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Planting Design - Beauty In Contrast

Winter 2020 - EAS 691 - Ecological Planting Design - Taught by MaryCarol Hunter.

Planting design plans for a hypothetical office's front garden space.

For people about to embark on another day at the office, life can have a haunting feeling of sameness, with a signifcant lack of vibrancy and contrast. How can you create a restorative “wild”, yet cared-for garden, which amplifies the lively contrasts of color, texture, form, and environment to help enrich a passerby’s experience before they head indoors? Bisected by a rustic stone path, this garden offers a cohesiveness in its experience of sensory and visual diversity. On the north side of the path, marked with the vertical hierarchy and seasonal color richness of Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry, a lush woodland community lives. An array of refreshing greens, with fresh fine textures of an array of sedges, golden blooms of Bluestem Goldenrod, and intricate foliage forms of forbs and accents, creating a lush yet gentle woodland walk. From the inside of the office looking out, people gaze through the open arms of Serviceberry, over the low carpet of green, into the garden south of the stone path. This southern garden reaches high, where the other stayed low, and blossoms into a bold collection of yellow-clustered flowers, pillowy pink blooms, and a spectrum of colors in grass stems and fall foliage.  Luscious iris and turtlehead dot the wettest areas of the rain garden, and offer a site-line through from the bench, a view framed by the tall stalks of Joe-Pye Weed and Prairie Dock. From sunny prairie foliage to subtle forest sedges, ‘Beauty In Contrast’ builds people up with life, whether passing through, or looking out from another day at the office.
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