In so many of my designs, I subscribe to a sort of anarchy, I admit. I am a craven lover of color and spice in an outdoor environment and many decisions I make regarding a landscape often take place at a nursery and revolve around what is available at the time. This would be bad if there were some limited supply of plants. However, lol, that is not the case. My primary worry is often how to stay within my own budget! I find spending money on others, in this sense, to be absolutely and totally recklessly fun. This fact has gotten me very “chewed out”, by everyone but the fortunate homeowners who I inflict my addiction to pretty plants on.
Obviously, I have some friends out there!!! I exaggerate here, obviously, and even while there is more than a smidgen of truth to it, if I lost money somewhere, it was long before the plant choices. Anyway, so I admit to some impulsiveness while implementing my designs. Please know, however, that the choices do have some basis in experience with installing landscapes by some excellent and even well-known landscape architects. It was these people from whom I learned the basics.
The above picture, for example, was done with seasonal aspects borne in mind. The Fall colors of this design are only beginning in that shot and deepened with pure color – some really dazzling stuff – all red, orange and yellow to the max. Needless to say, the Spring and Summer colors – with my emphasis on perennials – also shone well. I also include Winters in my landscapes. I use evergreen conifers, pines and broadleaf plants as extensively as possible.
So my real bias is towards “splashes” of color, interspersed with more permanent grounding in the sense of solidity, which I believe “anchor plants” supply – shrubs, trees, even ground covers – that maintain a fastened-down look and structural element of permanence. I also use rocks and art features as equally permanent and which supply that same solidity.
Now, there are other ways to achieve a beautiful landscape – far less riotous and anarchistic as some of these examples of mine. Mass Planting, for example, is a concept I actually like very much and which I actually implement when given a large enough area. Here, for example, is mass planting in the form of trees, a grove of Shirotae Cherries we planted, believe it or not, over an underground parking garage:
Every plant and tree shown in the picture below we actually planted ourselves, maybe 2 weeks to one month prior to this picture. Their huge size made it much easier to “mass plant” inasmuch as so few took up so much space. Nevertheless, they still give the desired effect: a permanent and uni-colored structural base to the looser items which were eventually planted below them. This particular area, looked at from the rear like this, was also strictly mass-planted from this angle. The front was somewhat wilder, containing a waterfall and numerous swaths of perennials and grasses.
Below: Here’s a look from the front, just prior to the placement of all the color I am tempting you to imagine, lol. Dam…….I just found I don’t have those pictures on this computer, so use your imagination. It’s sure purty! Trust me! 😉 The waterfall here, by the way, goes two ways. You can see the falls (barely) on either side as they come down the little rise there……enlarge it.
Anyway, I love points of interest and lots of varying color, all the way through the year.
I just think we all want to enjoy it as it develops as much as when it sits still!