I love flowers. I always have flowers in my home and garden.
But I have to confess when designing a new garden, flowers are last on my list of things to think about.
Because I want my outdoor spaces to look great all year round, even when flowers and few and far between or not there at all.
I rely on those stalwarts of design – space, line, texture and focal points.
First, work with space
A city terrace in Sydney, Australia
And these spaces are generally worked out based on the shape of the site, the activities which will happen there, whether the feel is organic or straight…
And whether I want to soften the space or not…
Second, use line
Examples of line sit well in the pictures above. The line of the seating in Paal Grant’s Conversation; the lines of the pond, containers and plants on the city terrace.
Using line though can be much more sophisticated.
And then there is the breathtaking ‘Guilfoyle’s Volcano in Melbourne Botanic Gardens.
Third, use texture
You can see the use of texture in the image of Guilfoyle’s Volcano above. Some of the detail is shown below.
And probably the most sophisticated use of texture in plants is shown in ‘The path Of Light’ By in the Singapore Garden Festival earlier this year
Note the block planting to achieve the look.
I have to say, of all of these bricks of design, my favorite is to play on texture – especially the many different textures provided by plants.
Focal Points and accents
Add a zing of color or contrast in focal points or accents.
Each of the images shown above actually use all of these design bricks
One of the most beautiful I know, however is ‘Sotomaya Life’ an exhibition garden from Chelsea this year. This garden relies on every design tool in the book, not least, use texture to create beauty.