Best design ideas 2018: The garden might be mostly sleeping where I live, but it’s not out of mind by any means. I keep going back to a couple of conversations that I had on my public-radio program and podcast with guests this last year, discussions aimed at helping all of us who garden to think about tying things together better visually—about making more successful design decisions.
I think that’s one big area that stymies a lot of gardeners, myself included, and I looked back on highlights of what I learned from interviews on the show in 2018. Where to put what–a bed, a border, a patio, or even several different plants in relationship to one another—can be elusive, to say the least.
One conversation that really stayed with me, and also one of the most popular interviews of 2018 with listeners, was my chat with Susan Morrison,a California-based garden designer and author of “The Less Is More Garden,” a book that really helps us try to identify what our signature style is.
In an anecdote in the book’s introduction, Susan talks about visiting two women’s gardens near each other on the same day, each with its very own distinctive style despite the fact that each garden was relatively small–and again, practically neighbors. They could not have been more different–one was all about color, the other nearly flower-less and all about textural plays.
To me that really speaks to what the goal is, bottom line: to establish what Susan calls a signature style of our own. I love that idea. Not to mimic something in particular, or follow some set of rules from some lofty textbook on landscape architecture, but to put OUR signature on our garden.