Geraldina Krantz. Garden Design. April 07th , 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.
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.
First, is to plant big to small, start with trees, then shrubs, then perennials, then ground cover. This is important not only in a compositional way (seeing the bigger forms first gives a better sense of the overall structure), but in a completely practical sense.
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.
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