Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Triangles and Plants

Whenever I am installing a garden, I think about triangles. Apparently I'm not alone. It turns out that every garden magazine in the world will tell you to plant in the following way: in groups of three and in a triangular pattern. The Japanese have been on to this for a long time. The basic rules of traditional Japanese garden design include: odd numbers that support the effect of the asymmetry and the triangle shape for balanced composition.

Here are a few more rules of three that will help you in your garden design projects:
Make a  great container garden: You need 3 types of plants-- a thriller, a filler, and a spiller.

Maximize the impact of each plant in the bed: Plant them in threes. The exception is plants that are really skinny, like a gladiolus, in which case it may take as many as twenty-one to make any impact. Why twenty-one? Because with even numbers you end up planting in a linear fashion. It takes that odd numbered plant to turn the line into a drift.

It takes three forms, three textures, and perhaps three colors or shades to create a pleasing contrast: For form: an upright plant, one that mounds, and one that trails over the edges of the bed will do. Three textures: fine, medium, and bold. Three colors/shades: light, medium, dark.

Enjoy.  Rebecca

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