PUBLISHED BY KEN DUNN - DUNWAY ENTERPRISES
|Gardening is the practice of
growing plants for their attractive flowers or foliage, and vegetables
or fruits for consumption. Gardening is a human activity used to
produce edible foods and use plants to beautify their local
It's scale ranges: from fruit orchards, to long boulevards plantings with one or more different types of shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to large or small containers grown inside or outside.
Gardening may often be very specific, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings. It involves an active participation in the growing of plants and tends to be labor intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry.
A Guide to Gardening - Part 5
one attains to great sensitiveness in the appreciation of gardens, he
learns to distinguish plants by their forms. This is particularly true for
trees and shrubs.
Each species has its own "expression," which is determined by the size that is natural to it, mode of branching, form of top, twig characters, bark characters, foliage characters, and to some extent its flower and fruit characters.
It is a useful practice for one to train his eye by learning the difference in expression of the trees of different varieties of cherries or pears or apples or other fruits, if he has access to a plantation of them. The differences in cherries and pears are very marked.
He may also contrast and compare carefully the kinds of any tree or shrub of which there are two or three species in the neighborhood, learning to distinguish them without close examination; as the sugar maple, red maple, soft maple, and Norway maple (if it is planted); the white or American elm, the cork elm, the slippery elm, the planted European elms; the aspen, large-toothed poplar, cottonwood, balm of gilead, Carolina poplar, Lombardy poplar; the main species of oaks; the hickories; and the like.
It will not be long before the observer learns that many of the tree and shrub characters are most marked in winter; and he will begin unconsciously to add the winter to his year.
Some of the principles and applications of landscape architecture or landscape gardening, particularly in reference to the planting. The object of landscape gardening is to make a picture.
All the grading, seeding, planting, are incidental and supplemental to this one central idea. The greensward is the canvas, the house or some other prominent point is the central figure, the planting completes the composition and adds the color.
The second conception is the principle that the picture should have a landscape effect. That is, it should be nature-like. Carpet-beds are masses of color, not pictures.
They are the little garnishing and relief's that are to be used very cautiously, as little eccentricities and conventionalisms in a building should never be more than very minor features.
Every other concept in landscape gardening is subordinate to these two. Some of the most important of these secondary yet underlying considerations are as follows:--
The place is to be conceived of as a unit. If a building is not pleasing, ask an architect to improve it. The real architect will study the building as a whole, grasp its design and meaning, and suggest improvements that will add to the forcefulness of the entire structure.
A dabbler would add a chimney here, a window there, and apply various daubs of paint to the building. Each of these features might be good in itself. The paints might be the best of ochre, ultramarine, or paris green, but they might have no relation to the building as a whole and would be only ludicrous.
These two examples illustrate the difference between landscape gardening and the scattering over the place of mere ornamental features.
An upland garden, with grass-grown steps, sundial, and edge of foxgloves.
There should be one central and emphatic point in the picture. A picture of a battle draws its interest from the action of a central figure or group. The moment the incidental and lateral figures are made as prominent as the central figures, the picture loses emphasis, life, and meaning.
The borders of a place are of less importance than its center. Therefore:
Keep the center of the place open;
Frame and mass the sides; Avoid scattered effects.
In a landscape picture flowers are incidents. They add emphasis, supply color, give variety and finish; they are the ornaments, but the lawn and the mass-plantings make the framework.
One flower in the border, and made an incident of the picture, is more effective than twenty flowers in the center of the lawn.
More depends on the positions that plants occupy with reference to each other and to the structural design of the place, than on the intrinsic merits of the plants themselves.
Landscape gardening, then, is the embellishment of grounds in such a way that they will have a nature-like or landscape effect. The flowers and accessories may heighten and accelerate the effect, but they should not contradict it.
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