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What’s hot in garden design and outdoor spaces

Predicting upcoming trends and styles in any arena can be a bit of a stab in the dark.

However, horticulturist Adam Woodhams said landscaping tended to follow more predictable pathways and lent itself to trend-mapping.

The lifelong gardening enthusiast and former TV presenter shared some of his top landscaping trends that were likely to spring up on properties in 2018 with New Homes.

Seamlessness

Connecting indoor and outdoor spaces will continue into 2018, with exterior facing rooms opening up effortlessly through a continuance of textures, colours and styles.

“We want our indoor spaces to not just connect but to be a free-flowing part of the outdoors,” Mr Woodhams said.

Coming together

Time with family and friends has always been important and in a busy world it’s becoming increasingly so.

Expect to see spaces that lend themselves to social occasions in 2018.

“Whether it be a dedicated outdoor dining space, a fire pit with comfy seating or plenty of shady chairs beside the pool, providing spaces that naturally draw people to congregate, chill and chat is a must,” Mr Woodhams said.

The 30-minute garden

Mr Woodhams said 2018 was about enjoying being in your garden, not working on your garden. Plant choices and design will reflect many homeowners’ desire to spend roughly 30 minutes care on their garden per week.

Stress-free care

“A huge growth area in 2017 that will continue into 2018 is the area of quality battery-powered garden tools,” Mr Woodhams said.

“Homeowners and professionals have taken to the ‘always on’ nature of battery gear that avoids messing around with refuelling and starting.

“Plus, the massively lower noise levels mean most can be used without hearing protection, and your neighbours won’t even know you’re running it.”

Lawn lives

Regardless of how small your patch is, homeowners love having a piece of natural lawn for a soft playing surface or snooze in the sun.

Mr Woodhams said a real lawn also reduced reflected noise and sun glare, and remained cooler in hot weather than pavers or AstroTurf.

Privacy

With blocks getting smaller and neighbours getting closer, designers are getting smarter with green choices for screening and privacy.

Mr Woodhams said clumping bamboo will become the most popular choice as it’s fast-growing, reliable and drought, heat and cold-tolerant.

“One word of caution is on selecting the right varieties,” he said.

“Talk to a professional for advice as the wrong form can end up towering over your home.

“My personal favourite is variegated dwarf Malay. It’s a true hedging bamboo and grows to a very neat 3m with dense foliage from top to bottom, perfect for most suburban screening situations.”

Other trends to look out for include the continuation of the vertical garden and greenwalls, smart LED lighting, the creation of ‘me-zones’ for some quiet time and the integration of the ‘colour of the year’ as declared by Pantone – ultraviolet.

Article source: https://thewest.com.au/lifestyle/new-homes/whats-hot-in-garden-design-and-outdoor-spaces-ng-b88741958z

Clemson architecture students design, build garden pavilion

An architect’s job typically ends when his or her design begins construction, but for a class of Clemson University students, the design was just the first step.

The 12 students at the Clemson Architecture Center in Charleston designed and constructed a pavilion and storage shed at the Medway Park and Community Garden on James Island as part of a semester-long class project meant to help students gain a better understanding of their work, said David Pastre, senior lecturer at the university and instructor of the class.

“This is the fruition of four months of work, start to finish,” Pastre said.

Medway Park and Community Garden opened in 2015, and plants are grown year-round, according to Leslie Wade, community garden coordinator for the Charleston Parks Conservancy. The conservancy also manages community gardens in Avondale and in the Elliotborough neighborhood of downtown Charleston.

Previously, the conservancy had been storing gardening tools in a metal trailer, which stood out from the rest of the garden’s more rustic theme, and there was no space for community gathering in the garden.

Now, benches and tables line the wooden pavilion; a basin in the pavilion to wash fruits and vegetables can be covered with a fitted plank to become a table; and a storage shed holds the conservancy’s tools.

“We hope with the conservancy to be able to do some more programming there: classes, events and what-not for the neighborhood and James Island area,” Wade said.

The students in the architecture class — 11 graduate students and one undergraduate — worked through each step of the building process to learn what it takes to turn an idea into reality, working through multiple designs to meet the conservancy’s needs, seeking permits from the city and physically constructing the pavilion.

