DESIGN YOUR GARDEN LIKE AN ARTIST
Use basic art techniques as Eva Templeton does to alter the perception and experience of your yard.
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.