Rhythm and repetition come about when you correctly position or contrast features. Rhythm avoids monotony.
Gardens that may be complete in almost every sense may seem ordinary until rhythm is introduced -- for instance, a stately procession of shade trees along a drive or the reptetition of pavers or the pickets in a fence. These elements create a clear sense of movement.
Rhythm doesn't necessarily require literal repetition. It may be achieved by the use of line. The path shown here undulates with similar -- although not exact -- curves. In addition, the consistent use of the vertical lines of the bamboo helps create a sense of rhythm.
Another example of rhythm is the gradual change along a planting bed of warm colors and coarse textures to cooler colors and finer textures, and then back to warm and coarse. As different plants come into bloom and then recede, to be replaced by others, there will still be a satisfying sense of visual rhythm.
Just as you choose your guests for a dinner party with concern for their interests and personalities, so can you combine a variety of plants for compatibility.
Accents and focal points serve to make a landscape more interesting. Use them sparingly, however, to maximize their individual impact. Often, a single, interest element added to an otherwise drab scene can make all the difference.
Similar shapes and colors reinforce a theme. But certain focal points, by virtue of their interesting character, deserve major attention. These focal points should stand out from the rest of the garden. Occasional accents, such as an arbor, a sculpture, or a specimen plant, help create balance in a garden between the reference points and the background.