The design portion took place from August to the beginning of November; for the final six weeks of the semester, it was all construction, initially in a carpentry shop at the Clemson Design Center and then on-site at the garden for the final three weeks.

The most challenging part of the class is time management, Pastre said.

Tyler McKenzie, a student in the class, said the program gave him “valuable insight” into the process of designing and building something, especially when working with a team of people with different ideas.

“This is, for me, the most fulfilling part of my architectural education ever,” McKenzie said. “I’m in year six now, I’ve got one more semester to go, and this is by far the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt at the end of a semester.”

Architecture students don’t typically participate in the construction of their designs, and McKenzie said it was a rewarding experience for him to see a design he helped create come to life.

“Through this process, I’ve gained a lot of respect for people in the construction field, and it’s really made me understand that when I draw something on the computer, when we get out in the field and it’s actually being built, it’s exactly going to be a one-to-one (conversion),” he said. “There will be things that are different because of ease of construction, and just the construction processes are just different, and you have to work within those.”

Pastre, who teaches the class every semester, said that the projects aren’t always to the same scale as the garden pavilion but that he tries to make sure the students have the chance to build a permanent structure, usually for a nonprofit.

“They don’t really get the full breadth of it in school usually, and so this is that opportunity for them to get a lot of that (experience),” he said.

A prior class from Clemson designed and built a pavilion at the Avondale community garden, and Pastre’s classes have also worked with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and Redux Contemporary Art Center.

“The scale is small, although it looks big,” he said. “But in reality, I mean, it’s a complicated build for a simple solution. It’s just a pavilion, an open-air pavilion, so you don’t have any means of egress or fire safety and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements. I mean, a lot of that has to happen with a typical project, but this gets them the idea, the breadth, of controlling a project from beginning to end.”

Pastre said the class is also about trying to “take to heart” the mission of Clemson as a land-grant university.

“Design services are something that is critically needed oftentimes, and we figured it makes sense to have that be something we do for a relatively meager budget,” Pastre said. “Just pay for materials, and then everything else is the students’ education.”

Wade said the Charleston Parks Conservancy paid $10,000 for the materials to build the storage shed and pavilion. The conservancy covered the cost through fundraising and a $5,000 grant from Publix.

Wade said the conservancy hopes to work with the Clemson Architecture Center again in the future.

“It’s been pretty amazing to watch this whole process, and it’s really neat that they get to learn through this process,” she said.

Article source: https://charlestonbusiness.com/news/architecture/73847/

Linda Cobb: What’s new in gardening trends this year

If you are a gardener, your excitement begins to build as the days get closer to spring. We recently had an usually warm winter day, and I took a walk in the garden. The air was right, and even the soil looked warm and friendly. But common sense tells me that we have more of winter to come.

Every year when I get to February, I have to control myself because I can’t wait until spring. If there are spring garden symposiums, I attend every one. I also go to all the home shows to see if I can find a new plant that will get me excited.

I get out my old journals and try to imagine when things will bloom. I have a list of things to do and when to do them to get ready for spring. That will be discussed in a future column.

For this week’s column, I want to talk about this year’s garden trends. I wanted to do this early in the season so that you can make plans for your garden.

Rhododendrons and roses are making a comeback, and I am happy about that.

Landscape pines also are stylish and are being used in creative ways. The potted ones are fuss-free plants and evergreen.

We also are seeing hydrangea mania this year because there are so many new varieties. Research them and add a few varieties to your garden. I have always believed that no garden should be without at least four different types of hydrangea. Growers are making them with stronger stems and larger flower heads. I would suggest putting two of them in very large pots.

When it comes to plant hunting, refine your garden by adding unique plants that you love. Make it your own. Go to great lengths to create that special place in your garden. It will give your garden new life and you will be proud of it.

This is also the year of “show me how.” There are so many classes being held on how to do almost anything from laying your own patio to installing your own sprinkler system. Learn how to do some of these things for yourself. You will be glad that you did.

