 Applying the Principle of Art to
the Landscape
Next Generation Science / Common Core Standards Addressed!
CCSS. Math. Content.HSN‐Q.A.1 Use units as a way to understand problems and to
guide the solution of multi‐step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in
formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.
CCSS. Math. Content. HS N‐Q.A.2 Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of
descriptive modeling.
CCSS. Math.Content.HSG‐CO.A.1 Know precise definitions of angle, circle,
perpendicular line, parallel line, and line segment, based on the undefined notions of
point, line, distance along a line, and distance around a circular arc.
CCSS .Math. Content. HS G‐CO.D.12Make formal geometric constructions with a
variety of tools and methods (compass and straightedge, string, reflective devices,
paper folding, dynamic geometric software, etc.). Copying a segment; copying an
angle; bisecting a segment; bisecting an angle; constructing perpendicular lines,
including the perpendicular bisector of a line segment; and constructing a line parallel
to a given line through a point not on the line.
Bell Work / Student Learning Objectives
 1. Describe the basic principles of art.
 2. Explain how to use the principles of
art in landscaping.
 3. Design two planting beds that
demonstrate the principles of design.
Corner planting
Line planting
Interest Approach
 Look at the plant materials that I have
set around the room.
 Describe these plants to me in detail.
 Which plants would work well together
in the landscape?
What are the basic
principles of art?
I. Artwork appeals to the visual senses.
The basic art principles are:
A. Accent
B. Balance
C. Color
D. Form
The trunk, branches, and leaves together create
the form of a tree and give definition to its
E. Repetition
F. Scale
G. Texture
Large leaves cast distinctive
shadows in the plant canopy,
offering a coarse appearance.
Finer-textured foliage offers a
more uniform shade pattern.
H. Variety
How are the principles of art
used in landscaping?
II. Landscape design is an art as
well as a science.
 A designer must look at the physical features
of a plant like the color of the leaves, the
shape or form of the plant, and its texture.
 They just then decide how to group those
plants together and make the most of those
physical features.
 The goal of a designer is to achieve a unified
design that is balanced and attractive to look
A. Plants come in a variety of
colors, forms, and textures.
 By picking out one
particular striking feature
on a plant and placing it
among unlike specimens,
an accent can be created.
A plant that flowers can be
nestled among evergreens
to provide a striking
appearance. Notice how
the white color stands out!
1. Color has the greatest impact
on a design.
Warm colors such as red-green and yellowgreen are visually active and give the feeling
that the plants a closer to the viewer.
Cool colors such as green and blue-green are
visually passive and give the feeling of
Most plants selected for the landscape should
have a green color.
2. Form is the outline of an object.
The most common forms of plants
are: round, weeping, oval,
pyramidal, and columnar.
 Most plants used in a
landscape should have
rounded forms to provide a
natural setting. A few upright
forms or visually active forms
can be used to provide
accent within a design.
3. Texture refers to the visual
coarseness or fineness of a
Coarse materials are more visually active.
Large, dull leaves and thick twigs are some
characteristics that give a plant a coarse
Fine textured materials are less visually active.
Small, shiny leaves, and narrow twigs contribute
to a fine textured appearance.
B. The size and style of the home can
help the designer use balance and
scale within the landscape.
 Large trees placed near the home will
dwarf the home and make it appear smaller
than it actually is.
 Small trees placed near a large home
would make the home appear very large
and the design would be out of scale.
 The architecture of the home would help a
designer decide if they should use a more
symmetrical design or a less formal one.
C. By repeating plant shapes, colors, or
textures throughout the design, the
design will be more visually pleasing
 . Too much repetition leads to boredom
and the viewer will look elsewhere, so
remember to add some variety into the
design as well.
 Try to achieve an even balance
between repetition and variety.
How would you design a
planting bed to demonstrate the
principles of design?
III. Planting beds are designed
to include trees, shrubs,
flowers, and ground covers.
 Plants can be placed along the corners
of an area or they can form a line.
 When selecting and placing plants in a
bed, the designer needs to consider the
characteristics of the plant and the
function of the planting.
A. Corner Planting
ties the house to the foundation
B. Line Planting
 Landscape design is an art. In
order to make your design most
appealing, you should follow the
general principals of art.
 1. How can a designer achieve variety
in the landscape?
 2. List three common forms (shapes) of
plant material.
 3. What colors are visually stimulating
and advance toward the viewer?
 4. What type of planting can either block
a view or frame a view?
The End!