Gisella Aleshire. Garden Design. April 19th , 2018.
Remember the importance of negative space, even a tiny courtyard or lawn can provide balance to a small garden. Include built in seating in a corner to keep your garden from feeling crowded. Use a living wall to add lushness where ground space is limited. Step back and look at your yard with fresh eyes, then simplify and tidy. Even if your outdoor space seems overwhelming, pick just one thing that you most want to change.
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.
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.
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.
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