Geraldina Krantz. Garden Design. April 21st , 2018.
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.
That means that if the riser is 5 inches, the tread (what you walk on) should be 16 inches. All I can say is that the rule is true, and I have used it from steep canyon faces to gentle changes of patio levels. A useful corollary states that 5 feet is the minimum width for two people climbing steps side by side.
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.
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.
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