Use ba­sic art tech­niques as Eva Tem­ple­ton does to al­ter the per­cep­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence of your yard.

Country Gardens - - Garden Know-how -


Draw strong lines to de­fine gar­den beds, paths, and pa­tios. Whether you pre­fer straight lines or curves (“easier to mow around than cor­ners,” Eva says of curves), lay out your de­sign with gar­den hoses or by spray­ing mark­ing paint on the lawn. Live with it for a few days—walk the paths and place fur­ni­ture— be­fore com­mit­ting.


Play with per­spec­tive. This paint­ing tech­nique fools the eye and makes a small space look larger. Let closer el­e­ments be big­ger (like Eva’s pair of clipped box­woods by her pa­tio), and make dis­tant el­e­ments smaller (a match­ing pair of box­woods near her back fence are clipped sev­eral inches shorter), cre­at­ing the il­lu­sion of greater dis­tance. You can also use this trick with a path: wider at the start and nar­rower at the end, mak­ing the dis­tance seem longer. “Think of rail­road tracks run­ning to­ward the hori­zon,” Eva says.


Add fo­cal points to draw the eye out into the gar­den. A gar­den shed, foun­tain, large pot, or even an ar­range­ment of bird­houses makes an eye­catch­ing ob­ject that helps or­ga­nize the view. Place them along the axes of your gar­den— at the in­ter­sec­tion of two paths or at the end of a path—or where you can see them from a seat­ing area or in­doors.

TECH­NIQUE 1 DRAW STRONG LINES to de­fine gar­den beds, paths, and pa­tios. TECH­NIQUE 2 PLAY WITH PER­SPEC­TIVE to make a small space look larger. TECH­NIQUE 3 ADD A FO­CAL POINT to draw the eye out into the gar­den.

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