Treat Your Landscape as Artwork

Bonnie Nowicki

Fellow gardeners, have you ever considered, as you look out your home window, that your yard is so lovely, it’s like a painting? If not, let’s deliberately frame our gardens to be inspiring artwork. Start with a decent-size glass window, without drapery and uninterrupted vistas. As you view your garden from this window, compose the scene. What’s the strongest focal point? A large or interesting tree or palm will draw your eye directly to it.

When looking out your window, notice your hardscape or turf. This allows openness, depth, and dimension to the overall picture. If privacy is an issue, figure out where you need some taller trees, shrubs, or fencing. Before COVID, I purchased two spearmint evergreen junipers that will grow to 10 feet by four feet, and will be a lovely privacy corner.

An interesting trellis or arbor would act as a medium-scale focal point, while a unique statue, bench, boulder, or container would be the smaller focal point. These components all add that wow factor to your artwork vista. Stick to a common theme and/or color, such as Southwest, or reds and yellows. So to recap, pick one large focal point, such as a tree, then add a medium-size one—perhaps a decorative arbor—and finally a small one, such as unique pots, a statue, or rockery.

Property lines can be disguised by plantings so you can’t see exactly where the edges are. Try planting in layers with a mix of heights. Dependable lantana, oleander, or grasses will work. These layers also soften the lines of walls. Repeat a few of the plants for a unified look. A variety of textures and colors make your “picture” more interesting. For the illusion of a larger yard, you can distract your eye from the square corners by placing an arbor or trellis on an angle.

Remember, our gardens are ever-changing pieces of art. Enhance your view inside and outside, in all seasons, with your favorite plant specimens. Happy gardening!