One of the first (of many) mistakes I made in garden design – in my own garden, fortunately – was thinking about plant combinations in isolation. Not thinking about where the viewer was going to be until it was too late. Then I looked up to the distance, and….”whoops”. I had made lovely plant combinations – but the neighbor’s chain link fence was not an appealing backdrop.
Gardens don’t exist in isolation. Viewers don’t just look at what you want them to see…they see everything!
And except for lucky people like me, people who make gardens, most people don’t spend most of their time outdoors.
So part of designing a garden is seeing it in your mind’s eye — knowing what it will look like from inside. Because that is where most people are, most of the time.
Whether it’s looking through a door or window, the garden has to be exciting from everywhere.
So…some examples. This is a Hot Wings Maple, Acer tatarian ‘Hot Wings’ seen from my bedroom window, through the blinds. The brilliant red samaras look like flowers on this wonderful small tree. And in the background, past it, you see a part of my winter garden. Of course this tree looks beautiful when seen from outdoors. But I think this framing adds to its beauty. And the almost invisible screen makes it look almost like a watercolor doesn’t it?
Here is a terraced garden I created, seen from the living room.
And here is part of a roof I did in NY.
This part of the roof doesn’t really have enough space to sit – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a garden and give pleasure.
It’s important to remember that a garden is part of the house, part of day-to-day life, not an isolated creation.