Gisella Aleshire. Garden Design. March 20th , 2018.
Maybe my favorite rule of all time, all the more charming for its need to be adjusted for inflation: It is better to plant a 50 cent plant in a $5 hole, than a $5 plant in a 50 cent hole.
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.
Sit near a tree in the park, or a wall, and gradually edge away, and you will see how it works. Of course, there are times when the point of a landscape design is a monumental sense of scale or view, but the best gardens, whatever their size, modulate a feeling of enclosure and openness, and this rule will help.
In my own garden, I remember laying out an arbor, with its posts 10 feet high, and listening to trusted friends wondering whether it was not a little too tall. Thankfully I stuck to my guns, and some 18 years later, wreathed in wisteria and anchored at the ground by clusters of pots, the arbor seems just right.
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