Saturday, February 5, 2011

Winter Views, Rosy Outlooks

While I love reading, there's only so much of that I can do and then I need to get moving. Winter is a great time for me to wander around the garden, and have a look see at what I have done and what needs to be tweaked. There is no color to distract my eye. Both the overall layout, and the bones of my garden are more apparent with a cover of white snow. When I use the term bones, I am referring to the hardscaping- paths, fences, railings, terraces, urns, stairs, arbors, pergolas, swags, arches, stone walls, trees, shrubs, and driveway. These elements, when placed correctly, lead my eye through the garden, allowing me to move through the landscape without moving a foot. I try to create spots that invite me to pause, to let my eyes wander and to explore.

One of the early inspirations for the layout of my garden was the book, The Garden at Highgrove by the Prince of Wales and Candida Lycett Green. I loved the vistas, the contrast of formality and playfulness, the punctuation points in the landscape, the textures created by contrasting materials, and the different destinations woven together.

I once read that a good garden is described with adverbs- over, under, around, through, alongside, between, among,... Our site had plenty of opportunities to use those words and more. The challenge of our site was the steep hillside, with hardly a level spot on the entire three acres. It was part of an old farm field. We fell in love with the distant views of hills, bottomland, farms, city, woods, and universities. It took a long time to site our house. It is set at an angle on the hillside. The driveway was installed to allow the tractor trailer to deliver our house, a modular, to the foundation without too steep of a grade.

It has been seven years, since we moved to this once empty hillside. Most of the major elements are in place. While others are in progress, some are still in the dream state. Come take a look in winter and tell me what you think. If I am not at school, you might find me inside, reading. Then again, I might be outside wandering around, dreaming up this summer's projects. And if the snow is just right, bring your sled. I might be out there just having a good time.

1 comment:

  1. The winter starkness is beauty in itself!