Have you ever been here? You’ve walked through your yard and taken photos of areas you think are gorgeous. When you finish and look at the photos, though, you discover obtrusive objects – clearly visible power lines, the neighbor’s barbecue, sprawling hoses.
The difference between what you see and what the camera sees can be a valuable tool for applying the Elderyarding® approach to your garden. The technique starts by taking lots of photos of your yard in all seasons.
Here are two examples of what you might photograph in early spring.
Notice in the right photo that the flowers on this acacia shrub are very small and tend to get lost in the background of brown limbs and brown mulch. You might miss the flowers when actually walking around the garden because your brain edited your view to report a mass of brown branches and mulch.
In the left photo, the flower clearly stands out in comparison with the mulch. However, other straggly branches nearby distract from the flower, which caused your brain to report less impact in what you’ve seen.
In both cases, you can use the photos to improve what’s actually in the garden and increase your pleasure in the garden’s visual delights, even as your eyesight changes.
Consider whether the mulch around the acacia could be swapped for something else. An evergreen ground cover might work with the tree in all seasons. A ground cover with larger leaves to contrast with the acacia’s fine ones would add texture. And if the green was darker or more blue or even gray-green, the contrast would be striking. Or maybe a mulch of stones would be successful. Smooth rounded river rocks or more jagged pieces are possible alternatives.
Then there’s the flower bed around the narcissus. It might be time to add regular trimming of the nearby branches to the maintenance schedule. Also, adding a small evergreen shrub in the background to build another color for contrast could be in order.
Another technique is to turn your photos into black and white images, as you see in the lead photo for this post.
Black and white photos more clearly show the variation in shape, texture and contrast among the plants. You can spot what’s working and what’s lacking, then plan what how to modify.
You may know, for example, that the leaves of the shrubs in front of a tree grab your attention when you’re on the patio because they are glossy. But the shrubs and ground covers around the tree all blend together when you view in black and white. A better Elderyarding® design might suggest moving the shrub to the left to expose the peeling pale trunk of the tree and switch to a low grass with blue foliage and fluffy blooms in front of and to the right of the tree along the paving.
Like this approach and want help to apply it? Call us! 512-917-5758. You can have a great yard that’s a heartfelt joy to view throughout your lifetime.