Adrian Higgins of the Washington Post has written another great article (print page link) on residential landscape design. This one focuses on a lecture he attended where Gordon Hayward spoke about small garden design.
This lecture at a symposium at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton was also a good chance for Hayward to promote his new book “Small Buildings, Small Gardens” (Gibbs Smith, $29.95), but I digress.
Hayward makes a lot of sense when he talks about the steps involved in residential design; or rather, the order of the steps. I have always tried to talk about the big picture, thinking conceptually and not looking at the little things(perennials, pots, paver style, etc.) first.
This is also mentioned in the article by Higgins.
Finally, he comes up with plants that bloom in the growing season. “What we usually do is just the opposite,” he said. “We go to a nursery and find a plant we can’t live without.”
This is one of those points that doesn’t get stressed enough; looking at the details before the larger picture is decided. A major mistake in landscape design. I like to call this starting big and working to the small.
If I am repeating myself it’s because this is the biggest mistake I see with beginning designers, amateurs, and gardeners.
Another interesting point in the Higgins article was one about outdoor sheds, and small buildings.
Hayward makes the point that many sheds in America (I would add houses) have roof pitches that are too low. A low roof makes a prefabricated shed easier to ship, but it also lacks the charm and lightness of a steeply pitched roof.
Wow; I agree, and also a loss of character with all those low pitched roofs. A chance to get away from the everyday sameness we see across American backyards.
Take a few minutes to go through the article it’s well worth your time.