Thursday, October 11, 2012
Triangles, Circles and Squares - oh my!
Math was never my strongpoint. In fact, my attempts to understand math in school were dismal failures.
Art, on the other hand, was my favourite class! When I started gardening, I realized that I liked to compose "pictures" using plant shapes and colours. Had someone pointed out to me that math was involved there too, I would have denied it, but it's true.
The most successful landscape design is based upon proportionately combining mathematical shapes - triangles, rectangles, squares and circles.
While on vacation this summer, I couldn't help but notice the evergreen placement beside the greenhouse of a friend's property that we visited.
Across the front area they have an upward curving mugho pine, then a low-growing golden juniper and then a lighter coloured shrub.
Across the back there is a large triangular spruce and a smaller triangular one.
Once you start looking for geometric shapes, it's easy to identify them and see how they fit together in a well balanced way.
This probably just "happened" (because the building was constructed long after the garden was planted) but the 2 triangles in the garden are echoed by the triangular roof of our friend's cottage.
Many formal gardens are designed using geometric shapes.
The allee of trees are like lollipops. Their rounded tops echo the curves in the castle windows. This is Rundale Palace in Latvia.
Arched half circles add a soft elegance to the garden area.
Look at the shapes here - so easy to spot when you really look.
It's also fun to look at scenic spots and realize that Mother Nature has an innate sense of design and proportion.
This is Ventas Rumba (the Venta river waterfalls) in Latvia - hardly Niagara, but it is famous in that it's the widest waterfalls in Europe.
Take a look at your own garden and see if adding a circular shrub or triangular evergreen would not add accent to your perennial border.