Finally, find your own garden tribe. There are many groups to join with people who like what you like. Or you can get a group together and go garden hopping. Not only will you see new things, but you will learn so much about gardening from other people.

Activities coming up include Clemson Extension Program offering advance master gardener training from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb 21. Extension agents Drew Jeffers, Barbara Smith, Joey Williamson, and Jordan Franklin will meet students at the University Center of Greenville, located at 225 S. Pleasantburg Drive. For more information, call Jordan Franklin at 803-365-0632 or email at nfrankl@clemson.edu.

Linda Cobb is a master gardener who lectures, teaches, and does garden design in South Carolina. She can be reached at 864-574-8493 or email her at lindacobb@charter.net. Visit her website at www.mygardenersguide.com

 

 

Article source: http://www.goupstate.com/lifestyle/20180213/linda-cobb-whats-new-in-gardening-trends-this-year

James Dulley: Many designs available for making storm windows

Send inquiries to James Dulley, Lincoln Journal Star, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.

Article source: http://journalstar.com/lifestyles/home-and-garden/james-dulley-many-designs-available-for-making-storm-windows/article_a90ddb6d-6afc-59a6-823d-8af8bdb62abe.html

Color-driven landscapes are harder than they look

The most eye-catching part of a garden plant is its flower, and the most captivating element of a bloom is its color. You might think then that designing a garden should be an exercise in painting with flowers. This idea once held a lot of sway, but color-driven garden design is, by and large, a dead duck.

Gardeners today are more relaxed about their plantings and are driven less by color schemes than the desire for naturalistic effects. We are still drawn to flowers and have our own color preferences, but the need for elaborate, color-coded borders has generally vanished.

There are ways to pinpoint plant color — the most famous is the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart, essentially paint charts with holes in them for matching chips directly with a flower — but I have never seen a gardener in the United States use one.

This retreat from overt color design doesn’t mean that we should abandon our interest in color theory. Every gardener needs to know how color works.

To that end, we mark the Smithsonian’s publication of “Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours,” a reproduction or facsimile of an 1821 manual that is slender physically but a giant in its significance. It was devised by a Scottish art teacher named Patrick Syme and based on a system of color classification by a German mineralogist, Abraham Werner. The book standardized the color descriptions of scientific specimens in a pivotal era of discovery. One of its users was Charles Darwin.

But color systems are needed by artists as well, and by the end of the 19th century, color science had made the leap from botany to horticulture, most famously with the work of the Arts and Crafts garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll. She started out as a painter but turned to gardening after her eyesight deteriorated.

While Claude Monet was capturing his garden on canvas, Jekyll was turning her unrealized paintings into gardens.

She put together planting plans for borders of hot colors and cool colors. Her favored approach was to compose a plant border that started with cool colors, moved to hot ones and then receded to the cooler ones.

This coherent artistry had great appeal and was adopted on both sides of the Atlantic. One of Jekyll’s admirers was Vita Sackville-West, whose renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle, south of London, includes a white garden aped in private gardens around the world. I prefer Sissinghurst’s Purple Border, which, as I recall, is a medley of reds, pinks and blues as well as purple, all set against a high brick wall.

The desire to group plants by color is thrilling when done well, but it leads you into a maze — you must master color theory before moving on to high-level gardening.

First, the theory. If you’ve taken an art class, you know that the appearance of a color is controlled by three components: hue, brightness (or value) and saturation.

A pastel color — seen in a pink Oriental poppy, perhaps — has high value and high saturation, making it light and bright. The pale color of a blushed peony has high value but low saturation. The rich color of a crimson gallica rose has low value and high saturation. This is explained in a book by the late Sandra Austin, who was an instructor of landscape design at George Washington University. “Color in Garden Design” was published in 1998 but still can be found online.

Austin hoped that if gardeners understood the technical attributes of color, they could use it more effectively in the landscape.

But mastering color theory is one thing; having the proficiency to create a season-long color-coordinated garden is something else.

Even if you include foliage as part of the color plan, as Austin suggests, you’d still need an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and how they grow in your garden.

