Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Landscape Design/Planning

On Alan's suggestion I have been focusing on the actual layout of the garden rather than getting ahead of myself and trying to design plants. Phil also suggested that I look into types of landscape design for example, formal gardens as this may help me figure out the landscape rules for my futurist garden. It could even be that the Futurists would take an existing landscape design and go completely against it. To aid my research into landscaping I found this very helpful book in the uni library, The Encyclopedia of Garden Design. 

Before I looked at specific garden types I read about important parts of the garden and ways specific feelings can be portrayed through certain elements in the garden. Here is the research I have gathered so far from the book.
I found out that important parts to the garden comprise of:
  • Enjoying the plants and wildlife
  • Entertaining and having fun
  • Appreciating the picture/view
  • Relaxing and unwinding 
There are also different gardens for different emotions:
  • The Dynamic Garden- This garden is exciting and upbeat. Use of vibrant and hot colours, spiky plants, sharp lines and varied textures as well as water introduce movement and the sense of energy.
  • Refreshing Garden- This garden is rejuvinating. Sunlit reflections in the water, natural planting, soft colours and lots of different materials create the sense of energy and growth. As if to "recharge your batteries".
  • Restoring Garden- This garden creates a sense of well-being. This is normally a private garden which is full of unchallenges spaced and recognized for cullinary, therapeutic and medicinal plants. This space is a reassuring, relaxed and restorative environment.
  • Contemplative Garden- Peaceful and calm, this garden is full of cool colours, simple shapes and delicate shapes. A restricted use of materials and planting, simple focal elements, waterfalls and carefully chosen lighting, this garden creates a calm and peaceful mood which enhances empty spaces.
If I had to relate any of these types of emotional gardens to Futurism, it would definitely be the dynamic garden.

A garden can be anything from traditional to contemporary and there are different ways to show this:

  • Filled with flowers (very traditional)- is a horticultural extravaganza for favourite plants. There is constant involvement with it to keep it looking in tip top shape.
  • A tropical retreat- Holds the idea of sculpting with plants. The use of bold leaves gives the sense of the exotic, lush and enclosed.
  • A hint of holiday- Allows you to bring something natural home with you, you can take ideas from travels. This usually involves fragrant flower beds and window boxes. Also something quite nautical.
  • A space to reflect- Acts as a sanctuary, it is a garden of tranquility, full of straight lines and simple shapes.
  • Chic and minimal- This type of garden appearance means no clutter and quite a plain, muted colour palette. Large, striking features add dynamism.
  • Fun and funky (very contemporary)- Wants to hold your eye, it is attention grabbing and full of creative arty heart. It allows the artist to go crazy and let all of their creativity out! 
Other interesting and handy rules for garden design I found out are:
  • A diagonal layout directs the eye out to the corners and evokes energy.
  • Parallel divisions with offset gaps force movement and draw you in.
  • Routes that snake through the garden add a sense of movement and an air of discovery. (Curves)
  • The view from the house is the most important view and dictates the layout.
  • Any eating areas are normally near the house.
  • If there is the opportunity to look through planting the garden becomes less formal and more organic.
  • Circular features break up straight lines.
  • Add layers above ground to make the garden more functional and visually exciting as well as dynamic angles and twists and turns.
  • Triangular beds add depth.
  • Angled rectangles= diagonal lines of view.
  • Different materials add more interest as well as breaking up spaces.
  • S-shaped elements give the impression of movement and space.
  • Curves add momentum.
  • Multi-level layouts create movement, dynamism and drama.
There were also a few objects/layouts throughout the book that I thought would be great to adapt for a Futurist garden as they link to their rules too...
  • Transparent screens.
  • Varying heights.
  • Day-Glo colours & neon lighting -perspex screens?
  • Decorative edging patterns.
  • Dynamic garden furniture.
  • Recessed lighting (decking).
  • Directional spotlighting.
  • Underwater lighting.
  • Colour-changing lighting.
  • Illuminated pathways.
  • Mirroring lights.
  • Backlighting.
  • Grazing lights.

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