Tag Archives: Franklin Park Conservatory

Designing with a Point of View

This handsome zen garden demonstrates how you can view it from four sides and have a completely different interpretation of what it represents with each passing angle. One step forward and you might see islands in the ocean, two steps back around the other direction and you may see something entirely different. Other zen garden styles force you to view them from only one angle in an enclosed setting. Each experience is unique and yet the intrinsic reverence for nature and simplicity are both honored by differing views.

This vignette at the Franklin Conservatory was a wonderful example of this same idea for allowing us to experience the garden from many vantage points. The designers used the angles of the walking paths along with the dips and turns to make the most of each particular view. It made a huge difference in how you see the complexity and layers of this gorgeous foliage. That’s saying a lot for this photographer who is VERY close to the ground.
Layers and layers of luscious grasses, conifers, shrubs and specimen trees came together here with subtle color echoes, textural crescendo’s and ethereal color tones that force you to stop and take it all in slowly. These are very large-scale examples obviously, but what can we learn in our own landscapes about how we can make the most of each view-point?
This large garden is a sunny jewel toned mix of color, texture, and layers. While voluptuous lemon-lime toned privet adds ruffles in the foreground, the ribbon of Russian Sage creates an amethyst river that is a complimentary color. The red-ombre effect from hard pruned smokebushes are a delightful larger leaf that brings a marvelous garnet color addition. The point of view, in this case, was broad and deep. There is a hedge in the foreground that hides a colorful foliage and bloom surprise.
Blues and golds or purple and yellow are such happy friends on the color wheel. When you look closely at the entirety of the design from afar, you can’t see this perspective. But, it sure was worth coming up for the close-up! The entire river of Russian sage was underplanted with ‘Samantha’ Lantana, a fantastic choice with that incredibly jubilant foliage. It was like stage lighting for the sage to glow against.
Next time you’re out perusing your garden with a glass of your favorite beverage, force yourself to look at it from angles you might not ordinarily see. From the neighbors view? From the back facing toward the house? From under a tree even! In small or large expansive landscapes, we can all afford to be more open to all of the views, not just the ones we are used to seeing.

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Perfect Pleats – Franklin Park Conservatory

On a recent visit to Ohio for one of the largest events of its kind in America, the Ohio Floriculture Association conference (OFA for short), I gave myself one extra day to visit the Franklin Park Conservatory for a full HOT day. It was SO worth it though!
The park, the garden art and the butterfly exhibit were exceptional. I recommend it highly if you should be able to get there. This visit however, I was incredibly impressed by the palm house. It’s a GIANT, GRAND structure.

IMG_0610The July heat wave was making for a tough visit to a hot-house for THIS North-westerner! But, getting a great look at all of those lovely full size and some smaller, palms was worth the sweating.
IMG_0291If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you can grow certain palm trees outdoors year round then I encourage you to try some of this dramatic foliage in your landscape.
IMG_0292IMG_0293My inner OCD tendencies as well as being a classic Virgo both combine to make me crazy for the perfect lines and geometry of these folds and pleats together. Particularly when they are layered together like these. 😉
IMG_0297IMG_0298IMG_0312IMG_0313IMG_0323I adore how the shape of this frond echoes the arch of the window in the background!
IMG_0325IMG_0590Clearly this is only the tip of the palm tree iceberg. There are MANY more that I couldn’t squeeze into this small post, but you get the idea- Palms are COOL!
For more information about the wide world of palms, this site is wonderful.

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