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    3. Elements of Landscape Design

      Whether a garden is designed by a professional or an novice, certain principles form the basis of effective garden design, resulting in the creation of gardens to meet the needs, goals and desires of the users or owners of the gardens.

      The elements of landscape design include the layout of the hard landscape, such as paths, decking, walls, sitting areas and water features. They also include the plants themselves, their horticultural requirements, their season-to-season appearance, lifespan, size, growth habit, speed of growth, and combinations with other plants and landscape features. Consideration is also given to the maintenance needs of the garden, including the time or funds necessary for regular maintenance, which can affect the choices of plants regarding speed of growth, spreading or self-seeding of the plants, whether annual or perennial, and bloom-time, and many other characteristics.

      The most important consideration in landscape design is how the garden will be used, followed closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other structures in the surrounding areas. All of these considerations are subject to the limitations of the budget for the particular project. Budget limitations can be addressed by a simpler more basic garden style with fewer plants and less costly hardscape materials, seeds rather than sod for lawns, and plants that grow quickly; alternately, garden owners may choose to create their garden over time, area by area, putting more into each site than could be handled all at once.

      Elements of Landscape Design: Main Entrance, Relaxation Area, Front Garden, Decorative Area, Barbecue Area, Kids Area, Sport Area, Utility Area.