Visual unity can be achieved in soft landscaping by using mass planting or repeating similar elements such as plants, families of plants or or plants that are otherwise similar. Through the consistence use of planting throughout your design you will begin to achieve a cohesion that will not occur if you include too wide a variety of plants.
The use of repeating patterns, for instance, provides consistency allowing everything to fit together. These patterns must fit visually as well as in practical terms. Everything selected for a landscape must complement the central theme and must serve a core functional and aesthetic purpose. This is a rather roundabout way of saying; select a theme and then place both the structure and visually pleasing parts of the garden around it.Unity is probably the most important of the design principles that you will use.
It is achieved by consistency of character between units in the design of the landscape scheme. Unity will help you, through the use of consistency, to establish a theme in your design.
Unifying influences for you garden can also consist of the enclosure, which type of fence, hedge or wall you chose to use. By allowing yourself glimpses of this enclosure throughout the garden you will achieve a consistency that will help to bind the garden together.Visual unity in hard landscape is often achieved by choosing materials related to what has been used in the building. Use whatever colours, shapes and forms that you see around you and repeat them. For instance in the photograph taken at Chateau Martragny above, the colours of the flowers echo the roof colour. In the photograph of the Bothy Garden the form of the planting in the foreground echos that in the background. Note also the texture of both plants where the finer texture in the background provides an increased sense of perspective.
In a larger garden you can use trees of similar shape and habit to provide a unifying over-story This may allow you to experiment with greater variety at ground level.
By employing each of the principles of garden design set out here you will achieve a pleasing and successful unity in your garden design.