Della Bauer. Garden Design. April 21st , 2018.
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.
I remember as a beginning garden designer in California being taken aside by my mentor, a transplanted Englishwoman who owned the nursery, walking through a vast block of salvia, and being told that I could, if I liked, use 30 of them, not the three or five I had typically been planting. It was a liberating moment.
The practical application that I make of the Golden Ratio involves its sibling, the Golden Rectangle, in which the ratio of the short side to the long side is equal to the ratio of the long side to the sum of both sides (a/b = b/a+b) you probably did not know that landscape architects had to learn math. Numerically, the Golden Rectangle ratio is close to 1: 1.6, a proportion I regularly use to lay out terraces, patios, arbors, and lawns.
It is with plants, probably more than any other element of gardens, that the infinite variation and fickleness of nature is most evident, and so perhaps, they are the trickiest to prescribe rules for. And yet, successful planting is the crowning touch of a garden. Three rules have always served me well.
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