Article source: http://www.sentinelsource.com/news/national_world/color-driven-landscapes-are-harder-than-they-look/article_d2d17b74-c01c-5322-84e8-9a31c952e7c8.html

In the Garden: Restoration on horizon for one of Allerton’s formal gardens – Champaign/Urbana News

ITG Allerton Triangle Garden new.jpg



By RYAN PANKAU

If you have not visited the formal gardens at the Allerton Park and Retreat Center near Monticello, I strongly recommend making the trip. These spectacular gardens combine exquisite landscape design with sculptures from around the globe to create a flowing transition from Robert Allerton’s magnificent, Georgian-inspired home (constructed in 1900) to 1,500 acres of pristine natural areas in the surrounding park.

It is truly a remarkable and historic place in central Illinois, combining art, history and elaborate design with the flourishing, unimpeded ecosystem of the Sangamon River corridor.

On a recent visit to Allerton, I was able to connect with Micah Putman, park supervisor, to discuss restoration plans for the Triangle Parterre Garden. This garden was originally designed by Allerton himself, featuring short, conical evergreens with an elaborate triangular-shaped hedge at their feet.

Over time, the “short” evergreens have become tall and added significant shade to a once full-sun garden. In fact, these evergreens have been replaced several times over the 100-plus years that this garden has existed. Putman is now looking to once again revitalize this garden.

“The original design called for evergreens no taller than the existing garden walls,” Putman said.

Today, the towering arborvitaes easily reach three or four times the height of the surrounding brick garden walls, which are somewhere around 10 feet in height. Just as any natural system, the garden has changed over time, and much of Allerton’s intended design elements have been lost.

Parterre gardens, like Allerton’s Triangle Garden, are characterized by symmetrical patterns and highly manicured hedges. They are typically installed in flat, level places on the landscape and include intricate paths and hedges that delimit geometric planting beds.

This garden style originated in France during the 15th century and has become well-known across Europe. The European influence on Allerton is evident in sculptures and artwork, as well as garden design elements throughout the park.

“In order to recapture Robert Allerton’s original design inspiration, we plan to replant more appropriately sized arborvitaes,” Putman said. Plans also include a renovation of the characteristic triangle-shaped hedge of aging and invasive privet by replacing it with a boxwood hedge that will revitalize the centerpiece of this garden’s design.

Pathways in parterre gardens are traditionally gravel, sand or mowed grass, which are not as accessible as paved substrates. In order to provide greater accessibly to the Triangle Parterre Garden and other formal gardens south of the Visitor Center, Allerton staff members have installed paved, aggregate paths that mimic the classic pea gravel look of a parterre garden, but provide much greater accessibility.

“The new garden will be practical and functional, but still formal,” Putman said in reference to similar accessible features included in the new plan.

Allerton’s original design included some more practical elements, such as food production. At one point in time, long before the garden’s shade dynamics changed so drastically, plots of sweet corn enjoyed full sun around the border of the Triangle Parterre Garden.

The new design seeks to capture similar elements of practical functionality in the garden border by incorporating a permaculture planting of fruit and nut trees with interplanted vegetables and herbs.

Permaculture is a set of design principles applied to achieve more “permanent” agriculture. Perennial plants are typically chosen and are planted in arrangements that mimic nature. Sustainable productivity is a common goal of permaculture as well, making design with permaculture concepts more appealing to the Allerton staff. “Production areas in the new Triangle Garden will be fun for staff as well as provide excellent educational opportunities for visitors,” Putman said.

The interesting, historically inspired new design for Allerton’s Triangle Parterre Garden will incorporate aspects of formal garden design as well as permaculture to create a beautiful, yet productive space.

Although a plan has been developed, Allerton’s staff noted that funding for the project will be largely dependent on donor support. Allerton recently initiated a standard that any facility projects, including garden renovations, need to supply an endowment along with the renovation costs — ensuring that gardens like this one are not only restored, but maintained for generations to come.

Allerton staff members are currently fundraising for this initiative, along with several other large projects identified as priorities in the park’s 2015 master plan.

Ryan Pankau is a horticulture educator with the University of Illinois Extension, serving Champaign, Ford, Iroquois and Vermilion counties.

