Aesthetics of Landscaping

The Ultimate Art Form

By Charles Sackett

Landscaping is the ultimate art form. Just like a painting, the medium includes form, color, perspective, proportion, dimension, compliments and contrasts. Yet landscaping goes far beyond the visual senses. All of the senses should be incorporated into the landscape art project. Hearing can be achieved through the sounds of a roaring waterfall, or the trickle of a small creek or fountain. Sound can be created through the attraction of birds, or the rustling of leaves, or simply wind chimes.

Scents in a garden are imperative. Fragrances can come from flowers, shrubs, herbs or trees. A flowering shrub or tree along a pathway, when brushed while walking, will fill the air with aroma. as will a tree, like a redwood, especially after a rain.

Touch should always be considered when designing a garden. Having a warm sunny spot to relax on a cool winter day is just as important as a cool, shady spot on a sweltering day. The feel of grass under bare feet is as enticing as watching a child caress the soft seedpod of a pussy willow.

And what barbeque or iced tea doesn’t taste better when enjoyed amidst a beautiful garden?

If all of the elements of the senses are addressed in the landscape project, what would be the most important factor towards creating a beautiful garden? Besides striving for a low maintenance, draught resistant landscape, the garden should be neat and tidy. The simplest, most humble garden will always present itself well if it is neat and tidy. A clean, well maintained garden will always be more appealing to the homeowner and guests alike.  A more appealing garden will be more inviting, drawing people outside more to enjoy it. And enjoying the garden is what landscaping is all about.

Chuck Sackett, a landscape designer and contractor, has been in business 36 years. He owns Apple Blossom Nursery, a wholesale nursery in Sebastopol.

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