With Spring in full swing, there has never been a more appropriate time to contemplate the value of your garden spaces as an extension of your home. Basking in the warm breeze, the sun is pouring into your window after dinner; you’re inspired! Now is the time to reclaim the garden and fulfill the vision you’ve considered time and time again but didn’t know quite what to do.
With careful consideration, thoughtful contemplation and wandering through the space; a little creativity and maintenance can go a long way. You can reclaim your garden to create the walk-out-the-door refuge you’ve always dreamt of to host your friends and family and enjoy this summer without missing out on gatherings.
Here are some design forward gardening tips from landscape designer Danée Marie Lambourne of EDEN Projects to consider when planning.
Shaping opportunities are infinite. Making your beds along the contours of your yard will give a more effortless look to your garden. Gentle shapes are ideal for wildflowers and long undulating drifts of grasses or new perennial plantings. If you are opting for a more contemporary look, rectilinear and square shaped beds are striking. Taller, more eye-catching plants are better positioned at the back and middle, acting as soldiers or “bones” in a garden. Shorter plants organized in multiples near the edges provide a soothing effect.
A common rule-of-thumb is to start with three feature colours and play with varying shades and contrasting forms within that colour palette. Too much colour confuses the eye. Green, glaucous blue and white are your foundational neutrals, so consider how flower and contrasting leaf colour will play with your base.
OMBRE and CONTRAST
Try a layered gradation of shades, for example, layer flowers in different shades of green from darkest to lightest. Or look for complementary colours that add a lovely sense of contrast and vibrancy.
Bring in some large leaf forms to break up small leaf forms. It’s also nice to incorporate bright leaves, felted or dissected: include contrast between textures, colours, and shapes.
An island of three-five uniquely positioned, contrasting elements that complement each other. They can be of varying heights and forms, and when placed together, become an island. Take for example, a Japanese Maple, Low Pine and an Azalea, surrounded by a drift of Hostas, Brunnera, Fern or Hakonechloa grass
A drift is a soft place for your eye to fall, used en masse or surrounding feature plants, either alone of placed in a vignette arrangement. Drifts or swathes are a section of monoculture plants arranged in a mass planting.
Gardens should evoke a feeling. Be it through fragrance, touch, sound or the way it captures the elements around you. The plants in your garden and the way they interact with the elements should convey a sense of movement to create a certain awe or create pause. Tall, elegant plants that dance in the wind, like Nepeta, Calamagrostis grass or Fern are ideal. Anything with fragrance evokes cellular memory, soothes and beckons: not to mention its ability to deter those darling deer.