Article source: http://www.news-gazette.com/living/2018-02-10/the-garden-restoration-horizon-one-allertons-formal-gardens.html

REVIEWS: Five books to get your gardening juices flowing …

 

“100 Plants to Feed the Bees,”
By the Xerces Society. (Storey Press, 240 pages, $16.95.)

This would have been a useful book when my husband and I planted our bee and butterfly garden four years ago. “Just plant flowers,” it says in the introduction, and that sounds so easy and reassuring. It goes on to suggest which flowers to plant, with at-a-glance pages rich with color photos, range maps and indications of which critters each plant might attract. Not just hummingbirds, butterflies and bees, but so many kinds of bees — honey, and bumble, and long-horned, and mason, and mining, and polyester. (Polyester! I am not kidding.)

Some of the recommended flowers are common and familiar: bee balm, coneflowers, milkweed, goldenrod. But the book also includes herbs such as rosemary, mint, lavender and thyme; shrubs and bushes; and pasture plants. Yes! Go ahead and plant your front yard with alfalfa, scarlet runner beans and sweetclover. You’ll have bees and good wasps (and there are good wasps) and butterflies galore. And such fun at harvest time.

“Northern Gardener: From Apples to Zinnias, 150 Years of Garden Wisdom,” by Mary Lahr Schier. (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 213 pages, $24.95.)

Gardening in the North presents its own problems — a shorter growing season, frigid winters that kill, unpredictable summers, floods, drought. So here is a book for those of us who insist on living here and trying to make things grow, written by Mary Lahr Schier, who has edited the Minnesota State Horticultural Society’s magazine (Northern Gardener) for more than 10 years.

Schier calls on the wisdom of her grandmothers (and includes photos of them), and her book has a sort of grandmotherly tone — warm, friendly and competent.

It is illustrated not just with the requisite color photos of plants but also with historical pictures (check out the woman grimly spraying her garden with DDT back in 1947) and line drawings that teach things of all kinds — how to prune a tree, how to lay out an herb garden, how a cold frame should look.

There are asides and sidebars aplenty, with Schier explaining gently that daylilies are not true lilies, and here is how to make pickles, and here is what to do if you want to make your own potting soil — and here is what not to do.

But mostly, of course, she concentrates on the plants: fruit trees, and lawns, and peonies (though she does not address the pronunciation question: PEE-o-ny, or pee-OH-ny?), and rhododendrons and vegetables. She discusses soil, watering, garden design. Tomatoes get, and deserve, their own chapter, those moody things.

The book has everything you need — except good weather and a warm, gentle rain.

“Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Designing and Growing 200 Easy-Care Plants,” by Robin Stockwell. (Oxmoor House, 288 pages, $24.95.)

One of my St. Paul neighbors grows cactuses in her yard, which I find kind of fascinating. That is not all she has (that would be a forbidding yard indeed), but it is a little spiky plant of interest that adds a certain piquancy to her yard. Until I met her, I had no idea a cactus would grow in Minnesota.

Robin Stockwell’s new book is devoted to succulents, including cactuses, as well as plants that I never thought of as succulents (sedum! really?) and many others that I did (hen and chick, aloe, agave).

Plants that can grow in sand, without much water, might work best in containers here, and Stockwell gets creative, suggesting that a container could be hollowed-out pumpkin shells, wicker baskets, or cones made of moss.

While the book devotes a fair amount of space to design and arrangements, it also covers the basics of propagation, feeding and care.

Beware, however, the A. Saponaria. It’s a star-shaped, grayish, speckled succulent that looks to me like a plumped-up lungwort. But it is powerful! “Avoid planting this species next to an asphalt driveway,” Stockwell warns. “I have seen offsets burrow under and erupt through the pavement.”

 “Nature at Our Doorstep,” by Matt Schuth. (Nodin Press, 145 pages, $19.95.)

This book, says author Matt Schuth, “is about common things in the natural world that many people would find fascinating if they happened to notice them.” And, yes, it is all about the noticing — and then understanding what it is that you saw. Going season by season, Schuth, a naturalist at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, writes about wild turkeys and coyotes, bald eagles and red-tailed hawks, fireflies and dragonflies, owls, woodchucks and deer.

