I have met people who are able to design a garden without drawings… on the ground so to speak. They walk around a site and can create something right there on the spot. They know just where they want to put a flower border, trees or shrubs, a patio, a walkway. I can’t do it that way.
I plan everything out on paper (or, nowadays, on the computer). I start out taking measurements and photographs of the site. And then I start to sketch out my ideas on paper. I see the result of the ideas in my mind’s eye as I work…and sometimes as I’m creating spaces and paths, in my imagination I become a tiny person walking through the garden. I feel as if I can reach out and touch the trunk of a tree, walk down a stairway, through a pergola, see what the view is in front of a bench or on a patio. So I guess in a way I am testing out the design ‘on the ground’… but if something doesn’t work I can change it as go. I redraw and take another walk.
That’s the stage I am at with the gardens at Timshala. The design – verysketchy – is on paper and ready to be fleshed out.
I’ve laid out areas for a Woodland Garden; a Crabapple Orchard; a Grassy Meadow sparkling with red poppies in the spring; a Perennial Border; an area for Winter Color to be seen from the bedroom window; an Herb Garden; some Rough Lawns; a Shade Garden on the north side of the house.
I’ve also laid out the paths that wander through the different areas…a woodland walk, a mown path through the meadow and the orchard, stepping stones connecting the house to the major paths.