Unity of three features that are grouped in threes or

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Unity of three Features that are grouped in threes, or in other groups of odd numbers, such as in groups of five or seven, feel more
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10 balanced to the eye and give a stronger sense of unity. Odd numbers allow for staggered variations in height, such as small, medium, and large, that provide more interest. Odd numbers are often seen or perceived as a group and are not as easily split or visually divided as even numbers. Unity by simplicity Simplicity is the concept of reducing or eliminating nonessentials to avoid a chaotic look. This brings clarity and purpose to the design. Many designers achieve simplicity by thoughtfully removing features from a design while still preserving its integrity. Applying the Principles and Elements of Design While it is useful to know the elements and principles of design, it is sometimes difficult to understand how to apply them to your ideas for your yard. Each site presents challenges and opportunities for individual design and expression and requires unique application of the elements and principles. Studying how the elements and principles have been applied in an existing design that appeals to you is a good place to start. The best way to create a good design is to borrow ideas from designs that you find attractive and adapt them to your particular site conditions. PERSONAL STYLE AND SENSE OF PLACE To discover and identify your personal style, think about other yards or landscapes you enjoy. Observe the landscapes in your neighborhood and other neighborhoods in your community. Study those that appeal to you and note the features and types of plant material. Also try to identify the elements of design, such as color, texture, and form, and determine how line is used in the landscape. Study the view and try to determine how balance and rhythm are created. Also, look for dominance and try to figure out how unity is produced. Studying landscapes in your neighborhood and community is important because most people feel more comfortable when they “fit in” with their neighbors. There is often a strong social desire to feel like part of the community and contribute to the neighborhood fabric. The concept of fitting in is referred to as “genus loci,” or having a sense of place. Sense of place also refers to the regional context—the surrounding landscapes, both natural and planned, that have an influence on the design and plant materials to be used. Other sources of inspiration include demonstration gardens or landscapes, local botanical gardens, and displays at local nurseries. Avoid the large national chain store nurseries, as their plants are not often grown locally, and their plant selection may not be as suitable to your area. They can be good, however, for buying temporary annuals for small areas. Visit demonstration gardens and botanical gardens to look for interesting and appealing plant groupings. Note the type of microclimate for each group to determine if it will work in your yard. Because these gardens are designed
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