Light and life are inextricably related. From its beginning, the human race has worshipped, celebrated and sought to catch light. And I feel that gardeners, over most people, are aware of lighting: how it affects our plants and the way it influences our moods. Phototropism (how plants grow toward sunlight ) and seasonal affective disorder are just two examples of its effects.
People appear to desire what they apparently can’t have. People with straight hair want curly hair. People that have curly hair want straight hair. Shade gardeners want more sun. Sun anglers desire more colour. My personal garden resides in partial to full shade. Through the years I have celebrated it, cursed it, embraced it and tweaked it. My garden has gone through this procedure with me, indulging me, being patient with me and sometimes fighting back at me. Finally, my garden is all the better for it, as am I. We’re at peace.
Let me take you on my journey. If your garden is a color garden, I think that I can help save you time, money and frustration. Let’s take a stroll and have that dialogue.
Jay Sifford Garden Design
Take inventory of the way that light plays in your own garden. Since most gardeners realize, a truly great personalized garden takes some time to develop. This type of garden is no one-weekend DIY project, regardless of what television commercials preach to us. A fantastic gardener is one who has developed a keen sense of observation. An experienced gardener knows that sunlight strikes her or his garden differently at various times of year, the intensity of the sun ebbs and flows with the seasons, and that the color of sun varies with its own intensity.
Whether you are in the process of initially developing your colour garden or at the continuous process of renovating and editing, take a year to really notice how light interacts with your garden. Take photographs or maintain a journal to document your findings. Your garden is going to be better for it.
On the edge of my pond, beside the largest waterfall, is a flat boulder I affectionately call my”wine stone .” I sit in the evenings with coffee or in the day with a fantastic malbec, watch the koi and reflect in your life.
I shot this movie one day in late spring, when the morning sun appeared through the trees and flawlessly choreographed the interactive dance between the hardy begonia (Begonia grandis, zones 6 to 9) and also the fall fern (Dryopteris erythrosora, zones 5 to 9). This only happens for a few minutes daily, but what a spectacular way to begin the day. I wouldn’t miss it.
Ron Yeo, FAIA Architect
Consider pruning, limbing up or elimination to open up your distance. Your garden space will talk to you if you open your mind and soul and just listen. My approach to garden design incorporates a bit of mysticism, as I feel that a distance will enable you to know what it yearns to become. A successfully implemented garden is a cooperation between what the space says and the way the gardener interprets this speech. This skill comes naturally to some people but is a learned skill to most. If you are having trouble in this area, don’t hesitate to request the help of a fantastic garden designer or landscape architect with whose work you are familiar.
Once you have a vision to the shape and scope your garden needs to take, you might find it necessary to prune, thin saplings or limb your trees up to create an environment that welcomes sun. You might also need to hire a fantastic arborist to remove trees that are detracting from the overall feel of your garden or inhibiting your sight lines. This occasionally requires fortitude, but your garden will thank you in the long run.
Chicago Specialty Gardens, Inc..
Embrace the art of backlighting. Some of the mundane plants in your garden will suddenly take on fresh vibrancy when placed in front of available light.
Some of the best plants for this technique are the ones that are translucent by nature, the ones that catch and diffuse light.
My favorite translucent plant is the sometimes-invasive horsetail rush (Equisetum hyemale, zones 3 to 11). Its 3- to 4-foot vertical growth habit is an ideal foil for a curved or rounded sculpture, or a clumping shrub. Just make sure you contain it, lest it spread indefinitely.
Jay Sifford Garden Design
Aside from backlighting an individual plant, you can backlight an whole garden scene. This photo shows a magic late-afternoon garden second. Who wouldn’t wish to return home to this after sitting at rush-hour traffic?
Harold Leidner Landscape Architects
Catch reflections on water. Water features are excellent instruments to use in our quest for inviting light into our garden spaces. Water churns, bubbles, spills and cascades, all the while catching light in ever-changing ways. A correctly sited and designed water feature may be a mesmerizing focal point.
I wholeheartedly suggest that you consult a pond specialist, and that you view her or his work in different gardens, before you design and set up your own pond. A badly constructed water feature will probably be an expensive disappointment.
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Jay Sifford Garden Design
Watch ice light the winter garden. Most of us think ponds to be warm-weather features that are coated, drained or place to bed for winter. Your pond may reinvent itself in winter, performing double duty as a cold-weather garden focal point. Consider the captivating elegance of ice because it forms at a pond. Notice the way its opaque beauty captures the winter light better than any artist could.
