Haphazard garden planner tries 5 landscape design principles – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Haphazard garden planner tries 5 landscape design principles – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

“There have to be a flooring program ahead of a dwelling can be crafted, a great dress requires a sample and a great meal usually means recipes and menu planning. We supply for all of these as requirements, but when it comes to a backyard garden prepare we are very apt to feel that all appeal will be missing except the backyard is permitted to grow haphazardly.” — in Valencia Libby’s “The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver,” 2021

As landscape architects, Elizabeth Lord and Edith Schryver firmly thought all gardens should be prepared, from the smallest residential plot in the metropolis to community parks spanning hundreds of acres. Valencia Libby’s book, “The Northwest Gardens of Lord & Schryver,” is loaded with backyard garden strategies drawn by one particular or the other of the associates for landscaping jobs they accomplished from 1929 until 1965.

The commencing quote is from the initially of 9 content that Lord and Schryver wrote for Portland’s Sunday Oregonian newspaper in 1932. The articles or blog posts have been geared towards the basic community and concentrated on backyard garden design and style for an regular-sized metropolis whole lot. In their inaugural piece, Lord and Schryver laid out five standard concepts of back garden arranging: order, stability, composition, utility and magnificence.

Although examining the book, I was struck by all the very carefully drawn plans because I am a person of individuals property gardeners who are inclined to plant things right here and there and permit the overall back garden plan to evolve around time. Lord and Schryver would unquestionably get in touch with my course of action haphazard — and they would not be mistaken.

I would like to learn to be extra strategic about my yard layouts, and a superior way to start off is by applying the 5 concepts of back garden organizing that Lord and Schryver explained to a woodland back garden I’m building in Bandon.

The woodland back garden is a triangular-formed portion of the assets with an area of roughly 3,000 sq. ft. Currently, it consists of native crops that are frequent in combined conifer/broadleaf evergreen forests in this aspect of Coos County: Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and Port Orford cedars (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) with an understory of evergreen huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum), Pacific rhododendron (R. macrophyllum), Western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) and salal (Gaultheria shallon).

My landscaping goal is to add other native and complementary nonnative plants to this extant plant group to make a woodland yard exactly where I can stroll along a path by the trees and understory plantings. I have currently designed elevated island beds about the conifers in which I want to plant a combination of flowering shrubs, herbaceous perennials and diverse fern species that will go with the sword ferns.

With this general image in intellect, how might I use the five, interrelated landscape style and design rules to accomplish my intention and create a visually desirable and satisfying woodland garden?


Bringing get to the woodland backyard started by clearing out all the huckleberry bushes that experienced taken over the interior house. I left some of the huckleberry bushes on the edge of the woodland because there they will get more than enough sunshine to flower and established fruit.

In terms of style and design, order can be accomplished by grouping plants (or other garden characteristics) about a focal stage. In my woodland backyard, the conifer trees are the central attribute of each and every island mattress, so I will generate get by planting all-around them and replicating the grouped plantings in unique regions of the back garden.


Buy and harmony go hand in hand. Harmony in landscaping layout is a feeling of spatial equality. Symmetrical balance is realized when two sides of the landscape are the same, whereas asymmetrical stability utilizes unique plantings or other garden capabilities to deliver equivalence.

1 of the means I can create a symmetrical harmony in my woodland backyard is to have similar plantings seen from the pathway at both ends and in the center of the back garden. A further way is to have both of those ends of the yard direct into new spaces — at a person conclusion the garden potential customers into the pasture, and at the other close the yard potential customers into the orchard.


There are quite a few rules of composition when it comes to landscaping style, but one particular that is specially salient for my woodland backyard garden is the principle of figure and floor, also referred to as favourable and negative areas. In my woodland garden, the conifers and planted island beds are the figures, or constructive areas, while the meandering pathway and open areas among the trees are the floor, or damaging areas.

Creating a harmony involving figure and floor in my woodland yard can be attained by creating the pathway a outstanding component of the landscape and by leaving ample open areas by the trees to appear outside of the backyard garden. These adverse spaces will offset and harmony the understory plantings, the beneficial areas, which are meant to attract consideration within just the garden.

Figure and floor can be offset by colour, shape (two-dimensional), kind (three-dimensional) or texture. In perspective of this basic principle, the pathway counterbalances the inexperienced foliage with its surface layer of fallen brown pine needles and its curving lines. The upright form of the conifer trees provides a counterbalance to the horizontal and rounded varieties of the shrubs and herbaceous perennials.


The structure of a back garden room ought to heart on how the backyard garden will be utilized. If the key intent of my woodland back garden is to invite appreciation of the landscape, then I want a distinct path (no exposed roots, no holes to tumble into) that winds all-around the a variety of island plantings and encourages exploration. I want a collection of vegetation that inspires guests to linger for a nearer glance.


Of course, I want my woodland back garden to be attractive, but what, exactly, do I imply by that? My woodland yard will have nutritious vegetation that are portion of, or suitable with, the indigenous plant group. It will draw year-round interest with several flowering crops that bloom at different moments of the yr, as well as evergreen and deciduous foliage with a blend of shades, shapes and textures.

To me, a beautiful woodland yard is one that supports wildlife, so I want to include things like vegetation that supply food items and/or shelter for birds, bees and butterflies. Magnificence, to me, also contains customized factors — Lord and Schryver known as it creating “individual charm” — these types of as including a rather bench by the path or constructing bat houses for the small brown myotises that I get pleasure from looking at as they hunt for insects in the summer twilight.

Through their lengthy career as landscape architects, Lord and Schryver designed an effort and hard work to educate residence gardeners on the principles of landscape style and design. I’m not quite prepared to say I’ll never ever plant something haphazardly all over again, but I did love applying the five style and design ideas to assist with planning my woodland backyard. The undertaking looks a very little considerably less overwhelming for owning performed so.

Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, instructor and writer. For far more on gardening matters, see literarygardener.com or email Rhonda at [email protected].