The book is not a field guide, but it’s an illumination of the birds, animals, plants and insects that are living out their lives side by side with us right here in the Twin Cities.

They know about us, but we might not know about them. This book evens the field.

“The Less Is More Garden: Big Ideas for Designing Your Small Yard,” by Susan Morrison. (Timber Press, 222 pages, $29.95.)

You can tell right away that this is a minimalist kind of book because the title and the author’s name are in all-lowercase letters on the cover. Small. Understated. A book for people with tiny yards who still want to be awash in green and blossoms.

It’s less about how to grow your garden, and more about how to design your garden, making the most of every bit of space. Should you bother with a lawn at all, or just dig up everything? Where do you put the ugly, necessary things — the garbage cans and the barbecue grill — without destroying the sense of peace?

Garden designer Susan Morrison talks about the importance of a focal point (which can be a tall clump of plants, or a statue, or a lovely birdbath), choosing a color palette, designing pathways, container gardening, water features and attracting wildlife such as hummingbirds and butterflies. (In a tiny yard, you probably don’t want to attract anything much bigger than that.)

While the yards and gardens pictured do not look terribly small to me, an urban gardener, there is inspiration on just about every page.

Laurie Hertzel is the Star Tribune’s senior editor for books. facebook.com/startribunebooks @StribBooks

 

Article source: http://www.startribune.com/reviews-five-books-to-get-your-gardening-juices-flowing/473589033/

Get your DIY and design fix at KC Remodel + Garden Show – KSHB …


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More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center in February.

More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center. The show kicked off at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9. 

More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center. The show kicked off at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9. 

More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center. The show kicked off at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9. 

More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center. The show kicked off at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 9. 






KANSAS CITY, Mo. — More than 30,000 homeowners are expected to go to the KC Remodel + Garden Show at the American Royal Center in February.

The show kicked off at 10 a.m. Friday, February 9.

It touts itself as the go-to spot for helpful design advice, new products, the latest in décor and inspiration for renovations and landscape projects.

Local and national experts will provide their insight and tips, including Paige Davis from TLC’s Trading Spaces. Zack Giffin from FYI Network’s Tiny House Nation will also be at the show.

DIY experts will give project tips and inspiration for you to make your own DIY work of art that you can take home from the show.

Friday is Hero Day, and all veterans, military, police and fire crews will have free admission and parking. Just bring a valid ID.

Around 15,000 people are expected to show exhibits.

HOURS 

  • Friday, 2/9: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, 2/10: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, 2/11: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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Article source: https://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/get-your-diy-and-design-fix-at-kc-remodel-_-garden-show

Color-driven landscapes are harder than they look

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The most eye-catching part of a garden plant is its flower, and the most captivating element of a bloom is its color. You might think then that designing a garden should be an exercise in painting with flowers. This idea once held a lot of sway, but color-driven garden design is, by and large, a dead duck.

Gardeners today are more relaxed about their plantings and are driven less by color schemes than the desire for naturalistic effects. We are still drawn to flowers and have our own color preferences, but the need for elaborate, color-coded borders has generally vanished.

There are ways to pinpoint plant color — the most famous is the Royal Horticultural Society Color Chart, essentially paint charts with holes in them for matching chips directly with a flower — but I have never seen a gardener in the United States use one.

This retreat from overt color design doesn’t mean that we should abandon our interest in color theory. Every gardener needs to know how color works.

To that end, we mark this week the Smithsonian’s publication of “Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours,” a reproduction or facsimile of an 1821 manual that is slender physically but a giant in its significance. It was devised by a Scottish art teacher named Patrick Syme and based on a system of color classification by a German mineralogist, Abraham Werner. The book standardized the color descriptions of scientific specimens in a pivotal era of discovery. One of its users was Charles Darwin.

But color systems are needed by artists as well, and by the end of the 19th century, color science had made the leap from botany to horticulture, most famously with the work of the Arts and Crafts garden writer and designer Gertrude Jekyll. She started out as a painter but turned to gardening after her eyesight deteriorated.

