Fairy Yardmother Landscape Design

by Kathy Oberg, Landscape Designer, Los Angeles, CA.

Thank you for visiting my site. I enjoy bringing you pictures of gardens, plants, and ideas from sunny Southern California. I love sharing after-photos that show how my landscape plans, plant lists and layouts come to life.
As a designer, I use plants to create drama, provide color and form, and compliment the architectural style of your home.
I strive to provide a buffer from sun, street, and neighbors while still fostering connections.
Inspired plant choices and site layout can make any space a success.
I am a Certified Watershed Wise Professional, with techniques to improve soil health and keep more water on your property.
I can help you makeover your patio, paths, planting areas, or entire property. I will consult with you, choose a look you love, and compose a plan and plant list to update your landscape, re-using what you already have wherever we can.
Each project is different because it is about making your space really shine.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Elements -- Circles

As I walked through Descanso Gardens, I saw some of the most striking circular and rounded elements. It's a wonderful place to find examples of all sorts of circles and rings, curves and arches used in Landscape Design.

As I started exploring the garden with circles on my mind, I started to see them everywhere, even overlapping!
And I wondered about their symbolism and their connotations. Circles connote wholeness and perfection. They relate to cycles and eternity.
When you are in a dense woods, surrounded by trees, and you come to a clearing -- a rough open circle -- there is an immediate rush of relief. You will probably feel a need to stop and stay a while. Entering a clearing is like entering a room.

Circles are often a chosen shape for garden spaces. And Circles, like clearings in the woods, at least in movies and books, are a place for magic. They provide protection. They provide a setting for ceremonies, like a gazebo for a wedding. And, like the wedding band, they represent eternity.

Rose Garden Gazebo
The Gazebo is in a Circular Raised Planting area

Spanish Fountain and Rotunda

Fountains and pools are often circular, a sort of perfection of a natural pool or pond.

The Spanish Fountain at Descanso is a wonderful round "room" that can hold a large group of people comfortably. One can sit anywhere around the perimeter, and the fountain is always the focal point.
I can picture a fabulous party in this space, with couples dancing around the fountain!

Detail of Central Fountain and Perimeter

Circles are very attractive in the landscape. Maybe we are drawn to the simplicity and perfection of the circle. Maybe we enjoy seeing the whole of something all at once. In life, one often loses track of the beginning and the end of things, but in a circle, the beginning and end are joined together in one!

The "Open Gazebo"

These large rounded metal trellises make up an open gazebo. They are quite imposing, especially when covered with grapes and hops. And they surround a small round pond.

The fourth side of the "Open Gazebo"

The open gazebo is a strange place to spend time. The circle is implied, and I kind of like the concept, but somehow I'm not very comfortable here. The four giant trellises are like monoliths that are clearly separate. There is no comforting sense of enclosure. The pond in the center is so small compared to the trellises. I think the scale is off for me, but it's still a very interesting open circle. I am reminded of Stonehenge!

Open Gazebo from a distance

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