Category Archives: Garden Architecture

Sanctuary in the garden

I am not used to getting all of the snow we have received.  It is fun for the first hour or two and them I am ready to move on.  It has me pining for warmth and the option to go hang out outside.  These are some options and inspiration of where you might want to hang out this spring.

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Beech Hedging

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Hedging is such an important part of garden architecture; on that here in the US is often under used and under appreciated.  There is no better way in my mind to break a space up or create volume and depth in a space.  This picture is a powerful example of the strength that can be created using hedging.  There are many wonderful plants to use, Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is without question one of the best and most classic examples.

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Marqueyssac Gardens

The Marqueyssac Gardens are in the Dordogne Valley in France.  I have not yet had the chance to visit them, but it is top on my list to visit when I do finally make it to France.  This is probably the most interesting use of clipping and training plants that I have ever seen.  The predominate plant used here is Buxus sempervirens.  Marqueyssac is a fantastic and fantastical example of garden architecture and the development and manipulation of space that I think is so important.  This is absolutely amazing….

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Photos were taken by Jake Hobson.  If you want to shape your boxwoods like this visit his website at Niwaki where you will find the finest pruning supplies available.

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Garden Architecture

For me creating wonderful gardens always starts with space development.  For years I have heard people refer to this as a garden having great “bones”.  But these “bones” are really about how the space has been manipulated and broken up into different spaces; the garden designer is looking at the garden space just as an architect looks at their building site.

There are so many ways, and wonderful plants and materials that can be used to define the space in a garden.  This can be done with a wonderful brick wall or a well detailed fence.  I also try to look at what plant material can be used to “build a wall” with.  This can be just as effective; even during the winter.  You don’t need to literally screen the whole space all year long; often it just takes something to distract your eye.  This picture of European Beech hedging (Fagus sylvatica) is a marvelous example of just that.  Even though this picture is in the winter Beech hold on to many of their leaves throughout the season creating a very clear division of this space.

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