She put together planting plans for borders of hot colors and cool colors. Her favored approach was to compose a plant border that started with cool colors, moved to hot ones and then receded to the cooler ones.

This coherent artistry had great appeal and was adopted on both sides of the Atlantic. One of Jekyll’s admirers was Vita Sackville-West, whose renowned garden at Sissinghurst Castle, south of London, includes a white garden aped in private gardens around the world. I prefer Sissinghurst’s Purple Border, which, as I recall, is a medley of reds, pinks and blues as well as purple, all set against a high brick wall.

The desire to group plants by color is thrilling when done well, but it leads you into a maze — you must master color theory before moving on to high-level gardening.

First, the theory. If you’ve taken an art class, you know that the appearance of a color is controlled by three components: hue, brightness (or value) and saturation.

A pastel color — seen in a pink Oriental poppy, perhaps — has high value and high saturation, making it light and bright. The pale color of a blushed peony has high value but low saturation. The rich color of a crimson gallica rose has low value and high saturation. This is explained in a book by the late Sandra Austin, who was an instructor of landscape design at George Washington University. “Color in Garden Design” was published in 1998 but still can be found online.

Austin hoped that if gardeners understood the technical attributes of color, they could use it more effectively in the landscape.

But mastering color theory is one thing; having the proficiency to create a season-long color-coordinated garden is something else.

Even if you include foliage as part of the color plan, as Austin suggests, you’d still need an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and how they grow in your garden. Sorry, but you can’t Google that; such knowledge takes years to accumulate through trial and error.

Another factor working against color gardens is our climate, which is colder in winter than England. This alters the plant repertoire. You can’t just crib a planting scheme from an English book.

I can think of a few instances where color-driven gardening still commends itself. The first is in garden areas of light shade, where you could put together plants in considered shades of green and white with a little blue thrown in. Foliage color would be a major element. I might suggest various hostas and ferns, grasses and sedges, Satsuki azaleas, smooth hydrangeas, fothergillas, sasanqua camellias, the native fringe tree, foamflowers, wood asters, foxgloves, Japanese anemones, rue anemones, white varieties of wood anemone and Grecian windflowers, and lots of little white daffodils followed by Virginia bluebells.

The easiest, cheapest color playground is the container, where you can pick long-flowering annuals and tropicals that conform to a given three-or-four-color scheme (or a single color).

Another simple way to play with colors is to mass-plant three or four tulip varieties in a considered color scheme. The show lasts for only a couple of weeks, but it’s a delightfully luxurious way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

How should you piece together a planting plan? It is far more satisfying to compose gardens in terms of textures, forms, heights and blocks of plants rather than color. Such compositions still pack a flower punch, but they aren’t reliant on a constant floral parade for effect. Besides, there are times when the color wheel and rules about complementary and harmonious hues seem irrelevant. Color combinations often take care of themselves, and there will be happy accidents. I am thinking of a tulip named Dordogne, which by rights should be a gaudy disaster, marrying a peachy orange ground with a flame of bubble-gum pink. It looks fabulous.

Article source: http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/unknown/color-driven-landscapes-are-harder-than-they-look-20180210

Japanese gardens can calm you, kids, prisoners: Lessons on Zen-style ‘Visionary Landscapes’

Every pretty patch of nature has the ability to draw us away from our overly tech-connected worlds. Yet there’s something about Japanese gardens that seem to take us on a journey, to transport us, mentally and physically, to a peaceful place.

Wander through a wooden entrance gate and stroll on a graceful stone path, over a moon bridge, past a koi pond, and feel a sense of calm. Stay in the moment, slow your mind and let stone lanterns guide you on what author Kendall H. Brown calls an “external and internal discovery.”

Brown’s well-researched, new book, “Visionary Landscapes,” reveals that Japanese-style gardens are so popular that most are outside of Japan. The global promotion of creating tranquil landscapes filled with fiery maple trees and Zen-style raked sand began at world’s fairs 150 years ago.

