Katrina Beckenbauer. Garden Design. April 19th , 2018.
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.
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.
Dividing a garden, even when small, often has the paradoxical effect of making it seem larger. In small gardens where space is too limited for major focal points, compose a series of mini views within the garden itself, offering interest in every direction while using plants to provide a framework.
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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