Rosemonde Winter. Garden Design. April 21st , 2018.
A rule related to scale and the sculpting of space is this: Go big. Faced with a decision to make a staircase wider or narrower, a pool longer or shorter, a pergola higher or lower, the answer is almost always the former.
My formal architectural education also introduced me to the concept of the regulating line. The idea is that an element of architecture, for example, a doorway, or a building edge, even a window mullion, or a distinctive landscape feature, like prominent tree, existing pool, property boundary, can generate an imaginary line that helps connect and organize the design.
While there is much to be said for the cottage garden, with a rich array of varied planting (indeed, it is the real master gardener who can pull this off), there is a power to seeing a quantity of one plant that is genuinely affecting. Russell Page, one of the great twentieth century landscape designers said it well: the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element.
For example, in laying out one backyard, I projected the lines of its building addition into the garden space and then aligned the swimming pool and wooden walkway with those lines. The result is orderly and cohesive, even after being softened with planting.
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