My Theme Garden Design Process
Over twenty years ago, while studying landscape architecture, I was asked to develop a concept for my first landscape design. I struggled with this idea for the next two years until the light bulb finally switched on.
Following graduation, I strived to create an easy step-by-step method from idea to physical form. I used this method for eight years while I worked at a local botanic garden and recently I’ve used this same process to teach undergraduate landscape design students about concept development.
This process takes place by following five steps...with lots of fun along the way. I've listed the steps below, but I've found they make more sense within context, so over the next few posts I'd like to design a garden with you. I'll be asking for feedback through my blog, on Facebook and Twitter, then following up with posts. By the end of the five steps we'll have a new garden plan with an out-of-the-ordinary theme.
We have a lot of work to do, so let's get to it! The first step...
PICK A THEME
What is a theme? It's the idea that pulls all the elements of a garden together. Themes also...
- focus your design
- help in the selection of materials (plants, hardscapes, furniture, etc.)
- tell a story
Designing a garden is similar to writing a paper. Before you write it's important to choose a topic, then have the content to support it. You can write about thousands of things, but the topic helps you focus. This is the same in garden design. There are thousands of ways to design your garden, but by narrowing in on a topic or theme, choices become a lot easier. Honestly, it's a lot more fun too and your creativity just spills over. Themes can be inspired by your collections, travels, hobbies, favorite foods, or anything that you can imagine.
Over the past week I've received many wonderful theme ideas from all of you including those highlighted within the images of this post. I always enjoy choosing a challenging theme to see where the process takes me. The theme that stood out the most (plus scared me a little) was KNITTING. Let's see what theme garden journey knitting will lead us through.