Rudella Geiger. Garden Design. April 20th , 2018.
A regulating line, wrote the great architect, and theoretician. Le Corbusier, is an assurance against capriciousness. It confers on the work the quality of rhythm. The choice of a regulating line fixes the fundamental geometry of the work.
Le Corbusier hits on the two aspects, a bit paradoxical, perhaps, that make the regulating line so valuable. First is the idea of underlying order, are that the garden, for all its naturalness, or wildness, is founded on strong principles, what's sometimes known in garden circles as good bones.
Remember the importance of negative space, even a tiny courtyard or lawn can provide balance to a small garden. Include built in seating in a corner to keep your garden from feeling crowded. Use a living wall to add lushness where ground space is limited. Step back and look at your yard with fresh eyes, then simplify and tidy. Even if your outdoor space seems overwhelming, pick just one thing that you most want to change.
That means that if the riser is 5 inches, the tread (what you walk on) should be 16 inches. All I can say is that the rule is true, and I have used it from steep canyon faces to gentle changes of patio levels. A useful corollary states that 5 feet is the minimum width for two people climbing steps side by side.
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