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Framing the View

Posted by runktrun z7a MA (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 24, 08 at 9:46

**Preface** I originally thought about and wrote this post yesterday and just as I finished typing the very last word my lap top battery fried and I lost the whole *%&^#ing post so if these thoughts seem disconnected and you have a sense that something is missing I am blaming it on the hardware. Remember kt savesavesavesave.

"The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair." Oliver Wendell Holmes

Ironically within the last day or two I found myself starring out one of my kitchen windows feeling very satisfied with the view, turned on P Allen Smith only to listen to him discuss the topic of Framing the View, and lastly a New England forum member who shall remain nameless (idabean) has been unsuccessfully attempting to send me a beautiful photo taken from one of her windows (who knows perhaps if we are lucky we can cajole her into posting a photo here on Garden Web.).
Now that the fall season has officially arrived and most of us will be spending increasingly more time in doors it might be a good time to consider the view of our landscape from inside our homes.
Framing the View within the garden is one of P Allen Smiths twelve principals of design and he has this to say about it;
Framing the View - Directing attention to an object or view by screening out surrounding distractions while creating a visually balanced and organized composition.
The goal of framing a view is to draw attention to an object or scene.
Framing the view can achieved by opening a sight line to the desired subject and screening out surrounding distractions.
Views inside or outside the garden room may be framed.
Windows and doorways inside the house serve as frames for outside views.

Mr. Smith suggested that we use our cameras as a garden tool to look closely at the views from each of our windows and doors. You might also play with the zoom and wide angle to try eliminating some things in the garden and take note of what then is highlighted in your line of sight.
Another landscape architect (long forgotten who) suggested that the landscape needs to be an extension of what is happening inside the home, for example you would never want to plant an informal veggie garden outside of a very formal dinning room window. As nothing in my world comes close to the definition of formal this is not an issue for me but I am guessing this makes quite a bit of sense for those with more stately homes.

Did you originally layout your landscape with the views from indoors as a primary element? Have you like me been focused on hiding views like your driveway or your neighbors trash cans? Or have you been free to create a vista that solely draws the eye to a fabulous focal point? Certainly the larger your property is the simpler creating a beautiful view can be but apparently even a person with a small garden can borrow a distant view. Have you borrowed a view? Would you share some photos of your landscape from inside your home that you are either happy or unhappy with?

I am happy with the view from this window for most of the year although I am still working on improving it in the winter.
Photobucket

The view from this kitchen window makes me shudder every time I look through the window and hopefully will be very different by next spring. *Dee note that the sassafras and saplings present the biggest problem here.
Photobucket


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Framing the View

I agree with you, with such long winters in New England I think the view from *inside* is as important, if not more, than from within the garden. I'm taking a class in garden bed design, and we were instructed to choose our "problem spot." Mine is this view from the den at the back of my house. (It was literally taken from inside the house, hence the fuzzy screen "filter"!) The beds closest to the window, on either side of the little paths, are my focus. They've got the potential to be quite pretty, but at the moment are disorganized and cluttered. The stump is to a big oak tree that unexpectedly had to come down this summer due to disease, and we're tentatively thinking about using it as the pedestal to a garden statue or urn or birdbath or something. Suggestions welcome!

Photobucket


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RE: Framing the View

Gardens and photography are two things I have trouble with. There can be such a difference between the garden and photographs of the garden that the photographs are completely different art form. For one thing, gardens move. Photographs don't. It's also possible to completely crop certain things out of photographs. Not only can you remove unsightly things from the photographs, but you can also totally change the mood of the garden. By definition, almost, a photograph has limits. Like Alice, who knows what is down a winding garden path in a photograph? In the real garden, we have the option to go down there and find out.

As time goes on, my garden seems to be evolving into a set of destinations that aren't visible from the house. This morning I planted a new calycanthus directly on the sightline between where I'm sitting typing this post and the most visible outside garden. When it's larger, I'll have no choice but to get up and out of the house to see what is blooming out there.


