I have been trying to get this idea out of my head and into words for months and now I have a place to begin. Looking out into the winter landscape clarity came over me. I have learned over the years how many people need a visual, a picture or drawing, of what an architect or designer is suggesting. The notion that someone will entrust an artist to create something beautiful for them, that will meet their expectations, their life, becomes a leap of faith. There it is. Faith in the unknown. The following link will bring you to another gardeners idea of perfection in nature. Don’t forget to return.
A garden or landscape can be planned. That same plan can be implemented. What are the expectations after everyone leaves and the owner is left with this new dream, new escape, new paradise. This living, breathing, evolving artistic creation pieced together out of plant, stone and soil. There it is, hovering over my head (LIGHTBULB). The reality of all my reading, writing and experience has me looking out into the winter landscape and wondering, how many people have spent their money on something they can’t afford to maintain and manage. Not to sound negative but many people know what I am talking about.
I have two perspectives. Let me introduce them.
The first perspective centers around those individuals who have already spent the money and are now beginning to understand the time, effort and expense of what they have installed and paid for. The second perspective focuses on those people who are planing and getting ready to change their whole life by surrounding themselves with things in need of care (landscapes and gardens). Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy that there are so many who have chosen to fill their lives with trees and plant. My concern lies in the aftermath; the challenge of maintaining the value of that natural art. I have mentioned it in previous articles and I will mention it again (until everyone understands it), the true value of any landscape is how it continually enriches our lives.
My newest vision for everyone is the marriage of the garden and the pathway. Most people have seen it and even walked through it. Most people who own a home want it yet they do not know how to begin. They stumble and fall when at the local nurseries, finding plants that may or may not develop as they need and in the process waste both time (growing time) and money (hard earned). So how am I to guide everyone through this maze of plant diversity and design confusion. The easiest way to resolve this problem is for everyone to hire me to help them clear the path to their ultimate garden. Since this in not necessarily economically feasible for many people, I have come up with an introductory plan for individuals to begin the process.
1st step: Look at the amount of space you have to work with. This aspect determines many of your initial options in terms of scale.
2nd step: Determine what the most important starting point is when you look out the front door of your home. You could also gain perspective by viewing the property from the furthest point and looking inward, property line.
3rd step: Once you know where to begin (starting point) you have the ability to see an end. NOTE – it is important to be realistic, but with time, anything can be accomplished.
4th step: No predispositions allowed. Everything can and will get done.
5th step: Determine if you want it (your walkway) straight, curved or a combination of the two forms and how wide you would like to make the pathway. The wider a pathway can be, the easier it is to travel. Wider walkways welcome more people and create a greater number of planting options. No matter what you decide the possibilities are still overwhelming, yet exciting.
6th step: Remember, no matter how you begin or end, a pathway is all about creating perspective, mystery, wonder and the idea of movement that takes you somewhere wonderful.
WHERE DO YOU WANT YOUR PATHWAY TO LEAD YOU. KNOW THIS AND YOU ARE HOME.
Plant material, mulch and stones all have their place on and along your pathway. Once the first few steps are considered, the remaining journey is simpler. Never easy but easier.
Look through your own personal looking glass and imagine what you want and what could be. I would love the opportunity to guide anyone who has the time and money to engage me in their project.
Good luck envisioning your wonderland. Call me or someone you trust if you want help making your dreams come true.