We "cleaned out" a couple of the neighborhood gardens today - and by "cleaned out" I mean we pulled out all the annuals and planted the bulbs. Turns out, this leaves the garden pretty clean. I left the Dahlias standing as it seems, in the city, we'll never have a frost this year and we may get another couple weeks production out of the Dahlias; in which case, I'll post another image like this one in a couple weeks. Dahlias for Thanksgiving anyone?
As we pulled everything out today, I cut and salvaged what I could. I brought some flowers around to friends, staged some up at the café and set some up in the house. Nothing overly complicated here, but we are looking at an idea that the garden should be put together as much to grow things for the home - food and flowers - as to be a place to be in, to look at, and to practice with.
I had scheduled a stop this afternoon at a clients house in Eggertsville. We had done an initial clean up project there late in the summer and now that the site is stabilized we are moving forward planning the finish site plan and landscape design. My visit today was for survey work so I could get the correct site information on paper.
I had Jeremy and a 100' tape measure with me but as I took my first pictures I decided I had enough hard measure in the official survey. Everything else - note: we're only doing concept development - I could estimate and sketch its locations based on site photographs.
But as I began taking images, I could see in the frame of the camera the visual issues that needed to be addressed. Viewpoints to prioritize became apparent. Clutter that needed to be dealt with was in view. The scale of objects on the site, otherwise taken for granted as "existing," became problematic.
The point here, the methodological discovery so-to-speak, is that using the camera to survey the site created a different frame to see the site in. It defamiliarized it in a way. And I think, as process, "Before" images need to be seen not as documentary, but as part of the design itself.
The first landscape plan I drew took a space and divided it in the center creating four equal quadrants that narrow paths moved between. -I spent a lot of time looking at the Sunset series of publications on landscapes and gardens- My drawing was on a legal pad. Into the design studio walked my dad's boss; "Look at that! What do you got there? Those some hedges?" I replied, "No. Those are railroad ties." My dad was at the main drafting table working and I was at a flat top desk in the middle of the room. Maybe I should have labeled the railroad ties, but I couldn't write yet, I was four.
The image above is the type of template I was playing with that day. It is the "basics" - as for drafting templates - landscapers draw with.
I've had it here in the tool kit for at least 15 years. Certainly I will never use it. Its value for designing is pretty much zero. But I keep it around.
"Confidence." I'll use this to suggest a property a floral work can posess. Best I can articulate it - it finds itself in the concept, plan, or program assembled leading up to the event. The base machinery of the arrangement is well balanced and solid compositionally and so when finishing strokes are made, adding accents, focal points, and form, they are done cognitively with great speed, being able to create endless movements reflexivly. This shows itself in our wedding shower project this past Saturday morning where 11 table arrangements are put out, each a unique composition yet in poetic unity as a series.
Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture