Category: Gardening and Landscaping

Frame a Garden View for Intrigue and Abundance

Frame a Garden View for Intrigue and Abundance

Superior photographers learn how to harvest the extraneous details from the outside edges of a photo to improve its quality. Similarly, you can improve the general image of your backyard when you impose a frame around its views.

The classic elements of style, such as line, form, texture and color, are useful tools when composing and editing the desired scene. Try for simplicity, because an uncomplicated selection of crops, a cohesive bloom and foliage palette, and constructions that are relevant to your house’s architecture are key.

The frame through which you observe and enjoy near and distant views may have vertical parts — characterized by doorways, tall plants or an opening in a fence. Arches and arbors overhead or pathways and stepping stones under form the horizontal plane. Consider each as a significant piece of that general image because you direct the viewer’s eye toward specific scenes.

A gratifying view offers an area of the landscape to be seen — it commands attention when framed by decorative trees, arbors or trellises. A gratifying vista is usually savored from a distance, letting you borrow character’s beauty as a backdrop for your own garden.

Listed below are a few of my favourite pictures that catch the spirit of this idea. Your backyard will feel magnanimous once you open it up to normal or cultivated landscapes.


Portals, admissions and transitions. Whenever there’s no remote or territorial view to love, you can conjure an interior view. Garden designers use visual techniques to draw and direct the eye — and you’re able to adopt a similar strategy in your own backyard. Here, a full-scale doorway was inserted right into a fence. When open, it reveals a beautiful scene inside.

With thoughtful preparation and positioning of crops, the designer has created a spectacular visual treat that invites further exploration. The fence and door may be entirely functional, however they define and frame how one observes the garden.

Outside Landscape Group

Emphasize character. Peer through this vine-clad arbor and observe layer upon layer of shape, form, texture and color. Each plant is highlighted in sharp relief due to the way sunlight dances across its own form.

If you plan an island bed, then lay a perennial border or place a specimen tree, think about the method by which the sun rises or sets in your own landscape. Backlighting — character’s wonderful gift of illumination — can thoroughly change the disposition of a backyard view. Similarly, the light at dusk or dawn may magnify the seriousness of a vignette, which makes it more alluring in that special moment once the daylight changes.

Sutton Suzuki Architects

Open up views. Thoughtful pruning or editing may make room for a gorgeous distant scene. Rather than cutting down a large tree that may be obstructing your view, invest in the experience of a certified arborist who can open up view zones with targeted branch elimination, letting you enjoy both the tree and the view beyond.

Here, the preserved tree is essential to the success of this design. Not only does it protect and color the outdoor patio area, but it also deemphasizes the powerful architecture of the house and brings one’s eye toward the meadow and hills in the distance. Sublime!

Studio William Hefner

Boost sight lines. If your eye travels via a window or door into the backyard, follow the direct axis. Where does your gaze rest? How does your eye move around the backyard when it’s framed by an open shutter or a divided windowpane?

Emphasize the significance of these viewpoints by displaying furniture plants or ornamentation to make a well-defined scene. While it may be minor in the grand scheme of your own landscape, that little point outside your window is a precious piece of property in the backyard.

With this plan, it is possible (and desirable) that each room of your home will offer those inside a gorgeous vignette to observe.

Shirley Bovshow

Balance the composition. Use symmetry or asymmetry to frame a view that’s near or distant, providing the viewer a restful (living) picture to relish.

You can get a formal impact with symmetrical plantings, such as a pair of columnar conifers that indicate an opening to a garden route. Or use an arbor or trellis, centered over a pathway, as can be done so beautifully here.

Suggest asymmetrical balance with man-made or natural sentinels of equal visual weight. For instance, you can cancel a large tree on one side of this view using a group of garden furniture on the other hand. The things may be different, but together they produce an appealing balance.

Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces

Beckon with passageways. Highlight your garden’s best views by creating areas to look and places to pursue, allowing the delightful destination beyond to be viewed as an impactful expansion of the backyard’s visual reach.

Employ techniques that frame and define An introduction in a compact hedge ignites curiosity about what is beyond. Here, two such openings at a wall — a door and a “window” — are attention-grabbing devices. The remote garden is half concealed, but it’s endowed with heightened drama.

The programmer has created a view in what was once an unnoticed field of the landscape.

Make it decorative. This portal emphsizes the remote vista, but it is itself a sculptural object to look at and love. Even in the winter season, once the blossoms have faded, leaves have dropped from deciduous trees and perennials have expired, this incredible rock moon gate is an essential design element of this landscape.

Nicolock Paving Stones and Retaining Walls

An unforgettable vista. An enthralling remote scene is incorporated into this beautiful landscape using a light hand. Nothing here is contrived, but each aspect of the domestic landscape feels in harmony with all the water, hills and naturalized plantings from the distance.

This layout works due to the positioning and execution of this rock patio, which defines the outdoor gathering place. The plantings during its border are intentionally kept low so they don’t obscure the view of this water. The older trees on either side are lightly pruned to keep low-hanging branches from the sight of these magnificent hills.

More: 10 Elements of an Exuberantly Abundant Garden

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Teach Your Landscape Rhythm

Teach Your Landscape Rhythm

According to Marjorie Elliot Bevlin, writer of Design through Discovery: The Elements of Style (my college design textbook in the 1980s), there are six components of layout and seven fundamentals of layout. Though these design principles are universal, I find I return to Bevlin’s basic explanations again and again. They’re particularly useful as I seek to understand what is considered good design and why it resonates with me personally.

So for the next few weeks, I’m likely to utilize the many amazing landscape design projects on to research each of the design principles and components. This series will present one subject at a time and showcase the many ways each is now an iconic theme in the landscape.

First up: Rhythm, a principle

Webster’s defines “rhythm” as “the patterned, recurring alterations of contrasting components” The energetic of rhythm makes a visual flow. As a beat is to music, as choreography is to dance, rhythm adds energy into a garden. In landscape design, rhythm makes a physical sensation. It may cause people to move fast, to slow down or perhaps to pause before continuing again.

By repetition of such as forms or evenly spaced points of emphasis, a rhythmic design could be expressed naturally or literally. Here are a few cool ways to infuse your landscape using a dynamic rhythm.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

Repetition in crops of comparable kinds — all circles and mounds — generates a gorgeous rhythm within an entry garden. Color blocking can also be used as a cool layout apparatus to draw somebody out of your concrete patio toward the stepping-stone path. First there’s a section of blue, in the form of fescue grasses, then there’s a band of green-gold boxwood (right) represented by a gold succulent band (left). And lastly, a row of taller decorative grasses in green lures you farther into this garden.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

A succession of plants and architecture is visually pleasing to the eyes, which read it as a blueprint. Here, a maroon, spiky Cordyline plant is aligned using a fence section at a rhythmic repetition that seems balanced and contemporary. Place them together to get a totally attractive setup. The silvery-blue floor cover is called Senecio vitalis, a succulent.

Begin with a very simple trio of square, tall planters. Install three clipped boxwood balls. Line them up from a screen or wall and voilĂ ! You have generated visual rhythm in a single vignette.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

In the 1977 publication A Design Language, authors Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein and many others describe over 250 “patterns” as alternatives to design problems. The patterns follow layout principles but can also be deeply rooted in nature and history, which explains why they resonate with us.

Pattern number 247, “paving with cracks between the stones” addresses the good sense of walking out of stone to stone. Here is a modern interpretation utilizing precast square and rectangular stepping stones at a gravel garden. I love the rhythm it generates.

Rossington Architecture

This easy checkerboard theme is strongly rhythmic. The square concrete pavers read as a grid, as a result of the green grass seeded between every square. Furthermore, this is a far cooler, permeable solution to get a poolside patio than in case concrete alone had been used.

Ron Herman Landscape Architect

Thoroughly random looking, there’s intention within this mixed-media layout. Stone pavers slice through square pads of turf and similar-size squares of smooth slate stones. The overall layout is exciting and very arresting for its rhythm and textural interest.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Long bands of concrete that alternate with gravel type the ground of this entry garden. There’s a lot of lively energy within this area, as replicating bands of different textures (smooth concrete and fine-grade gravel) invoke the idea of rhythm.

Ana Williamson Architect

Repeating bands look in this entrance garden at a slightly different way. The long, horizontal pathway increases a rhythmic vibe because every piece staggers to the left or right of center. Visually, this is exciting to view and to traverse. Ground covers planted between every band help to soften the otherwise crude installation.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Here’s another way rhythm plays long, staggered bands. I love the different-colored concrete, which range from light to dark and in between. The gravel is a fourth color, contrasting with all the concrete and suggesting negative space inside this patio. The concrete bands seem to be shifting — is it an optical illusion?

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

This beautiful spiral, rendered in flagstone, appears to vibrate with its own energy. The stones form a rhythmic motion as the spiral narrows, turns on itself and terminates in a center firepit. Where most of the spaces between the stones have been planted with soft, woolly thyme, note the contrasting crushed stone used in merely a single band to further emphaisze the powerful spiral line within this layout.

Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International

Circles emanate out of a mound of rocks symbolizing mountains at a calm Zen garden. The gravel has been hand-raked to suggest the ripples on the surface of water brought on by a dropped stone. The curved lines contain other raked lines, parallel ones which have still another sense of energy. Add the play of shadow and light and this instant in the landscape is eternally powerful.

Summerour Architects

The repetitive arches at a classic Spanish-style setting feel both timeless and modern. They suggest windows through which you may peer to the distant, wilder landscape.

Beertje Vonk Artist

A pebble “area rug” generates a pleasing rhythm all its own. It’s a flowing sensation of water, including a kinetic disposition to this patio.

WA Design Architects

Rounded and mounded forms appear and replicate themselves throughout this dreamy meadow — a rhythmic planting scheme that’s memorable and alluring. Santolina in colors of green and silver covers the earth, while purple alliums replicate that globe shape on taller stems. The distant wands of dark purple lavender echo the alliums, including depth.

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Magical Garden Paths

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