Saturday, March 5

Talking about what makes a small garden design work -- or not

Sketch Entry Garden

Over at the
Garden Web Landscape Design Forum, we've been discussing a simple design for an entry garden .... as a way to understand at least part of the process of design. Homeowners/gardeners and professionals who make their living doing landscape design have been contributing. Here's an interesting thread.

After getting some comments from others about the design, I made a couple of minor changes and came up with this: Alternative Entry Garden Plan

In this option, the small 1/4-circle patio has been slightly enlarged and the opening from the driveway onto the walkway and patio has also been widened. Ideally, the concrete "sidewalk" and porch could be removed and/or paved with the same paving as the patio, to make it more continuous.

The bench and garden chairs are moveable and can be placed anywhere. If you are moving something large (like a baby grand) out of the house, you can always move the chairs.

Decorative low-voltage landscape lights strategically placed can create the "open arms" and "welcome entry" feeling without sacrificing privacy. One of these could be an uplight nestled into the shrubbery, aimed either at the Japanese Maple or at the boulder (or both). Lighting is very helpful to indicate where visitors should approach the site.

One other slight change from the original concept is to create a "break" in the plant bed for easy access onto the front lawn (whatever else is out there ...) In this case, I would suggest a mixed shrub/perennial/grasses border as shown, along the driveway. This can continue down the driveway as far as you want.