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RE: Framing the View

Over my designing years I have developed a method to frame views. What follows is Part 1 of my answer to the question. Part 2 with explanation later on. First I would ask you to do the following:

Using a slick home decorating magazine such as Architectural Digest or Metropolitan Home, go through the magazine turning over the top corner of pages with pictures that caused you to pay special attention to or be drawn into them. Now, review the pages with the turned over corners. What 'trick' have the photographers used to catch your attention and bring you into the pictures and beyond? Do you see it? More discussion to follow.


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RE: Framing the View

Wow, lovesummer! If that is your "problem spot" I can only imagine how beautiful the rest of your garden is! That's quite a nice view!

This is a really interesting topic, although I have to admit it's not one I've given much thought to. I have two views - well, maybe three - that I see the most often from inside my house to the outside.

One is from my front door and/or front window. I have an oak in the middle of my front yard, the beginnings of some borders at the front of the yard, and then across the street is an uncultivated plot of land shared by the two neighbors. Not a horrible view - as a matter of fact, I was startled once when a visitor said, "Oh, what a nice view you have out your front door"!! I didn't even think of it as a "view" because I didn't feel like I was really looking at anything, lol. But it is not unpleasant.

Here is a rather old photo of it, in winter. I actually like the view better in winter:

The other view is out my kitchen window, which is a lovely view of the side of my garage, lol. I do have a three-panelled trellis there, in pots, since it is a brick patio, with some asarina growing up it, but the planters need to be bigger and higher to raise the trellis.

Gee, I only seem to have winter photos - I guess I only take photos out of the window when it's too cold to go outside, lol, and when we have lots of snow! Unfortunately, this kitchen window is probably the one I look out the most, what with doing dishes, cleaning up, cooking, etc. The trellis is against that far wall you see.

I also tried a form of window boxes on those two windows you see out the kitchen window. DH will have my head if I put any holes in the (relatively) new siding, so I tried these bags with pockets that you hang. I went through all the trouble of tying them to eye hooks on the inside of the house under the windows, and closing the windows carefully, etc., only to have them fall, flowers, potting soil and all. I will have to work on that - the view was nicer for two weeks!

My favorite view is out of my office window, as I sit at the computer - and I have to thank my neighbor for it! I look out across my yard at the side of his garage. But at the corner of the garage, he has some kind of huge grass, and in the winter especially, and at sunset especially, with the long shadows, I really enjoy looking out at it.

Figures, the best view I have, and I don't have a picture of it!

Katy, I guess I'm lucky in that at least I don't have to look at that @$%#! sassafrass out my window. That would be the last straw for me, lol!

:)
Dee


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RE: Framing the View

lovesummer,
Your very young bed looks terrific to me, although has the amount of available sunlight increased so much with the loss of the tree that it will stress your shade garden? In terms of your sense that the garden is cluttered, I have noted in my own garden when the plants are young the hardscape and garden accessories have nowhere to recede so they are the prominent features and can easily overwhelm.
Mad Gal,
As time goes on, my garden seems to be evolving into a set of destinations that aren't visible from the house. This morning I planted a new calycanthus directly on the sightline between where I'm sitting typing this post and the most visible outside garden. When it's larger, I'll have no choice but to get up and out of the house to see what is blooming out there.
Did you plant your new calycnthus with the view from your computer in mind? When you don't see what you have planted often do you like me forget that you planted it and either go out and buy another or totally forget what it is??
nandina,
I love assignments,there was a fire this summer at Bunch of Grapes so it may take me a while to track down a glitzy magazine. In the mean time I am going to guess that it is related to focal length?
dee,
It seems as though your borrowing some nice views (across the street and out of your office window) I wonder if you have added anything in your own garden to enhance those borrowed views or lead the eye to them? Oh I neglected to mention I actually planted the sassafras and for a number of years was very proud as they are difficult to transplant!! I guess Mother Nature does try and tell us somethings from time to time. kt


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RE: Framing the View

Diggerdee, thanks for your kind words. I do think this view has lots of potential, and it's come a long way since the jungle we started with a couple of years ago, but it definitely needs a lot of editing. Runktun, your point about the loss of shade with the tree is a good one, but there are so many other oaks surrounding our yard that I'm hoping it won't make too much difference. I'd call it a bright shade. Time will tell.

