Sometimes a landscape is defined by a need or requirement, such as a vegetable garden or an accessible garden. Or a homeowner may simply want a certain “look.”

Many themes are culturally historic and very well defined, such as traditional Italian or Japanese gardens. They have been used for centuries in a particular culture and are easily identified.

Other themes are newer, less defined, and although they have identifiable characteristics, they tend to have several variations. For example, a minimalist garden can be different forms or types, including formal, informal, urban, tropical, or desert.