Rejuvenating landscape design

“There’s less negative space in spring. 

I need the negative space of winter, that place that eases
 the senses after a rush of color, sound and texture. 
Good garden design balances and confronts opposites. 
After encountering a gorgeous vista or complicated planting bed, 
it’s necessary to have an open field of view, a skyline, a sitting area, 
an expanse of water or a meadow that’s sort of monochromatic.”
-Benjamin Vogt

For those of us in colder climes, winter provides us an opportunity to reflect on the evolution of our gardens and make some plans for the busy gardening season.

The University of Wisconsin extension suggests a framework to utilize in the design process, offering  a starting point for assessing garden design and planning.

1.  Draw a base map
2.  Analyze the site
3.  Analyze how the property relates to the neighborhood/surroundings
4.  Analyze needs, uses, and goals for the property
5.  Consider budget & time
6.  Plan outdoor use areas
7.  Make use of area sketches
8.  Finish design

Selecting Landscape plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, vines, flowers, grasses, lawn) for:
-soil
-sunlight
-winds
-topography
-pollution
-energy conservation
-maintenance

Design Principles
-lines
-form (vertical, horizontal, weeping, pyramidal, rounded)
-texture
-color
-unity
-symmetry
-space
-Repetition  (R.V.Bess)
-Variety
-Balance
-Emphasis
-Scale
-Sequence

Landscape structures
-grading
-hardscapes
-driveways
-walks
-steps
-decks
-patios
-retaining walls
-fences
-lighting

“In his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation. 
Each within his green enclosure is a creator, and no two shall reach the same conclusion;
 nor shall we, any more than other creative workers, be ever wholly satisfied
 with our accomplishment. Ever a season ahead of us floats the
 vision of perfection and herein lies its perennial charm.”
 ~ Louise Beebe Wilder