Diggerdee, I went on a field trip to a mature garden recently as part of a class I'm taking, and there was a stucco detached garage they wanted to disguise. The designer did it with a combination of trellises and tall but shallow evergreens. I'm not sure what they were, possibly hemlock. I'm sure they need pruning to stay shallow, but someone had done a good job, they were shaggy and naturalistic looking instead of sheered and artificial. It really helped that wall recede into the garden instead of being so prominent.

Mad_gallica and Nandina pose interesting questions. Photography--which I'm terrible at--is especially frustrating for capturing gardens because it's almost impossible to get a wide enough view. Photos make us focus on details or narrow scenes. I find this especially frustrating in looking at gardening catalogs or magazines when they'll take a glorious closeup of a flower and I have no idea what the entire plant looks like. It's the same thing with a view. Nandina, I haven't figured out the trick yet, so I'm looking forward to your followup discussion! Does it have something to do with focusing on focal points?


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 25, 08 at 17:02

All along I've been forming the garden with attention to the view from the windows, particularly the kitchen and computer windows.

Last summer I put in a bluestone path, and not only did I agonize over spacing the stones for walking, I also agonized over curving the path to suit the view from the windows. Views today (cloudy, unfortunately)

Computer window
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


The kitchen window is on the same side of the house as the computer window, so you see the same garden from a slightly different angle.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Turning to the left from the same kitchen window, you see more bluestone path (and another birdfeeder).
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


I also picked ornamental grasses that would grow high enough so that I'd see the plumes from the kitchen window. They're not blooming yet so you can't really see the plumes today, just the leaves.

Claire


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RE: Framing the View

Great topic. Beautiful photos.

I had never thought much about framing views from inside the house. Until...we cut down an unruly purple leaf sandcherry in front of our fence. That evening when I went into the bedroom I was pleasantly surprised at the new view that had opened up to us. Here are a couple pics from spring and winter.


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 27, 08 at 16:55

I love the way a fence or stone path will suddenly organize a garden view. What was once a jumble of plants (at least in my case, I'm very far from a formal gardener) becomes a composition with beginnings and endings and little visual counterpoints.

The hardscape alone would be boring - the garden without it can be bewildering.

Together they make sense.

Claire


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RE: Framing the View

Here is the photo of idabean's positively beautiful garden from what I am assuming is a second floor window. I wonder if this garden was designed with the second floor view in mind. Boy the hosta leaves look fabulous from above and the balance of foliage and color throughout the entire garden is dead on perfect in my opinion. I would love to see a photo of this same garden from the first floor?
Photobucket
Claire,
I also picked ornamental grasses that would grow high enough so that I'd see the plumes from the kitchen window. They're not blooming yet so you can't really see the plumes today, just the leaves. Brilliant
The hardscape alone would be boring - the garden without it can be bewildering.
Doubly Brilliant

thyme2dig,
After seeing your hillside garden I didn't think it could get any better. I am officially proclaiming to be your garden groupie.


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RE: Framing the View

Thanks to Katy for posting my view. I was stunned when I saw the photo of my garden. I asked my husband "is that really what it looks like?" I had no idea. The garden has been 15 years in the making. It is at least twice as big as when it started. For most of its life, it leaked. The whole thing gave me the feeling that it dribbled away because there was nothing holding it together. Mindy helped set up the curve with a hose where my husband built the stone wall. She also suggested and helped pick out the arborvitae that stand at the corners.

I cannot imagine things in space unless I am there, with plants and then I can see better how to plant for balance, color, symetry, depth and height. I might stand at the edge of the garden and see Boltonia Snowbank, and only then can I imagine where else it might be planted.

I think this method can lead to dots of plants and incoherence but that's a another challenge I can't deal with until plants are up and growing. I am a very frustrating person to garden with because I will move things 6 inches. This summer my husband planted a small tree. I hated where I had placed it, so when a couple of strapping garden helpers came, I had them move it. DH was none the wiser.

If I remember to buy big plant tags in the fall, I mark spots where divisions will go in the spring and leave notes to myself on the tag. Sometimes that works....


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 28, 08 at 12:31

Idabean's garden is indeed inspirational - 15 years of work pays off!

So I've still got 12 years left; maybe I can get close, although on a much smaller scale.

Claire (looking out at a garden sagging from all the rain)


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RE RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 28, 08 at 13:22

Looking back at dryer times, in early summer, I found a shot from another window looking out over the porch. These are Zephirine Drouhin roses scrambling over the railing.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic


Since then I've put up trellises on the porch to accommodate rose canes reaching for the moon. My view next spring will be much less transparent (but rosier). The trellis doesn't extend over the whole porch, just the corner.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I had to crouch down and aim between houseplants to get that shot. In the winter the windows belong to the house forest.

Claire


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RE: Framing the View

O! idabean! what a frabjous view!


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RE: Framing the View

Lovely photos of some really beautiful gardens. I totally agree that pathways add direction and interest.


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RE: Framing the View

Ida,

I'd never leave that room if I were you, that view is absolutely beautiful!

I've only got 14 years to go before my view has a CHANCE to look like that!

Are those are store bought or did you grow some of your own? not that it matters, just curious.


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RE: Framing the View

Thanks, ishare. Would you believe that view is in my daughters room and a desk is in front of the window, and 18 years of clothing and books are in that room. No where else in the house has that particular 'aerial' view. I do not grow my own flowers, but I do divide and replant in the spring. Some of the plants are probably 10+ years old. My favorite is the bright green of hosta "Guacolmole" which has the bonus of fragrant flowers. The white phlox 'david' makes an impact, too, doesn't it. It took three years to get established and my patience was sorely tried. Only in the last couple of years have I been able to really wait and bear the bare spots as plants mature and fill in. This year is the first year I felt satisfied (mostly) with the garden so I'm not immediately thinking about its deficits, but improvements. Does that make sense?


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RE: Framing the View

Claire, that trellis is gorgeous! It's almost a shame to cover it with roses, lol!

:)
Dee


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RE: Framing the View

And Claire, I'll have to show my 2 Zepherine Drouhan roses what they are supposed to be doing. But they are down south, in a huge tub, where I planted them while the fence and arbor were being built. When we go back south, I will locate them permanently. I think they are fantastic pillar roses, and yours shows they can really carry blooms all the way down and all the way up.

During the years I owned my little bayou house I named Moccasin Landing, I worked offshore on an oilfield boat. I was home only 63 days a year, so each time before I left I took pictures looking out the windows. The photos gave me a good memory to make plans to change the landscape when I returned. I lost a lot of plants, and what was not strong enough to survive "benevolent neglect" was not replanted. Some of my views I totally controlled. Others I could not. For the ones I could not change, I made the focus something closer that would distract the observer from the unattractive distant view.

Out the study window, I hung a large Grace Note Chime and sat a wicker chair on the small stoop under the gable. I planted star jasmine on the wrought iron porch supports, and it framed the close view. In the middle of the grassy area I put a bird bath and put dwarf cannas around it. The live oak tree grew its low-hanging branches, and eventually I could not see the culdesac outside my fence. I let Carolina jessamine cover the front fence in an unruly mass, and pretty soon my whole front yard was a secret garden.

Another view out my bedroom window was looking down the bayou with a long view. I had two pear trees far enough apart to use as supports for my big rope hammock. To have low maintenance, I put orphiopigon/monkey grass under the trees, and it spread solid dark green, hiding the fallen rotten pears and choking out any weeds. This was a great place for smell-good plants too. I think this was my most favorite view, because of the hammock. I felt peaceful just looking at it.

Up here in Mass., I've been at work forcing perspective to make the yard look deeper. Sometimes you can do this by planting the large leafed plants close to you, and gradually using the small leafed plants in the distance. And narrow the path a little as you get further away too.


