As I work on the design of the various gardens I have to go back and forth in my mind between designing the big picture – the 6 acres of garden as a whole – and designing each of the separate gardens, and the relationships between them. With every plant I put in…every shape of every planting bed…I have to answer questions like: Do I want the Perennial Border to be visible from the house? Do I want the Meadow to be seen by someone strolling along the Woodland Walk? Should visitors coming up the driveway see the house through the Cherry trees?
And the answer is the same every time – Yes and No. I do want to create an awareness of what is beyond immediate perception, but not full visibility. Just a suggestion that no matter where you are in the garden there is something more to see…a reason to move on. A hint of vibrant color that is the Perennial Border – but not the whole border. A sight of the house glimpsed through the trees from changing perspectives, as your car moves along the curve of the driveway. A distant glow of the open Meadow, like a burst of light seen from the shade of the Woodland Walk.
What I am trying to do is control where you look, so that everywhere you are in the garden is pleasing – and yet you can’t help but be curious about what is just tantalizingly out of sight.
In an Agatha Christie mystery it’s always surprising when you find out who did it…but it makes sense too. You kind of knew it. That’s what I’m after. Surprises that are not totally unexpected.