Rosemonde Winter. Garden Design. April 21st , 2018.
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.
Dividing a garden, even when small, often has the paradoxical effect of making it seem larger. In small gardens where space is too limited for major focal points, compose a series of mini views within the garden itself, offering interest in every direction while using plants to provide a framework.
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.
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.
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