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RE: Framing the View

Wow,
Some really terrific photos and thoughts.
moccasin
I've been at work forcing perspective to make the yard look deeper. Sometimes you can do this by planting the large leafed plants close to you, and gradually using the small leafed plants in the distance. And narrow the path a little as you get further away too.
Brilliant hmm..I did something like this on a long narrow path and couldn't figure out why this one large leaf plant (ornamental rhubarb) made such a huge difference.
Nandina,
I have been off trying to locate one of the higher end magazines but I wasnt able to find much. I did come across "Design new england" which is certainly not Architectural Digest but their magazine is on line so I thought we could all use it as a source for your assignment. Please note that you can double click on any thumb nail page to enlarge and the pages are numbered for reference.
I have noticed that the rooms are framed with a view that is not what a sitting or standing person in that room would typically see, ie photos taken from lying on the floor or from a story above. I have also noticed that the first things I notice in every photo are the ,bones of the room, the windows, doors, trim.
So as a reminder nandinas assignment was; go through the magazine turning over the top corner of pages with pictures that caused you to pay special attention to or be drawn into them. Now, review the pages with the turned over corners. What 'trick' have the photographers used to catch your attention and bring you into the pictures and beyond? Do you see it? More discussion to follow.
Check out the link above to Design new england and lets us know what you think.


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RE: Framing the View

Ida,

All I can say is that when my garden grows up, I only hope that it looks half as beautiful as that! I can't imagine improving that view!

What a shame that view is in a room where it can't be seen ALL the time. I think I'd make that my room for reading, seed sorting and just plain staring out the window on a lazy day.

I keep going back and looking at it, to me it's perfect!

I have been working across the street from me trying to get something to look somewhat like a garden but it's town owned land and I don't want to irrigate or have to primp too much. I just want to look out and see plants and not weeds!

Photobucket
this was after two days of sawing and pulling by myself and my hubby and sonPhotobucketg

this was begining of spring plantingsPhotobucket

and this was today, the angle is a bit different because I'm inside this time.

Photobucket

I'm in some serious need of advice! I did some wsing, went to a plant swap "Ida, do you see any of yours?) and bought tons of plants and it's still aweful

Someone help me!!I'm going to go to garden h@#$# for the mess I've made.

Lisa


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 12:15

Lisa:

That chain link fence is calling out for some flowering vines, or vines with nice foliage. A few different types of vines, alternating, which cover the whole fence would give a great backdrop for whatever else is there.

Claire


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RE RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 12:22

This morning some new focal points wandered into the view from my kitchen window. It's as if they posed where the path ends, knowing how good they looked, framed by the wisteria, the grasses, and their feathers on the windowsill.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

The Miscanthus Gracillimus is beginning to flower just under the window.

Claire


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RE: Framing the View

Claire,

I wish I could!!! that fence belongs to an old crotchety woman who has a double lot. Her home faces one street but her way way back yard runs along my street. She does absolutely nothing with her property.

I'm the only house on the street so I couldn't plant vines and then deny,deny,deny!!!

I got permission to plant over there by the town but I cannot touch the fence.

Any other ideas that wouldn't involve her fence.

Lisa


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RE: Framing the View

Kt, there are numerous pictures in Garden New England which illustrate the point I am trying to make re framing a garden. Study those pictures. I will bet that 9 out of ten times the pictures which cause you to pause and move into the scene have 'something' the photograper has placed in the lower right quadrant of the picture which captures your eye first before you look further into the scene. An example in Garden New England would be the kitchen picture with the cat and boots lying on the floor in the right foreground. Another example would be the exterior house drawing with a little boy and bicycle, again placed in the lower front right. Home decorating magazines illustrate this point over and over using pillows, statues, flowers or trays of food on a low coffee table. Start looking and you will see it.

Let's work with the picture of idabean's lovely garden taken from a second story window. When first viewed the eye goes directly to the bench at the rear, missing the in-betweens. Remove the bench and now what 'frames' the view? Of course, the birdbath placed slightly off center toward the lower right leading the eye into the picture. Although it works from the left quadrant, lovesummer's tree trunk picture perfectly illustrates one method of framing. Moccasinlanding has made some suggestions which touch on this idea.

Framing a scene which is viewed from numerous windows in a house takes a bit of thought, especially in four season climates. Probably best to concentrate on those views from windows common to the kitchen, breakfast room, family room, etc. If you can figure out how to start the eye at an object or colorful plant in the right quadrant of the scene, this will help greatly to frame the view.


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RE: Framing the View

Lisa, I am firmly of the opinion that in this part of the world you can plant anything you want anywhere you want so long as A) it's small enough, and B) you are dressed as a squirrel. I'd skip the poison ivy, but Virginia creeper, morning glory, various species type clematis - all those would be fair game. A better question would almost be why these things aren't there.

