What is a Landscape Design or Landscape Plan?

A landscape design is like a floor plan for an outdoor area. Like a floor plan, a landscape design creates a visual representation of a site using scaled dimensions. Landscape plans include natural elements like flowers, trees, and grass as well as man-made elements such as lawn furniture, fountains, and sheds. Landscape designs may also include overlays for irrigation and lighting.

Landscape designs are primarily used to plan the layout for an outdoor area whether it be a personal garden plan for your home or a commercial plan for a business or community area. They’re also useful as a reference when there’s a need for new installation or repair or when planning an outdoor event.

Creating a landscape plan can also aid in the decision-making process for selecting materials. It also gives the property owner and landscape contractor better tools for cost estimation, helping to ensure the project can be completed within budgetary constraints.

How to Design a Landscape Plan

  • Create the outline. A landscape plan begins with a broad overview of the project area. This is your basic outline to which you can slowly add elements. Decide on the area to be depicted in the diagram. This may be difficult due to the open nature of an outside area, but the landscape design should illustrate only the area that is subject to the landscaping. Begin by drawing boundaries of the area. It might be the edge of a garden, the end of the yard, a fence, or any other area beyond which the landscape plan is no longer pertinent.Landscape design template
  • Add existing features. Add any rocks, waterways, buildings, poles, slopes, etc. that cannot or will not be moved during the landscaping process. Be sure to use the correct symbols and colors for these as well. In the end this aid in the imagination of the area when it is complete. You may also want to note North on your design to help you understand how the sun and shadows may change the landscape.Brick landscape design
  • Create ground cover if needed. Fill in the area with the appropriate type or types of groundcover (such as grass or asphalt) that will be installed. Apply textures for a more accurate depiction of these areas.Color landscape design
  • Add new landscape design elements. Add plant life such as shrubbery, trees, and flowers and draw in walkways and stairs. Add any lawn furniture, pools, sheds, gazebos, buildings, and fountains that youplan to install.
  • Completed landscape design
  • Landscape Plan Templates
    The best way to understand landscape planning is to look at some examples and templates of landscape plans and designs.


The programme in landscape architecture is design and research based. It provides the capacity to understand and intervene in diverse contexts that range from cities to extreme landscapes and territories.

The Master of Landscape Architecture at AHO has a strong focus on the relationship between landscape history, present pressing challenges, and possible futures. AHO’s landscape programme builds upon the legacy of the Oslo School of Architecture and it’s fascinating and unique history of landscape driven architecture, as well as the rich Norwegian design culture where large energy and infrastructural development has been linked to innovative ways to mediate and design within delicate and dramatic natural environments.

Education is studio based in an environment of constant personal contact with Scandinavian and international practitioners, researchers and educators. AHO provides access to a diverse palette of tools and shares resources with the Architecture and Design programmes. Within this environment of shared resources AHO promotes constant experimentation with diverse landscape media that extend beyond horticultural material. Water in its diverse manifestations is both a context and media for artistic expression and urban agendas. Media and technology are areas explored in synchrony with the Architecture and Design programmes, and as such the school offers the possibility to experiment with techniques and tools that extend beyond the traditional limits of landscape architecture.

The school’s context is the Oslo metropolitan region, a vital environment that is an ideal location to study the link between cities and natural systems, particularly in regards to hydrology and topography. As a city that has been experiencing growth while in contact with delicate ecosystems, Oslo is therefor a productive laboratory to explore pressing challenges related to contemporary urbanism.
Within this exciting context, the landscape programme also reaches global agendas, particularly through traveling studios that include The Arctic and Subarctic, Latin America, Asia, and Europe.
AHO offers two landscape architecture programmes. One is based at AHO in Oslo, and the other at the Tromsø Academy of Landscape and Territorial Studies in Northern Norway.

AHO’s Master of Landscape Architecture is a two year 120 ects programme. Admission requires a bachelor in Landscape Architecture or other relevant and equivalent education.

The Design programme adopts a broad approach to design that emphasizes the relevance and importance of design within contemporary society.

There is a designerly approach at the core of the programme, in addition to attention to aesthetics, communication, and cultural contexts. We emphasize a strong cross-disciplinary design driven approach to ‘methods’ and processes, bringing together aesthetics and technology, creativity and design methods, culture and communication


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