Ginger Hudson Design Tips
by Ginger Hudson
Basics of Design for the home landscape
With the recent freeze, there may be an opportunity to re-design or re-plant your garden. Many more leaves are gone, and many more plants have frozen and been cut back than in the past two winters.
Gardeners now have a lot of wide-open space and unobstructed views to observe and imagine their new outdoor spaces.
Also, now would be a great time to expand the garden by removing some of that hard to maintain turf grass.
Where does a homeowner begin?
With a destination or focal point.
The destination is the main draw into the garden.
The destination or focal point could be the same thing. Or, just a focal point could be the place to which you gaze into the garden. If one spends a great deal of time looking out one particular window, where do you look and what would you like to see there?
Examples could be a specimen plant, something showy like a redbud; or a bench in a seating area; or a water feature or statue.
The next major element of the garden plan is the axis.
This is the imaginary line or guide that draws your eye to the destination or focal point.
Axes are formally straight lines or grids. But they can be curved as well. For instance, if your garden is small, a slight curve to a path will give the illusion of a larger garden.
A third major element in the garden is scale.
Scale is the proportional size of objects to each other. These elements could be plants to plants, plant or tree size to house, open space to garden space, or even the size of an art element to the size of the garden. In other words, a ten-foot tall, five-tier water feature would be out of scale in a small cottage garden in front of a single story small home.
What if a gardener is satisfied with their garden layout?
This is the time to be planting new trees, perennials and ornamental grasses. Folks that are new to central Texas may not realize this is the best time to plant here.
If plants were lost in the past two tortuous summers, or if any were lost in the recent hard freezes, here is an opportunity to bring some new plants and color into the garden.
If you just moved into a newly constructed home and have an uneventful landscape installed by the developer, now is a good time to start planning and re-planting.
Start with a small space in your landscape to renovate. One obstacle many homeowners have a hard time overcoming is seeing a huge yard and how much work that may encompass.
Consider plants that provide nectar and larval food sources for butterflies, and fruiting plants for birds.
When adding the new plants, allow them to make an impact by planting clusters, more than one of each plant. Save the single plant idea for a specimen, one that makes a lovely show, this could be the focal point mentioned earlier.
Since there were no hard freezes the previous two winters, many gardens may have become overgrown. If this was the case, maybe now you want to consider editing the garden. Editing may involve trimming, pruning, moving, transplanting or removing, items in the garden. This will make it easier for performing maintenance and it may give plants that need the space more room to thrive.
Article Type: Tip
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