I am on vacation until May 12. My wife, Sheryl, and I are spending a month in New Orleans. Today my sister, Patti, and her husband, Rickey, took us to a garden show at the Botanical Garden at City Park. The four of us attended a lecture, entitled Shade Gardening in Louisiana, by a landscape architect who graduated from Louisiana State University.
When an attendee asked "How do you pick the plants for your shade garden?" he responded "You have to pick plants that can tolerate the shade." I am not kidding. He said that; however, he also had some interesting tips woven into presentation about the psychological benefits of gardens.
I don't have a copy of the presenter's slides. Instead I will illustrate his concepts by goggling images and noting my sources accordingly. Here are today's 3 gardening tips.
Consider Inside and Outside Perspectives
A garden is both an object and an experience. It is much like a car. When viewed from the outside, it is often an object of desire:
Once inside the car, the person becomes part of the car.
Gardens should be like that. Gardens in the fronts of homes are viewed from afar, like the outside of a car, and tend to go for curb appeal;
Like the inside of a car, a garden is also an experience. When viewed from inside, a garden should promote tranquility and peace of mind. This is the typically the emphasis for gardens in backyards.
Imagine yourself sitting on the swing gazing at the surrounding flowers.
Rely on 3 Basic Elements
The three basic elements to any garden include:
- Ground cover
- Vertical height
For example, it is possible to make a great garden with just pavers, monkey grass, and crape myrtle trees.
When placing benches, it is human nature for people to feel more comfortable sitting on them if they are under a structure.
When creating walking paths, stone is more natural than cement. Crushed granite is easier to walk on than pea gravel.
Make It Neat But Not Too Neat
The Japanese have a concept known as shibui that refers to unobtrusive beauty. An under-manicured garden looks like a random mess.
An over-manicured garden looks sterile and uninviting.
The trick is to provide the proper balance of organization and wild charm.
I guess there's a little Goldilocks in any successful gardener.
So there you have it. Patti and Rickey also took us to lunch. Thanks!
Gardening is alive in the lab.