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[DESIGN SHOW 27] Borrowed Landscapes – Incorporating Views into your Garden


Incorporating a natural landscape (borrowed view) into the design of your garden can be a daunting challenge…

It might surprise you that it doesn’t matter if the view beyond your garden is natural or manmade, the principles of incorporation are the same.

In this latest Successful Garden Design Show episode, international garden designer Rachel Mathews will walk you through the first two principles.

Tip 1 – Copy

In Japan incorporating the landscape beyond your garden is called ‘shakkei’ which means ‘borrowed scenery’ or ‘borrowed landscape’.

One of the best ways to make sure that the surrounding landscape works with your garden design is to copy elements of the landscape beyond. This can be visually or materially, it is a great way to blend your garden with the surrounding environment.

See how the shapes of the reeds in the image above mimic the hill shapes in the background. This continuity of shape helps link the garden with the surroundings.

identify landscapes and how to use them for gardening

And the same with the jagged outline of these Leucospermums in the Kirstenbosch Botanical garden in Cape Town – they tie in well with mountainscape behind.

Copy the following in your garden

  • Shape
  • Colours
  • Textures
  • Materials

These can all be used to mimic the surroundings. This also applies to buildings and architectural features, not just natural landscapes.

Tip 2 – Contrast

Contrasting the shapes and colours you add to your garden only really works when you’ve copied elements, so you have something to contrast against.

contrasting garden designs with trees, plants and landscapes

Look how wonderfully the shape and colour of the Marsh Butterfly Lily (Wachendorfia thyrsiflora) contrast to the surrounding plants and landscape.

This type of contrast causes feature plants to really stand out.

There’s a 3rd way of really bringing the landscape into the garden, but this requires a detailed explanation to get it right, so that will be saved for a new series of in-depth design details videos that will be released late spring/ early summer 2019.

Want more garden design training?

Attend Rachel’s free garden design web classes here:

fast track garden design class

Original Article

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