No, it’s not a silly question, but it’s a question you may not have considered before. Take a few minutes to ponder this. It can tell you a lot about how you are affected by nature. Once you know this, you can use what you’ve discovered to become more calm and unstressed even when you’re not at home.
You may already have a favorite area in your garden. Today’s blog can help you learn why you love your landscape and the natural world.
Start with standard landscape design criteria – line, form, color, and texture. Squinting your eyes a bit as you look at your garden can reduce distractions and help you concentrate.
Are you most fond of lines?
The curving shapes of flower beds are horizontal lines moving a flat plane against the lawn. Other horizontals may be the edge of a wall, hillside terracing, or a neat row of hedging. Or you may prefer vertical lines. Think of the pattern of wooden fencing or the vertical rhythm set up by fences plus tree trunks plus porch posts or house corners. Or you might hanker for diagonals. There are fewer diagonal lines in landscapes, but look for lattice paneling, garden ornaments, roof lines, the tops of fence posts, even diagonal paths laid out in formal gardens.
You say you prefer shapes?
Plants have natural forms, and pruning can yield deliberate forms. Many large shrubs can be maintained en masse, with the bottom slightly larger than the top to allow sunlight to reach all the leaves, creating a wedge shape, or pruned into a tree form with several clean and visible trunks topped by a mass of mounding leaves, reminding you of an ice cream cone. Maybe fountains of arching big ornamental grasses speak to your eye or rounded clumps of evergreen ground covers like liriope or pink skullcap.
What if it’s color that makes your heart go pit-a-pat?
You might love the bright colors displayed by flowers and leaves, from the yellow burst of spring daffodils to the blues and purples of asters in autumn. Or you could be enamored with shades of green through the spectrum – from yellow to blue to grey, expanding the palette in your garden with the play of light on shiny and dull leaves to make even basic greens look different.
And if texture is your passion?
Contrast often goes with texture. Here it’s time to consider leaf size – huge or diminutive, leaf design – smooth or crinkled surface with smooth, jagged or scalloped edges. You may like big, deliberate contrasts - the juxtaposition of solid, wide agave leaves with small fat leaves of a succulent ground cover or many fine leaves in a short grass or even the smoothness of gravel mulch. Or you may delight in gradual transitions – from small fine grasses to medium sized grasses with wider leaves to a big hulking grass that’s the tallest, widest and has the fattest leaves of a collection.
Now ask yourself, “Do I have enough line, form, color or texture to keep me visually satisfied?” If not, speculate on what might change. Have your landscape adapted in small doses, because all 4 design elements are important.