Garden Design. Tuesday , March 20th , 2018 - 14:11:48 PM
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.
The law of significant enclosure says that we feel enclosed when the vertical edge of a space is at least one‐third the length of the horizontal space we are inhabiting. Probably derived from behavioral psychology studies, this rule came to me from a professor in graduate school, and it was one of the best things I learned.
While there is much to be said for the cottage garden, with a rich array of varied planting (indeed, it is the real master gardener who can pull this off), there is a power to seeing a quantity of one plant that is genuinely affecting. Russell Page, one of the great twentieth century landscape designers said it well: the most striking and satisfying visual pleasure comes from the repetition or the massing of one simple element.
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