Jay Sifford Garden Design
Insert glass. Nothing catches, reflects and refracts light such as glass. The pieces shown here have been custom designed to mimic fresh shoots of plant growth and placed so that they rise out of a sea of shade-loving ground cover.
One thing to consider before installing a glass sculpture in your garden is potential breakage from overhead limbs falling in inclement weather. Assess your financial plan and tolerance amount for reduction before purchasing your glass. If you decide to put money into a glass garden sculpture, then you’ll get shining rewards.
Jay Sifford Garden Design
Let light project onto a screen. Much like the drive-in film theaters of the past, you are able to project light in your garden, capturing its movement and nuances, by erecting a wall or screen, or perhaps by enlisting the side of your residence. This three-paneled privacy screen, built from concrete backer board like you’d find beneath a tile flooring, faces west and jobs a virtual documentary of the day sun. Who wouldn’t wish to watch this light display?
Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates
Create the illusion of light with chartreuse foliage. The human eye generally reads sun as having a yellow cast. You can present the illusion of light into a color garden by introducing plants using chartreuse foliage. This photograph illustrates the principle brilliantly. Do not you almost wish to squint when you view this photo? On a closer look, you understand this really is a shaded area, the impact of sun is an illusion.
Pulling off this illusion does require some skill, but here are some tips to get you started.
Begin by observing the way that shafts of sunlight pierce the tree canopy in your garden and the consequent shape on your garden floor. Is it an elongated triangle, a line or a patch? Leave your plants in their pots and arrange them in this pattern until the outcome is gratifying to you. Easier still, wait till the sun creates its distinctive shape on your garden flooring, then trace the pattern with your potted plants.
Among my favorite chartreuse-leafed plants for you to consider, taking into consideration your specific growing requirements:
‘Sun Power’ and ‘Sum and Substance’ hostas (Hosta cvs, zones 4 to 9)‘All Gold’ and‘Aureola’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra cvs, zones 4 to 9)‘Orange Fantasy’ Japanese walnut (Acer palmatum‘Orange Fantasy’, zones 5 to 9)Golden sweet flag (Acorus gramineus‘Ogon’, zone 5 to 9)Scotch moss (Sagina subulata‘Aurea’, zones 3 to 9) ‘Skylands’ Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis‘Skylands’, zones 4 to 8)
Note that plants with chartreuse foliage require at least a few hours of sun to carry out correctly.
Katia Goffin Gardens
Insert plants with white flowers or foliage foliage. Nothing brightens a color garden such as white flowers and foliage. While white doesn’t imitate sun quite as well as chartreuse, it’s still quite effective in providing the illusion of lighting. It’s also especially effective at dusk, when it appears to glow.
What’s a color garden without a minumum of one hydrangea? Before buying your hydrangea, do some quick research on the types best suited to your location.
The oakleafs and mopheads are much better suited to colour, whereas the paniculatas require sun to achieve their thriving possible. ‘Little Honey’ (Hydrangea quercifolia‘Little Honey’, zones 5 to 9) combines the best features for our discussion since it may take colour or partial sun, also has chartruese foliage and white flowers. Another one of my favorites is ‘Incrediball’ (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Abetwo’, zones 3 to 9). Its nondrooping 12-inch flower heads are real showstoppers.
Some plants with variegated foliage that you consider are bugloss (Brunnera macrophylla, zones 3 to 2 ),’Patriot’ hosta (Hosta‘Patriot’, zones 3 to 2 ),’River Mist’ Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium‘River Mist’, zones 4 to 9), also’Floating Clouds’ redbud (Cercis canadensis‘Floating Clouds’, zones 5 to 9).
Possidento Lightscapes LLC
Invest in garden light. Nothing animates a garden quite like good-quality lighting. This spectacular photo says everything. There are a number of points to consider before light setup. Do your research concerning technology, yearly utility cost, and fixture and bulb life.
LED light has come a long way in just the last couple of years and is extremely economical as time passes. Buy the best-quality light you are able. Cheaper lighting is going to wind up costing you more in the long term, in terms of both replacements and electricity usage.
Most significant, decide which focal points should be illuminated and which ones are better left to daylight. There is a fine line between just enough light and also much. Consider the enchanting elegance of shadows and shadow to gain the most from light your garden.
I have seen way too many DIY lighting jobs that wind up looking like the vegas strip. If you are not gifted with an eye for design, please consider having your system designed and installed by a certified professional with whose work you are familiar.
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