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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 2w ago

Though we can cover many complicated things in design, sometimes I like to step back and cover the basics. Two of those things include how to simply roll and fold a plan when storing or transporting them.

ROLLING A PLAN

The idea here is to roll your plan/image so it faces out, rather than in. We often want the image inside the roll because we want to protect it, but when you roll it this way the edges curl up when you lay it back out (super annoying). If you roll your plan with the image on the outside, it lays much flatter. If you’re concerned about your plan getting dirty, simply roll a protective sheet over it.

FOLDING AN 11 x 17 PLAN

When working with smaller plans it’s often more appropriate to fold (rather than roll) them into a neat and tidy package. An 11” x 17” plan folds perfectly into an 8 1/2” x 11” format, so you can easily include it with other important project documents.

Click on either image above to print out a .pdf image.

A peanut butter and jelly garden?

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A fellow teacher, landscape designer, writer and mentor, Jan Johnsen, once shared with me how she would bring her favorite books to the classroom to expose her students to inspirational garden literature. I now do the same with my students and thought it would be fun to share some with you periodically too.

Below are three books I’ve been diving into lately:

PLANTING IN A POST-WILD WORLDby Thomas Rainer and Claudia West

I’ll be honest, when I bought this book in 2016 (about a year after it’s publication) I placed it on my shelf and didn’t look at it again until Kelly Norris and I taught a workshop together at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden over a year ago. We were using some key principles from this book, so I sat down and read it from front to back. I’ve been enamoured ever since and now teach the designed plant community concepts in my advanced landscape design studio.

GARDENTOPIAby Jan Johnsen

Yes, the same Jan Johnsen I mentioned above wrote this fun, new garden design book. I had the honor to read this book before publication and was thrilled to formally endorse it. It’s a wonderful resource filled with tons of garden design ideas. These concepts range from traditional principles with a new twist, to highly detailed thoughts freshly spun for even experienced designers. Fun photos and short text descriptions keep you engaged and wanting more.

COLOR SCHEMES FOR THE FLOWER GARDENby Gertrude Jekyll

My students write about a significant landscape designer each spring and as I read one paper on Gertrude Jekyll it made me realize I still hadn’t explored any of her writing (yikes!). This is one of Jekyll’s most popular books reprinted in 2001. It includes a lovely preface by Richard Bisgrove that dispels and highlights some fun facts before diving full force into Jekyll’s colorful writing. If you’re looking for beautiful plant combinations during certain seasons, you’ll find those here.

Let me know what garden books you’re currently reading and enjoy. We would all love adding to our collection!

A peanut butter & jelly garden?

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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 2M ago

I received a lavender scented soap from a dear friend recently and was suddenly taken back to memories of my childhood. Oddly, I didn’t grow up among lavender fields and my parents didn’t have gardens overflowing with this sweetly-musky, spiky flower. I grew up in northeastern Illinois, where lavender often struggles to thrive year-round. To be honest, I don’t think I even saw lavender growing in the ground until I was an adult visiting a southern state, and yes, I was in awe.

Why does lavender take me back to my childhood? It was something I only found in specialty gift shops, dried and neatly wrapped in twine. The scent entranced me and I longed to have it for my own. These sweet bundles often had a hefty price tag (at least to a child), so I began to associate lavender with something the wealthy, living far, far away could have….and never for me. It was one piece of the puzzle that inspired my love for plants and gardens.

That soap gift made me realize I still don’t have the luxury of lavender in my garden so I’ve made it a goal to purchase some plants this upcoming spring. I still live in the Midwest, so called my good friend, Kelly Norris at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, for his advice of lavender cultivars to grow in our area (zone 5). I thought some of you might enjoy seeing his recommendations below too.

Phenomenal French LavenderLavandula x intermedia 'Niko'

Kelly’s thoughts: ‘Phenomenal’ is my top pick for around here and in so many parts of the country. It gets big (3x3’) but is very reliable.

Munstead LavenderLavandula angustifolia 'Munstead'

Kelly’s thoughts: ‘Munstead’ does pretty well. It’s not the longest lived and we have to work on some individuals occasionally to shape them up into something in the spring, but it’s a good old oldie.

These lavender photos were taken in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

What plants impacted you as a child and still inspire you today? Please share in the comments below.

A peanut butter & jelly garden?

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Paper Garden Workshop by Lisa Orgler - 3M 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 - 11M 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 - 1y 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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