In the late 19th century until World War II, Americans like architect Frank Lloyd Wright continued to be fascinated by Japanese culture, aesthetic and design. Wright and others adopted pieces, from erecting pavilion-like structures to planting goldflame Japanese spirea.

After the war, Japanese-style “friendship” gardens were installed in U.S. cities, including Portland, to mend relations between the two countries.

Today, elements adapted from Japan can be found in private yards, commercial spaces, schools and public places.

Why? Medical studies show that rock-steady nature — even seen amid stress-inducing, crisis settings like hospitals and prisons — improves health, healing and mental well-being.

In 2004, respected Portland landscape designer Hoichi Kurisu conceived of a Japanese-style healing garden for the Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital in rural Oregon.

Kurisu’s “green remedy” and “infusion of serenity” can clear and invigorate minds, writes Brown.

Or as Kurisu states in his essay, included in the book, “What you feel is beyond what is visible.”

The 128-page hardback book profiles Kurisu and four other North American landscape designers who specialize in Japanese-style gardens. Projects range from mountain retreats to seaside lots, from a penthouse in the city to expansive parks.

More than 200 color photos by David M. Cobb illustrate carefully composed, complex environments to simple concepts, like using a small stone basin to catch rainwater.

In the chapter devoted to Kurisu’s work, we learn more about landscapes that hope to harness nature’s redeeming power, and support mental, physical and spiritual health.

Kurisu has worked all over the world, but he is best known in Oregon for supervising the construction of the Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park, based on garden designer Takuma Tono’s vision.

Starting in 1963, Kurisu led a team that helped change the site of the old Portland zoo into what’s considered one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Kurisu founded the venerable landscape design-build-maintain firm Kurisu International In 1972 to serve clients, from discerning homeowners to demanding city officials.

One of his current projects is working with inmates to create a Japanese-inspired healing garden between the prison yard and a cellblock at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem.

He’s donating his time, talent and materials to design a respite from the incarceration experience, as well as a place that teaches practical skills and may improve outlooks and aid rehabilitation.

Kurisu will give a free talk about the transformative potential of Japanese-style gardens on Sunday, Feb. 11 at Willamette University in Salem. He will also talk about the prison project on Feb. 15 at a sold-out lecture at the Portland Japanese Garden.

As a boy, Kurisu survived the atomic bomb that was dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. He told people at the Portland Japanese Garden that a mountain that separated his family’s home from the bombing site saved his life.

Kurisu and the garden have had a long and meaningful connection, says Kristin Faurest, director of Portland Japanese Garden’s International Japanese Garden Training Center.

“His vision of creating landscapes that give restorative experiences resonates perfectly with our mission” and the belief that gardens are not a luxury for the fortunate few, she says. “Connecting with something beautiful and natural is a fundamental need for human beings.”

In addition to Kurisu, other designers spotlighted in “Visionary Landscapes: Japanese Garden Design in North America, The Work of Five Contemporary Masters” ($24.95, Tuttle Publishing) are Takeo Uesugi, whose gardens encouraged joyful living; David Slawson, who concentrates on fusing native elements with the surrounding landscape; Shin Abe, who produces “visual stories”; and Marc Keane, who concentrates on art in Japanese-style gardens.

Each was selected for his design philosophy and ability to create immersive experiences promoting personal and social well-being.

The book by Brown, who is a professor of Asian Art History at California State University, Long Beach and who also wrote “Japanese-style Gardens of the Pacific West Coast” and “Quiet Beauty: The Japanese Gardens of North America,” will be appreciated by people who already find gardens soothing as well as those who might need convincing.

For hands-in-the-soil fans of Japanese-style gardens, looking at this book might inspire them to expand not only their backyard plantings but their image of classic garden forms and features.

As Brown explains, American Japanese-style gardens are evolving: They are translations, not transplants. The higher goal is to use them as a way to let go of routines and reality.

In this way, Japanese gardens can “serve as a kind of road home,” he writes, “a way of connecting with idealization of nature that restore us mentally and physically.”

— Janet Eastman

jeastman@oregonian.com
503-799-8739
@janeteastman

Article source: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2018/02/pdx_japanese_garden_kurisu_vis.html