Silhouettes and Structure

Today is the day that my friend Tamara is going to publish her blog.  I’m very excited for her and can hardly wait until it’s ready.  Her passion is interior decorating and she uses many nature inspired pieces in her designs. She messaged me late yesterday and told me she was waiting for the sun to come up so she could snap a final photo she needed. That gave me inspiration and I grabbed my camera and caught this beautiful sunrise over the gardens.  I love the silhouettes of the trees against that gorgeous sky.

Just as she decorates homes with furniture and accessory pieces using the design concept of form follows function, a gardener would be wise to do the same when designing an outdoor space. This means that the look of the space should be secondary to its use or function.  For instance, if you have a small property and want an area for children to play, it would not be practical to fill it with flowering plants. The functional aspect should be met first.  Therefore a lawn or play area would first be designated and maybe in a corner a small planting bed containing flowering plants could be added.

We are very fortunate to have mature trees here around the two homes we own, our farm house and Cottage at Crabtree Gardens Guest House on the neighboring property. These two very old maple trees are a great blessing in the summer, casting a wide area of shade around the side and rear areas of the Cottage. They are functional because they afford us much needed shade.  They also provide us with structure.

Structure is another aspect of garden design that should be considered when planning a garden. I will simply describe structure as something that gives form and stability.  Trees, shrubs, trellises, fence, rock walls all can be considered structure.  So can tall grasses and plants if they remain in the garden throughout the year and are allowed to stay in their natural state and not be cut back in the fall.

Start designing your garden space by first determining what function it will be used for, then you can start building upon the other aspects of design. It makes sense to have a clear understanding of what you want first so that it will be easier to get from one step to the next in garden design.  Follow along with me on future posts as I walk you through the journey of sensible garden design working along with nature.


About crabtreegardens

I am a passionate decorator and the head gardener at Crabtree Gardens, LLC, which is a five acre naturalized garden located in Drums, PA. I advocate chemical-free, low maintenance gardening methods and working along with nature. I'm a freelance garden writer and member of GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators.
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