Subscribe to our Blogs

Entries in Pergola (2)

Friday
Oct162015

Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition: 50 Shades of Landscape

This is the third in a series of articles on Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition (click here for the first entry on Color and here for the second entry on Texture). Today we want to talk about light and shadow in the landscape. Light and shadow could be simplified into sun and shade but light and shadow are about so much more than that. Light and shadow are about depth and dimension.

Dappled shade on Irregular Bluestone patio surrounded by a vibrant perennial border.There are different types of shade. When talking about plants in particular, there is light, partial, full and deep shade. There can be a total blocking of light, like from a solid roof or dense shade tree, or dappled or intermittent shade, like from a lace canopied shade tree or pergola. Shade is great for sitting and dining areas where you’d like prolonged shade and cooler temperatures. Mature shade trees are worth their weight in gold. Think twice when locating a new pool. You can easily cut down a tree, but it can take decades for a newly planted tree to offer enough shade for a large area.  Most people want their pool and pool patio to be in a sunny area. The sun offers natural warming of the water, but even with warm water, swimming in the shade can be chilly. A pool patio with some umbrellas for sun protection is perfect for keeping the area nice and warm while cooling off in the pool.

There are different types of plants for sun or shade and they run the gamut from full sun all day long to full shade and anywhere in between. Pay attention to flower colors for different lighting scenarios. In deep shade, white, apricot, pale yellow, pastels of pink and lavender, and other light colors really pop and brighten up a shadowy area. In bright sun, vibrant and saturated colors stand out more than their paler counterparts. Deep reds, corals, purples, yellows, oranges and blues stand up to the sun’s dramatic rays.

Pergola casting striped shade over a sophisticated seating area, emphasizing the architectural detail of the overhead structure.Outdoor lighting not only extends the use of a space from day to night, it can be used to highlight architectural features such as this Westchester granite fireplace.Just as shadows can be functional in the day, they are also useful at night. Use shadows for dramatic effect when it is dark out. Pergolas that cast filtered shade during the day can also act as a dramatic filter for light at night. Lighting angled up or down through a pergola sets the scene for an intimate gathering. Using lights in the garden can highlight more than the architectural elements like pergolas and stone walls. Utilize spotlights to display specimen trees. Moonlighting in a mature shade tree is more than functional; it creates a fun nighttime atmosphere. Moonlighting involves placing downward facing light fixtures 30 feet up inside of a tree’s canopy. With the right lighting scheme, not only can a property be used day or night, it can also enhance the beauty of both man and Mother Nature’s architecture.

Aesthetically, light and shadow play a huge part in the drama of our gardens. Functionally, you need a varying palette of height, spread and depth from your plantings to create a harmonized space. Hierarchy is king in our next piece on scale in the garden!

 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Thursday
Mar122015

Getting the Most from a Small Scale Garden

Improving your outdoor living space doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. Goldberg and Rodler specializes in landscape projects of all sizes. Small scale projects can enhance an existing landscape aesthetic, create a comfortable atmosphere, and increase functionality of your garden. Site design can create private space in a large landscape, or maximize usability on smaller properties. Small scale projects are great opportunities to add seating or overhead elements to existing patios and decks as well as highlighting specimen plants. If you don’t want a total landscape makeover, we can work within your budget to meet your goals with a small space garden design.

A small garden and patio space for relaxing with friends and family.

The ideal outdoor space enhances the overall perception of your landscape. You can create specific moods using planting strategies and sensitivity to the creation of microclimates. Microclimates are isolated pockets of the environment that are different from the surrounding climates. They can be hotter or colder depending on the degree of screening provided by plant massing and sun/shade exposure. It doesn’t take much time for initial plantings to fill in and start creating the intimacy that define small space gardens. Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) is a great evergreen tree for screening larger spaces while Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata) can provide excellent screening in smaller spaces.  Skip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus "Schipkaensis') is a relatively fast growing shrub you could use in smaller shady areas to screen neighbors or unsightly utilities.  Take advantage of the opportunity to highlight a specimen plant.  Small trees and large shrubs like Weeping Norway Spruce (Picea pendula) and Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) can act as the centerpiece of your intimate space.  This area can become a unique destination, not only for yourself but for family and friends as well.

A narrow backyard that seemed unusable, has been transformed into an intimate gathering space.

Overhead structures like pergolas or arbors can be a tasteful addition to your existing outdoor space. They are custom wood or PVC structures that can be a free standing entity or an extension of your house. They invite opportunities for seating and entertaining. Depending on the spacing of the rafters, you can control the amount of filtered light as well as shadow patterns. An organic addition attached to these pergolas and arbors can be trained vines that add seasonal color and filtered summer shade.

A pergola trained with wisteria will create a comfortable microclimate over time.Small scale site design in your landscape is an opportunity to introduce intimate landscape details and can offer you privacy and improved aesthetics at a price fit for your budget. These designs can provide your landscape with a suggested destination and focal point while utilizing perspective to frame and showcase views. These techniques are also perfect for making small spaces seem larger and opening up tight spaces that feel cramped and uncomfortable. Consult with the experienced staff at Goldberg and Rodler to bring your small scale site design to life. 

Written by Nick Onesto