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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Design > The Landscape Design Sequence > Bubble Diagrams

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Bubble Diagrams

Bubble diagrams are used to define spaces within the landscape. Each space will receive specific attention during the landscape design process. These spaces are identified from information on the base plan and in the landscape design program. Spaces are frequently defined by the function that will take place in them.

Bubble Diagram 1 Bubble Diagram 2

Several bubble diagrams are completed before the best one is selected.

A bubble diagram defines spaces that are identified on the base plan.

At first, bubbles have many shapes and sizes. They roughly correspond to what will eventually be a real space in the landscape, but they are not specific and are without detail. A designer may sketch many different bubble diagrams before the best solution is determined.

Once a bubble diagram is chosen it will continue to be refined. The sizes and shapes will change. Some bubbles may divide into more than one while others will converge.

Example of spaces that need to be located on bubble diagrams

    Dog Kennel
  • Dog kennel

    RV Parking Area

  • RV parking area

    Firewood Storage

  • Firewood storage

Spaces can also define hard-features, specific plant groupings, view areas, or topographical features.


    Patio or Deck
  • Patio or deck

    Entry or Patio Garden

  • Entry or patio garden

    Open Area to View Pond or Lake

  • Open area to view of a pond or lake.

In a sustainable design, spaces are especially important to separate areas that require different maintenance levels.


    High maintenance lawn
  • A high maintenance lawn next to a low maintenance shrub bed, woods, or prairie.

    Mulched bed

  • Mulched bed next to lawns or other groundcovers

    Ground Cover Area

  • Ground cover area

Spaces can also be important because they impact a specific environmental concern.


    Narrow Lawn Area
  • Lawn areas narrow next to streets and walks

    Trees Under Power Lines

  • Trees under power lines
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