Garden Landscape Design

'Choreography' is the way we are made to move around the garden by the clever placement of paths and steps within its design. Together these elements form 'connections' and if your connections are good then you will be elegantly choreographed around your garden.

This garden has the common problem of varying height levels from the house, to the back of the garden, about 6 foot or 2 meter drop. The most common thing used to correct height levels are steps, however the rule of thumb is that anymore than three steps in a row is unergonomic, and in Brendan's opinion, steps like these tend to forcefully thrust you down into the garden making the journey unpleasurable. Steps also have the effect of turning the journey into a chore, no matter how many there are, sub-consciously you are aware that at some stage you need to come back up. So eventually you will become inclined not to venture down into the garden, and such is the consequence of bad connections.

The alternative to a long set of steep steps, are residential sized spaces that are easy to negotiate, rather like oversized steps. Brendan's clever solution includes building a 'landing pad' positioned at the half way point, which breaks up the journey. The pad is also a resting place to linger for a moment before negotiating the cylindrical steps which drawyou onto the deck or, the timber steps which take you up into the house. As well asproviding a thoroughfare, the steps are large enough and arranged so that you feel comfortable stopping and sitting for a while and enjoying the view.

Movement and interaction with your garden can only happen if you have good connections. These connections should transport you around your garden in the most pleasurable, yet intended way. Installing elements that force you to stop, or divert your direct route are good, especially things like the installation of bench seating, or textural and sculptural forms. Consider your planting and never be afraid to use a plant as a feature. All of these elements are vital in choreographing the movement of people around your garden.

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