Looking out my computer window, what is occupying the lower right hand part of the view, is the grill. Next to it, is the abandonded sandbox that I'm slowly trying to desand. Is there a good gardening use for soft play sand?


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 30, 08 at 16:16

Lisa: Assuming your squirrel suit is at the cleaners, I'd try the vines, but put them on tripod/teepees in front of the fence. Maybe three or more. The aim is to get some height and mass so you're not looking at a flat row of small plants.

I've been making inexpensive tripod/teepees out of 6 ft or 8 ft plastic stakes (from Agway or Lowes) held together at the top with cable ties. I'd go outside and photograph one, but I don't want to scare the turkeys.

Looking out MY computer window, a sedum Autumn Joy is in the lower right hand part of the view, and I've been staring at this for months now (for another thread on sedum color).

Soft play sand would probably be a great base for bluestone or other pavers. Turn that sand box into a patio! or fancy birdbath area.... or plop a little pond liner in it...

Interesting ideas about framing.

Claire


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My photoghrapher friend was asked to "take pictures" Like a pro, he picked the best view. That's why I was mesmerized by own garden from the upstairs window, and why I said "I had no idea..." I have looked out both windows from upstairs many times and enjoyed the view, but the photos held my attention much longer than I'd ever stand there. So I believe that particular view is the ideal view, and does not hold up as well on ground level. But it is also truthful in that nothing was placed intentionally to look good from above. It makes me wonder if I do have some sense of three dimensions that I am mostly unaware of.

Now I am going to ruminate. I hope someone with better mastery with the design language will re-state what I say in plainer language. If it is worth restating, and it may not be.

So the bird's eye view is a 'flat' plane- the broadness of the hosta leaves are seen, the phlox is seen as white areas, without distraction of leaf texture. Is it not a less complex, though still completely accurate, view of the same space?

From ground level, the eye takes in all the foliage shapes, colors and shadows. It also takes in naked stems, bare spots, successful and less sucessful combinations of foliage and flower. Right now, the Joe Pye weed may still look like pink clusters from above. Viewed from the front, it looks like faded blobs of toothpaste, and three feet of brown scruffy dying leaves. So Katy, when you said you'd like to see it from a first floor window, I am nearly sure it would be less beautiful, and just as "truthful."

When I designed a short bluestone walk at another house, I designed completely from the second floor window. At ground level I just could not "see" how the walk fit togeher or the best curve. It came out perfect, and worked out as well on the ground as above. That was using only one material, bluestone, but many shapes.

If anyone wants to talk about how visions of garden are integrated by design (the designer taking advantage of knowledge of perspective, color etc) "versus" us amateur who go fly by the seat of their jeans shovel in hand, I'm all ears.

marie


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RE: Framing the View

1)Mad_Gallica: Is there a good gardening use for soft play sand?

But of course!!! :) How about putting the chartreuse sweet potatos in there? They would COVER that sandbox in a matter of weeks. Or how about yucca? The Spanish dagger variety is quite interesting, and I was surprised to read on the Tropicalesque forum that they can take cold weather. At this point, I do not recall what zones they can survive but some varieties are found in the higher altitudes of the Mexican mountains. And they like dry places.

2)ishareflowers: I'm the only house on the street so I couldn't plant vines and then deny,deny,deny!!!

But of course you can plant vines. Do it on the other street, and when they SPREAD the next year to your fence, you have it made. Give a nice scarlet honeysuckle an inch and it will take a mile. Try the seeds of some four o'clocks, because it would take an atom bomb to get rid of them. They will die down in the fall of course, but (at least in Alabama) they make a tuberous root like a briar and you have to be dedicated to uproot them. If your neighbor does nothing to her yard, four o'clocks could be the way to go. I personally love vines, but am not wise to the kinds you can use up north. How about putting a little arbor of 4 4x4s in a sigle row, with a top hat on it, and then putting that climbing hydranges on it? Or some nice kiwis? It wouldn't be on her fence, but on your property, and not trespassing. Where there is a will there is always a way. :)

3)Claire sez: Lisa: Assuming your squirrel suit is at the cleaners, I'd try the vines, but put them on tripod/teepees in front of the fence. Maybe three or more. The aim is to get some height and mass so you're not looking at a flat row of small plants.

