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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 2w ago

Here we are at the end of January in a beautiful new year. I’ve been tucked inside my house the last couple of days as US Midwest temperatures dropped below -20 degrees Fahrenheit (and much colder than that with wind chills…brrrr). With hot mocha in hand I simply enjoyed the process of drawing a variety of garden containers for you and I to color. Please feel free to click on the image below to print a copy for yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to relish the serene of winter and let our minds dream of future garden excursions. Enjoy!

A peanut butter and jelly garden?

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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 8M ago

One of my favorite activities is exploring gardens. Private or public, all gardens inspire our own outdoor spaces in many ways. I encourage you to visit botanic gardens, parks, private garden tours, garden centers and even amusement parks. Rather than being frustrated looking at an empty yard or blank piece of paper, conduct some three dimensional research while walking through a variety of outdoor spaces.

I recently visited two lovely gardens in eastern Pennsylvania: Longwood Gardens and Chanticleer Garden. Both have strong spaces, fabulous hardscape details, and striking plant combinations. I was beyond inspired as I spent many hours in each one taking photographic and written notes. I also visited Terrain (the photo above), a wonderful garden center that had bonus inspiration oozing every which way!

THINGS TO NOTE WHILE EXPLORING GARDENS:

  • What makes you feel good in that garden?
  • Look at the overall spaces. Are they well-defined with strong bedlines? Do they feel like rooms in themselves? Is the lawn or patio a strong shape?
  • What materials are used on the ground plane that you enjoy? Are they unique or perhaps traditional with a fresh twist?
  • What materials are used as garden walls? Fences, plants, other creative elements?
  • What materials are being used for the ceiling? Is the ceiling covering a special space?
  • Think about the color combinations being used in the planting scheme, hardscapes and furniture.
  • What plants are being used and what combinations make you go wow? A great way to make fabulous pairings is to visit successful planting designs regionally.
  • Collect your inspirations through photographs, sketches and written words.
  • What else inspires you on garden visits? Please share in the comments below!

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Proper line weights give your drawing depth and clarity. Whether you are drawing by hand or on the computer, line weights are important for visual communication.

LINE WEIGHTThe relative thickness of a drawn line

Thicker lines tend to be taller trees (those closer to you in plan view), while thinner lines are shorter plants (those farthest away in plan view). Apply the line weight variety to the outside edge of the plant, not the dot or cross-hair in the middle. The center symbol should always be thinner and typically the same for all plants (unless you are depicting the size of a trunk on an existing plant). On a side note: I use cross-hairs for proposed plant materials, while a dot represents existing.

The illustration below demonstrates a variety of line weights on a planting plan. Feel free to click on the image to download a .pdf for yourself.

Additional information about line weights can be found in the two posts below:

LINE WEIGHTS FOR LANDSCAPE PLANS

PEN OPTIONS FOR LINE WEIGHTS

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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 10M ago

My world has been extremely busy lately. I often find myself jumping from one project to the next without much of a breather. For my own sanity, it is important to take breaks through exercise, drawing, reading and even playing games. The latter is something I don't do enough, so thought it would be fun to explore game-playing through the eye of a garden designer.

The benefits of game-playing for me include:

  • Shifting my mind to break daily patterns (so I become open to creative ideas and don’t get stuck in a rut)
  • Socializing and building team-skills (especially with my 9-year-old son!)
  • Problem-solving in a fun, non-stressful way
  • Sharpening those lighthearted competitive skills 
  • Encouraging laughter (if you find amazing teammates!)

To foster game-playing in your busy life I’ve created two garden-style tic-tac-toe boards. Click on the images above and below to access .pdf's that you can print on cardstock. Cut out the playing pieces, then allow your brain to relax and shift focus.

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Were you ever compelled to walk down a path to see where it lead or go through a beautiful gate to see what was on the other side? These are magical tricks to peak your curiosity and  coerce you to walk through a garden. A skilled designer can use mystery to lead a visitor through a landscape crafting a unique experience, while engaging their sense of adventure.

Paths are a fabulous way to guide a sense of mystery. They can peak your curiosity by leading you to an unknown destination, guide you to an intriguing focal point, or shift your experience by taking you from one garden room to the next by passing through thresholds. Below is a collection of images showcasing mystery in the garden.

Try some of these techniques to instill mystery into your garden:

UNKNOWN DESTINATIONUse a path to lead someone into the unknown. When the destination can't be seen, it draws the visitor into explorer mode.  We can't help but wonder where it leads.

FOCAL POINTSFocal points can intensify curiosity, especially if set far enough away to encourage investigation. I love when I can see a bright spot of color or interesting form ahead, but can't quite figure it out. I'm drawn in to learn more.

THRESHOLDSThese are a transition from one garden space to another, such as gates, stairways, and arbors. Experiencing a threshold is often special in itself, but passing through to see what's on the other side is even more spectacular.

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious - Albert Einstein

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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 1y ago

Here we are at the beginning of a fabulous new year and I want to dream big...but my mind is blank (too many holiday sweets perhaps?). I love teaching you about garden design and graphics, but can I do it better, in a different format, brighter, bolder, more glitter? Will you dream big with me? How can I help you learn more about landscape design, about drawing gardens, about making them beautiful, sparking inspiration? Did something just pop into your head?! Hurry, write it down here:

DREAM BIG GARDEN DESIGN NOTES

And if you don't have an idea yet, please enjoy coloring these lovely little garden chairs (simply click on the image to download a .pdf for yourself), then come back later to jot down your thoughts. Welcome to 2018!

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Last weekend marked two musical firsts for my younger kids. My 16-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son attended their first concerts. Both experienced an energetic performance by Judah and the Lion, then my daughter was able to experience a theatrical Katy Perry the next day. It made me think about how much my mom influenced us with her love of music when we were young. She constantly played the radio and was the cool mom that had to watch every moment of MTV when it first appeared in the early 80s. My older brother kept me up late playing the drums with his band, my uncle generously shared Beatle albums with us, my younger brother and I would dance for hours to Michael Jackson and now my own kids dabble in a variety of instruments.

Though I don't play an instrument myself, music weaves through my past and present in many meaningful ways. One way is through my love of landscape design, which is like music in three-dimensional form. The beauty of a garden is expressed through its dynamic nature...and how one can move through it. Carefully thought out patterns paired with repetition can create mesmerizing rhythm (like a musical beat) that pulls one through a lovely space. I've created a graphic below to explain rhythm in the garden.

TO CREATE RHYTHM IN THE GARDEN:

  • Repeat an element like stepping stones, strong plant forms, columns, posts, etc. in a linear or cyclical pattern.   
  • Make the repetitive element even more interesting by disrupting the pattern once in awhile with a different shape or color.
  • Allow the repetitive pattern to lead your eye (and body!) to a focal point or to another area in the garden. Rhythm can be powerful in this way! Use it to your advantage.
  • Create slow rhythm by spacing elements farther apart (like stepping stones) or increase the speed by placing items close.

I've also included a collection of garden photos that demonstrate rhythm below. Look at each one and see if you can find the repetitive, rhythmic pattern. Does it draw you into the garden or simply move your eye around the space? 

Now I encourage you to think about how rhythm can be swirled into your garden. Do you need a rhythmic path to connect two special spaces or simply an interesting fence line to lead your eye across your garden while sitting on a patio? Either way rhythm is a lovely way to add a dynamic musical beat to your outdoor space.

For additional images of rhythm in the garden please take a peek at my Pinterest board here.

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