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What makes a good garden? (Dubai)

A good home landscape includes major plants with two or three contrasting forms. A landscape without strong, contrasting forms becomes as confusing as a melody without rhythm. The form and shape of plants and other objects in the garden work to divide space, enclose areas, and provide architectural interest.

The Elements of Good Garden Design

Light

Light and shade change the way colors look and how they work together. Although you can't control natural light, you can play up its effects. A bright light has the same impact as warm color -- it advances visually, making an object or area feel closer than it really is.

Texture

Texture evokes emotional responses. Both tactile and visual textures invite you to touch. Use texture to contrast plants in groups or minimize architectural lines.

Form

A landscape without strong, contrasting forms becomes as confusing as a melody without rhythm. The form and shape of plants and other objects in the garden work to divide space, enclose areas, and provide architectural interest. Grouping plants display their shapes and create various effects.

Scale

Scale, or proportion, is the size relationship of one object to another. A 30-foot tree is out of place in the middle of a small patio, but a dwarf tree makes sense. Conversely, a massive house overpowers a narrow front walk lined with strips of flowers.

Pattern

The pattern is the repetition of shapes in order. The pattern creates rhythm, as well as charm. It reinforces texture and contrast. When creating patterns, think of light and shadow as part of the palette. Use the pattern to draw attention to an area; be careful not to overdo bold patterns, which can overwhelm you.

Balance

Visual balance is achieved when the elements on each side of a real or imaginary axis are equal. If too much emphasis is placed on one side of the garden, your eye will be drawn more readily there and not to the garden as a whole.

Unity

Unity results when all of the basic garden design principles come together in a balanced, harmonious whole. Focusing on harmony will help as you choose from an exciting and sometimes bewildering array of plants and other landscaping materials.

Contrast

Contrast emphasizes the difference between a plant or an object and its surroundings. Using contrast is the best way to avoid predictability in a garden. It also adds a pleasing sense of tension between elements. Like most garden design principles, in moderation contrast is good, but too much can be confusing and unrelaxing to the eye.

Color

Color seduces the eye, evokes a mood, and reflects the seasons. As a powerful and unifying tool, color has predictable effects. Cool blues, purples, and greens soothe and recede, whereas warm reds, oranges, and yellows enliven and advance.

Rhythm

Rhythm and repetition come about when you correctly position or contrast features. Rhythm avoids monotony.

Variety

Just as you choose your guests for a dinner party with concern for their interests and personalities, so can you combine a variety of plants for compatibility.

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