Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Vancouver Garden Show: By Lezah

The Vancouver Garden Show was, in its previous incarnations, known as the Van Dusen Flower & Garden Show. This year it has been taken over by a new management group and sports a new name, but many things remain the same, including the location. The show still takes place in the late spring at Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver (on Oak Street), and this year the show runs from June 9-12, 10 am to 6 pm daily.

Go to for more details.

And once you've gone to see the garden show, do you find yourself inspired by beautiful gardens? Stupid question, I guess - who doesn't?

Well, if you want to do some landscaping at home, before you go hunting for plants, think about these aspects of landscape architecture and design to help you in the initial planning stages:

        1. line: line is the most important and useful element of any type of design, whether it be clothing, architecture, or gardening. To plan lines in a garden, many people use a rope or hose to outline the walkways and garden plots before any sod is turned.
        2. light: consider how much light the garden gets - this will affect which plants you can grow, and how much watering they might need. Consider what colours will work best in various locations, as light and colour interact. Don't forget about artificial light - there are some lovely lighting options out there for dark or shaded areas, night time, and spotlighting or highlighting.
        3. texture: basically, you have three options - coarse, medium and fine. Try and use them in such a way that combining and contrasting makes the most of both the tactile and the visual garden experience.
        4. form: form can provide definition and stability, and can be achieved with plants (round shrubs, tall trees, square hedges), fences, or architectural details.
        5. scale: scale, or proportion, is the relationship of the size of different elements in the garden.
        6. pattern: pattern can be achieved through a repetition of shapes.
        7. balance: based on a real or imagined axis, balance can be symmetrical (formal) or asymmetrical (informal).
        8. unity: unity, or harmony, is the seamless meshing together of the elements in the garden. Having a good structure, not mixing too many styles, and maintaining a simplicity all help to achieve unity.
        9. contrast: contrast adds a pleasing tension and can be achieved by using plants and objects together that are different in texture, proportion, scale or colour.
        10. colour: colour helps create a mood and reflects the seasons.
        11. variety: variety provides interest. Add accents and use focal points.

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