Wednesday, December 19, 2018
In Search of Stylish Landscape Design by Robin Shafer
Great landscape design is mix of inspired layout and refined and considered garden styling.
Have you ever wondered what makes you notice a garden and enjoy the space? When you feel a sense of “rightness” or coherency; you understand the story it tells. This is achieved through an intelligent and consistent styling that makes us subconsciously take notice and feel a garden.
What is Garden Style?
A garden design has two main components. Its structure and its styling.
The structure lies in the arrangement of walls and floors that contain the spaces but a garden’s personality, or story arises from its styling.
A garden can have its own individual style. It does not have to be pigeonholed into a genre or commonly recognized style such as classical, formal or tropical style.
The most important thing is that it is coherent and consistent.
A coherent garden style creates a mood, a sense of location and gives a garden a life of its own. We enjoy a well-styled garden because we can understand the underlying story of it and enjoy a relationship with the space. The garden becomes, more than property, it becomes a place.
A garden might be playful and colourful, refined and elegant or a peaceful, natural extension of a natural environment. You get to choose……but choose you must!
How to Create Garden Style?
To get it right you must consider and involve three pre-existing influencers:
The house is usually the starting point in the search for style, as house and garden will rarely be seen in isolation from one another. Start looking at the house both inside and out, studying its style and character. Make notes of its detailing, its colours, its views out and the views onto it from both the garden and the street. Whether it is a farmhouse, townhouse, villa or bungalow – whatever the style of the house – the garden design should in some way reflect it.
The Site and its Environment
Another influence on the style of your garden will be the site. How will it affect your garden style? What belongs on this site? What will challenge it?
What effect do the outward views have on the site? What is the story of the site? Should we borrow these views as part of the garden design?
Is the environment a wild and rugged challenge, a hard-edged urban jungle or a pastoral, utopian dream or something in between?
What are your local microclimates and soil, wind and water conditions? A successful landscape design will not fight any of these conditions but work with them.
Your Own Needs and Personal Style
You must next reconcile the architectural and site considerations with your own personal needs and preferences. It may pay to live with the garden for a while, just to get the feel of it and to put some roots into the soil yourself.
What is it that you want out of the garden?
List in order of importance what you want; things such as privacy, playgrounds (adult’s or children’s), wildlife in the garden, food or flowers, tranquility or excitement. Think about what you like such as colour and fragrance.
Styling creates the story
If you blend architecture, site character and your own personality into your garden design, you begin the story of the garden. The story will read true and be coherent and pleasing. The garden will develop a sense of “place” not space. Your choices can all be measured and refined against the story and it will grow and develop in time as an inspired place of your own.