Landscape Designer verses Interior Designer: Living Spaces That Breath & Grow

Landscape Design verses interior design brings more differences then similarities. Design in general will bring color, form, flow, texture and architecture into a space. With all these elements you would think that the outdoor landscapes would have greater similarities with home interior designs. I say NOT! Landscapes and gardens have movement, breath in life, are ever changing, work all the elements, are constantly giving back and depending on where you live are generally in a constant state of surprise. Interior design can attempt to create these natural happenings but at best demonstrate a contrived stagnant demonstration of nature (not to be harsh just demonstrating a point).

For the outside to come in interior decorators use water features, fish tanks, indoor plants, paintings and photographs. The best designers attempt to marry all the elements BUT in my experience unless you have an estate on 2 acres with over 5 thousand square feet of interior  to work with you are limited in space and funding. I do not want to appear biased in any way against interior design. I have seen the many challenges in my spaces and have learned how professional interior decorators manipulate the spaces to bring the spaces to life. No matter what you do to the interior, once completed, it becomes a STILL LIFE. The element of people and animals are the only thing bringing movement and change to the interior spaces. With this I introduce the magic of Landscape design and garden restoration.

Summer View from the 2nd story, Weeping European Hornbeam
Summer View from the 2nd story, Weeping European Hornbeam

I will keep it simple and just introduce one piece of plant material as an example of how landscape design shapes the world that welcomes you home. I will be talking about a Weeping European Hornbeam also know as Capinus Betulus Pendula. The photos represented here will demonstrate the ongoing development over a number of years in this one spot. A Landscape Designer’s ideas need to incorporate not only the space to be filled but how large will the plant become and where do we want to manage and maintain it’s ultimate size. In today’s world of landscaping and garden management this has become the greatest industry failure. Too many companies installing landscapes with no real understanding of how to help it develop to it’s greatest value.

This first photo, pictured above, demonstrates a young tree in place about 6 years. The idea of placing this specimen in this spot was all about eventually overhanging the walkway to the front door as a dramatic transition from the driveway to the entrance of the house. Years later the tree continues to demonstrate and increase in interest and value.

Hello Nature. bird bath under Weeping European Hornbeam with Cransbill as the groundcover.
Hello Nature. bird bath under Weeping European Hornbeam with Cransbill as the groundcover.
Weeping European Hornbeam 4
Weeping Hornbeam finding it’s way in the grand design.

The next few pictures will show how things progress and enhance the area as the designer originally intended.Weeping European Hornbeam 6

Michael Rosenberg of Plant With Me in the garden
Michael Rosenberg of Plant With Me under the Weeping Hornbeam
Weeping European Hornbeam 1
Weeping European Hornbeam 11 years developing over the walkway
Weeping European Hornbeam 7
Carpinus Betulus Pendula ‘Weeping Hornbeam’ halfway to its final destination (over the pathway).
Weeping European Hornbeam 2
Looking under the Weeping European Hornbeam


You can see how the plant has developed into a grand specimen welcoming guests into the garden. As the pictures demonstrate the tree has begun to meet full expectations. When this occurs the management changes gears to maintaining the size and shape verses developmental pruning to fit the spot. It is the combination of developmental pruning practices with long term maintenance disciplines that makes all the difference between one designer and the next. A designer not only should be designing to meet your garden needs but should be the individual educating homeowners on the responsibly of garden care, management and long term expectations. This too has been a major failure in the landscaping industry. This failure has caused environmental issues with waste of resources and waste of money.

I will conclude by writing how all design takes into consideration space and how to coordinate elements to create inviting environments. In the end all designers want to do is envelope you with all those things YOU desire to feel at home. For we do not live in your house so the greater we as designers understand your needs and wants the more comprehensive we can be at doing our jobs for our clients. Enjoy this springtime and appreciate the cool weather and how it is wrapping our outdoor world in a grand HUG. Love Life – Live Happy – Share it with others. Peace!

Under the 5 year summer Canopy, Weeping European Hornbeam
Under the 5 year summer Canopy, Weeping European Hornbeam



Walk On By the Weeping European Hornbeam
Walk On By the Weeping European Hornbeam










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