Geraldina Krantz. Garden Design. April 20th , 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.
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.
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.
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.
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