VERY neat idea. I used some whiskey barrels and put bamboo poles in them, laced them together with old wisteria trimmings, and put passionflower vines on them. If you get the kind which make fruits, you can reap a reward. One of my favorite vines I learned, very sadly, is invasive and not allowed in some places: coral vine, rose of montana, and other common names. But it has sprays of flowers which are hot pink like bougainvillea, but small like the bleeding heart climber. A lovely crinkled heartshaped leaf, with curly tendrils which wrap around the tiniest monofilament.

4.) Claire sez: This morning some new focal points wandered into the view from my kitchen window. It's as if they posed where the path ends, knowing how good they looked, framed by the wisteria, the grasses, and their feathers on the windowsill.

Awww, they are so wonderful!! Love those turkeys. I flushed a wee tiny rabbit from among the nasturtiums the other day. He was small enough to fit in one hand. I don't mind the rabbits or the chipmunks. I love to see their short tails raised like a periscope as they run across the rock walls. One of them climbed an apple tree, and I know he was enjoying a sweet feast there--but I had no idea they climbed trees.

5) runktrun sez: I did something like this on a long narrow path and couldn't figure out why this one large leaf plant (ornamental rhubarb) made such a huge difference.

Giant rhubarb? Oh my!!! It is a fantastic plant. I never saw it growing until we went to Ireland last summer. It was huge!! Like a gigantic castor bean almost. Very tropical looking with those huge leaves. I am glad you mentioned it, because I did not know it would thrive here. It goes on my list of plants to try out.

again runktrun: Check out the link above to Design new england and lets us know what you think.

I am headed that way as soon as I shoot this many sourced reply into the wild blue......:)


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RE: Framing the View

Mad Gal,
I think Lisa is just too polite to ask you so I will for her...could you please post a photo of yourself in your squirrel suit.Lol. Soft play sand... place ad on Craigs List..hey stranger things could happen particularly if you agree to throw in a pail and shovel.
Nandina,
Framing a scene which is viewed from numerous windows in a house takes a bit of thought, especially in four season climates. Probably best to concentrate on those views from windows common to the kitchen, breakfast room, family room, etc. If you can figure out how to start the eye at an object or colorful plant in the right quadrant of the scene, this will help greatly to frame the view.
Thanks for the lesson as I stated above the one time I did this purely by accident with ornamental rhubarb I knew immediately it was powerful but didn't know why or that it could/should be repeated in other views. I have to laugh I have two glitzy design magazines sitting on the table next to me and on both covers they use to bottom right to pull you into the room!
idabean,
Some really provoking thoughts on perspective. So the bird's eye view is a 'flat' plane- the broadness of the hosta leaves are seen, the phlox is seen as white areas, without distraction of leaf texture. Is it not a less complex, though still completely accurate, view of the same space? My backyard garden can be viewed from my bed so in the spring I am looking down from that window and designing based on that frame, but then during the summer while enjoying that say garden from a first floor patio I am never as impressed as I am from the second floor. Can you design a garden from the two different perspectives or does it just become a compromise to both views or worse yet chaos?
Moccasin,
I discovered this year that rhubarb has a very large family of plants I have a curly leaf and large leaf with leaf shape similar to castor bean but mine is low growing. Hmm.. I'll have to look into other types.kt


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RE: Framing the View

Great thread - I wish I could contribute, but I'm on extremely strict internet rationing, and just popped in after hearing about the thread via email. I can't wait to follow up on some of the great concepts people have expressed here.

- DtD

(I guess I should just add that when I looked out the window above my computer today, I saw Cuba.)


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RE: Framing the View

  • Posted by claire z6b Coastal MA (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 5, 10 at 12:04

This old thread was brought to my attention (thanks, Jane) and I thought it should be bumped for general interest.

Claire


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RE: Framing the View

Thanks, Claire. This reminds me how much I miss Runktrun's contributions this forum; she always started the most thought-provoking and interesting threads.


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