Friday, February 20, 2009

Foreground | Midground | Background

Garden design is about spatial design and the experience of space. Mainly, it’s about perception and how we perceive the space we are in. There are three elements of composition that directly impact how we view space. They are the foreground, the midground and the background. How we manipulate these three things or not will directly effect one’s experience of the space.

The foreground is the place to put plants that can be viewed up close and personal, such as small or delicate plants or flowers.

041107033_christmas_fern_anemonella thalictroides

The foreground can also direct the eye toward what is in the midground and beyond.


Fine Gardening

Lovely or scented flowers should be placed adjacent to walks, patios or grass areas where they can be enjoyed by people.

Hearst Castle

Sculpture, works of art or other objects of interest are best placed in the midground.


Fine Gardening


Fine Gardening

Sculpture3 Fine Gardening

The background should serve as a backdrop for those elements in the mid and foreground areas.





  1. I can't get enough of your pictures.

  2. This reminds me of post I wrote a few months ago about scale from John Saladino's book! Beautiful images!

  3. I cannot wait to get into the garden! The photos today are wonderful..good info! I found you via Colour Me Happy's blog today! :)

    Bon Weekend!

  4. Just what I needed, some spring inspiration.

    I was hanging out my bedroom window looking down on the deck, thinking...should I bring out the outdoor furniture? Then, I remembered that last freeze, or snow that we get in March.

    My favorite image is the turtle scuptures in the corridor of trees. I love a good perspective.

  5. Ivy and Michelle,

    Thanks for stopping by! Michelle, I am a big fan of your work and love your renderings. Just curious, how long does it take you to complete a sketch?

  6. Beautiful. I wish you'd been writing a blog about 20 years ago. It would've saved me a LOT of trial and error in the garden!

    Thanks for all the useful information.

  7. Thanks for the lovely, informative postings. Things to keep in mind as we figure where to put that next gotta-have plant. Many of the pictures are inspiring as we look to the future seasons. I did note though that your garden zone map is out of date compared to the current USDA offering. Thanks to the revised map we now get to plant less hardy plants. :)

  8. sorry to post this as a comment, but I don’t have your email.
    I am regular visitor of your blog..
    Sir i would request to write more about green architecture...
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  9. hi it is wonderful


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