| By creating
physical barriers and transition zones between use areas, movement
is directed through the space: The mind becomes alert; curiosity is
piqued; the visitor feels compelled to explore and discover what lies
beyond. This is the element of mystery, and I think it's crucial to
There are many ways to incorporate mystery
into a project. Imagine, for example, the effect of an arbor or of
a simple portal pruned through a tall hedge or of a path disappearing
around a corner. These are all simple, effective and compelling ways
to create transitions from one area to another. And when your designs
include water, be it a small waterfeature or a good-sized swimming
pool, this sense of discovery can be even more dramatic.
of sight is another design tool upon which I heavily depend. When
used sensitively and skillfully, I find that playing with the angles
from which certain objects or areas can be seen is an effective and
dramatic way to prompt exploration of a garden.
To be sure, line-of-sight management
and manipulation is not new, and you see and find it in all styles
of landscape design. From the formal alignments of old-world garden
designs to the subtle natural landscapes of Japan, the use and alignment
of sight lines and planning with focal points in mind is virtually
universal, and the eye is captured along with the imagination as we
are compelled to explore.
Important factor here is the designer's awareness not just
of the superficial ways in which lines of sight are used and controlled.
Rather, it's how a composite of these outdoor rooms and their lines
of sight all relate to one another, how they work together, and how
they serve to draw the observer through the garden rooms on a voyage