.
Therefore, different styles of gardening have come into existence.
Site: This is an
important factor and according to site, suitable design is made. In formal style
gardening, the site is selected according to plan. Topography of the site also affects the
Views: Distant views
of mountains, hills, woods, valley, etc. are preferred from the place of garden.
inherits the knowledge of botany and aesthetic sense and uses accordingly. Our rich
heritage teaches us to use flowers and fragrant trees to improve the surroundings.
Climate: The climate
of particular place affects the selection of plant material accordingly. Ideally suited
plant material according to climate should be selected.
Soil: According to
characteristics of soil types, suitable plants should be selected.
Garden styles have
been changed from time to time with the new ideas and necessities. Broadly, the styles of
gardening are grouped into three categories i.e. (I) Formal style, (ii) Informal style and
(iii) Free style of gardening
(I) Formal style: Main
features of this style of gardening are: First plan is made on the paper and then land is
selected accordingly. Plan is symmetrical. These types of gardens are of geometric design
i.e. squarish or rectangular. Therefore, the roads are cut at right angle. It has some
sort of enclosure. Flower beds are also of geometric shapes. The arrangements of tree and
shrubs are necessarily geometrical and kept in shape by trimming and training. Other
features like fountains, water pools, cascades, etc. are used for further attraction. The
examples of such style of gardening are Persian gardens and Mogul gardens.
(II) Informal Style:
This style reflects naturalistic effect of total view and represents natural beauty. This
style is just contrast of above formal style. In this, plan is asymmetrical and according
to the land available for making garden. Roads, paths are made curvaceous and bending.
Water bodies are made of irregular shapes. Hillocks are made to create natural mountainous
scenery. Flower beds are made of irregular shapes suiting to surroundings. Plants are
allowed to grow in natural form and instead of trimming, annual pruning is done. Japanese
gardens are the best example of this style of gardening.
(III) Free style of
gardening: This style combines the good points of both formal and informal style of
gardening. Rose garden of Ludhiana is an example of this style of gardening.
Art principles of
Landscaping is making
of pictures with plant material and, hence, its principles are same as those of art. They
are as follows:
Repetition of same
object at equidistance is called rhythm. It can be created through the shapes, progression
of sizes or a continuous line movement, rhythm creates movement to the eye. In gardens,
generally trees of single species of equal height and shape are planted to create this
effect. In Mogul gardens, fountains and water canals have also been extensively used to
create such effect. Now-a-days other objects like lights are also used to create the
effect of rhythm.
It is very important
to maintain the balance on both sides of the central line. The principle involved in
making balance of see-saw game can help in understanding this. Equal weights can be
balanced only when they are equidistant from the centre. If weights are unequal, the
heavier must move towards centre for making balance. The balance may be formal, informal
or symmetrical types. Imbalance will look lopsided and will distract the attention. In
making the balance with the plants, their form, colour, texture etc. are kept in view.
The accent or emphasis
is created in the gardens to avoid the monotonous view. It is the method to stress the
most important thing. This also serves as the centre of attraction. Mostly unusual objects
like tall fountain, tree, statue etc. are used to create the effect of accent or emphasis.
In English gardens, statues have been used extensively to create such effects.
This principle is most
useful in emphasising the best features of an object. It can be very easily understood by
following contrast colour theory. Against green background, a fleck of scarlet colour will
make a contrast and will make scarlet colour prominent. In nature this is very common.
Other contrast colour can also be used. Similarly, weeping growth habit against upright
growth, dwarf against tall, rough texture against soft texture etc, are some of the
examples which can be followed. It is also very important that one of the two contrasting
objects must clearly dominate each other. In this way, one becomes feature whereas other
acts as supporting background. The contrasting elements of equal power may create visual
It is the relation of
one thing to another in magnitude. When two or more objects are put together the
proportions are established. In a landscape design, space provided for lawn, paths,
herbaceous borders, shrubbery border, trees, buildings and other garden objects should be
in a right proportion. It will create harmonious effect and look better. Such effects can
be noticed in Persian and Mogul gardens. Out of proportion allotment of area in garden
will distract the attention. Proportion helps in space organization.
It is an overall
effect of various features, styles, and colour schemes of the total scene. The degree of
harmony or unity of various elements of landscape is a measure induced in us and is called
as beauty. Therefore, the beauty can be defined as the evident relationship of all parts
of a thing observed. When different parts of landscape are correctly placed in right way,
produces a harmonious effect. Such landscapes create picturesque effect and appeals to
visitors. On the contrary, the absence of harmony or lack of unity is ugliness.
Landscape Gardening terms
Axis: It is an
imaginary line, which divides garden into two parts. This also connects two or more
points. It is presented in the form of a path, line of fountains or trees, etc. If this
axis divides garden into two equal parts, it is called central axis. In formal style, axis
is central whereas in informal style, it is oblique. This axis controls the movement in
the garden from the entrance to the terminal. An axis in garden is directional, orderly or
Symmetrical plan: In
this plan, the different objects are in equilibrium about a central point or on either
side of an axis. Symmetrical plan or formal plan is synonymous of beauty and is pleasant
and handsome. This is because the symmetry is to be associated with plan clarity, rhythm,
balance, unity, etc. Symmetrical plan being precise and disciplined, it requires precision
in detail and maintenance and bold in concept.
Dynamic Symmetry: In
such symmetrical plan, each pole generates its own magnetic field and between these two
fields there is a field of dynamic tension.
Asymmetrical Plan: In
such plans, there is absence of symmetry on both the sides of axis but balance, unity and
harmony are maintained.
Landscaping: In landscape gardening it means a pathway from entrance to terminal point.
Circulation varies with the style of gardening and topography. The more of circulation
patterns, it has more points of views and attraction. Common circulation patterns are
Vista: It is a three
dimensional confined view of terminal building or dominant element of feature. It may be
natural or man-made. Natural vistas are very common around the lofty mountains and snowy
peaks. Overall effect of vista may be of its characteristics. It may be calm or induce
motion. There are three different parts of a vista viz.
It should be subject
to a close control.
It should have a
viewing station to see object or objects.
It should have
intermediate ground. These three should be satisfactorily united and thus result into an
effect of totality.