Like a painter, landscapers work on a 'canvas' although the canvas in this sense is emphemeral with the seasons, people and the way the space is used.
As a landscape designer and builder, you need to integrate all the elements to produce an athestically pleasing, biodiverse, functional landscape for people to use.
The first question I always ask is, what do you want to use the space for? Following this, a detailed look at the site conditions to work out what is achievable. Only after doing this can we think about design features.
What do we mean by design features? Well, the visual elements of form, colour and texture. Then, composition, proportion and unity. These are the general guidelines in producing timeless landscapes.
To create forms, patterns and control
Informal, formal, voids and negative space
Where two elements meet, continuous edges and broken edges
Structure, flow, inward and outward views
Tree, shrub and ground cover
Shape, function and focal points
Colour and texture
Complementary, opposing, fine texture, dense texture
The realtionship between elements and space and how they make up the structure as a whole
Sense of place
The feeling you get within a space, your connection to it
Pick up a pen and paper and give it a whirl, you might suprise yourself and create your own award winning garden!