Katrina Beckenbauer. Garden Design. April 20th , 2018.
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.
Sit near a tree in the park, or a wall, and gradually edge away, and you will see how it works. Of course, there are times when the point of a landscape design is a monumental sense of scale or view, but the best gardens, whatever their size, modulate a feeling of enclosure and openness, and this rule will help.
Think big. Ample pathways and gathering spaces are inviting, and large features are engaging in any size space. You can maximize the livability of a small yard by taking advantage of changes in terrain to segment the space into different living areas.
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.
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