Geraldina Krantz. Garden Design. April 19th , 2018.
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.
Another ratio may even be platinum, That is what I have always called the rule for step design advocated by landscape architect Thomas D. Church, often credited with creating the California style. Laid out in his seminal work Gardens Are for People, it says simply that twice the height of the riser plus the tread should equal 26 inches.
Certain rules help us refine design. One is the Golden Ratio which is a ratio of proportion that's been observed in everything from the Great Pyramids at Giza to the Greek Parthenon and has been used throughout history as a guide to a pleasing sense of balance and order.
Imparted by Ralph Snodsmith, my first official gardening teacher at the New York Botanical Garden and talk radio host (a character whose working uniform was always a forest green three-piece suit), there is no greater planting wisdom. No matter how brilliant a plan one conceives, if the plants are not well planted at the right height, in a sufficiently sized, and properly amended pit, the results will likely be poor. Some rules just can not be broken.
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