Gardens Are Viewed from Many Angles


When designing gardens, I like to go inside the house for a number of reasons. I look out windows and traipse upstairs to see the garden from each story of the building. In my own garden you have seen many images from the second story porch. This gives an overview in a tiny yard, but on larger properties the views are often more special, so each should have a pleasant view. Some show garden rooms, and others have borrowed views.

I cannot show this from client properties, but trust me, it really is an important design consideration.

Another factor is bringing the inside out and outside in. This is often color schemes and character. Sometimes, like in my own home, the decorating colors transcend to the outdoors. This post shows how the inside outside connection is made in my own kitchen renovation. In the dining room, I added a French door where a window above eye level was previously to make a literal connection, and the rusty/deep red plants make the color connection.

The idea is to imagine what would the homeowner like to see when a chair is pulled next to a window for those moments of reflection and relaxation. I have posts showing this trick also, but too pressed for time to look them up.


But that is only one aspect in design. When in the garden, the idea is to have each view have some special interest of their own, yet be cohesive as a whole.


Here are views I rarely show, yet hold their own within the design.




Still early in the growing season, much is yet to bloom and grow taller. I leave that which has flowered in amongst those ready to bloom. Some is for structural reason and others architectural interest.


The front yard has much color to show through the seasons. Another few weeks and the blues explode.


I have a really big difference in this garden, front and back coming up. I took my garden club to one of my local wholesale growers. The woman grows 700 varieties of Daylilies and hybridized quite a few. The club purchased 10 varieties in quantity at an unheard of price ($10 for a group of 6-8 clumps – one variety). Shes sells each specialty daylily at $15 to $20 each. We got maybe 8-20 plants per clump at 6-8 clumps per variety times 10. That is a lot of daylilies.

What are we doing with them all? We are caring for them in our own gardens until next year when they go to our annual perennial sale. My garden has about 30 new plants. Other members planted the rest, so you can imagine how many they have. I will show you their gardens when I go to photograph the plants blooming so to make plant tags for next year. It should be an amazing sight.

I also have a post upcoming on our trip to the daylily farm. You will not want to miss this property.


Taken from second story roof, 9AM June 12, 2013. The image shows the front garden from above, yet it cannot be seen from the interior of the home on the second story level. My office roof blocks the view, so I had to climb a ladder to show you (not my specialty).

I am in the process of trimming the hedges which will be finished this afternoon. It is necessary to keep the yews and boxwood small enough for the tiny garden. Both varieties, Buxus ‘Green Velvet’ and Taxus x media ‘Densiformis’ are lower growing.  I only trim them every three years, letting them go al naturale the remaining time. The shrubs will flush out and green up after this hard prune by the end of summer.


As I mentioned above, this garden goes through many changes throughout the season. It is designed to span all seasons with interest.

FRYD6-11-13-3Next, the Lewiston GardenFest announcement. Then the daylily farm. So much in store.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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38 Responses to Gardens Are Viewed from Many Angles

  1. Dr. Booky says:

    I love the way your hedges (boxwood?) frame the flowers. What a beautiful garden from all angles.

  2. Graziella says:

    the more you post about design the more I see it’s more complicated than it looks. How do you manage to get all that into one composition, I would get lost instantly, types of plants, colours, bloom times, growth, foliage/flowers, viewing angles, complimenting the house color scheme ….. too much :\

    • It was planned from the start. I have a series called The Process of Design I did in 2010. Enter that in search and it will take you to it. I go through the planning process from the perspective of a professional, how one thinks to execution. I used my tiny garden for the example. I did this as a talk to groups with slides and this was from the book that accompanied the talk. The garden has changed since then, because I am able to make big changes easily, and without cost.

  3. Lee@A Guide to Northeastern Gardening says:

    Nice perspective. I like how your second story view really shows the framework of the gardens. I also enjoyed how you pointed out about bringing the inside out and visa versa-such important design concepts. Nice post with good garden views!

    • Thank you. Many don’t think the inside/outside connection, but it makes a nice transition. The front is a courtyard design that opens welcomingly to the street. The walls/boxwood enclose the garden space and divide it from the entry walk and the tree-lines sideyard.

  4. commonweeder says:

    Beautiful photos of a beautiful garden. Adventurous photographer!

  5. Phil Lanoue says:

    Tremendous views of all this natural beauty!

  6. Your right about thinking about more than one view. For our front garden, there are two views that matter most to us. First, the view from our front door. Not that we sit by the front door (no windows), but there’s something about that first view of the garden in the morning that is very important to us. Second, the view from the sidewalk. I admit I am a show off when it comes to gardening, and I like to impress the neighbors. Similarly, I take the view from the street into account. Also the view from the grass path within the garden.

    • Good to know you know design. This is one thing that non-designers never really consider. It is hard to think conceptually for what a design will look like as a whole over time – where the parts play a role both individually and as a larger design. It takes planning and a lot of experience to make it come together. In my own garden, I trial many plants for clients, I get many plants from properties being redesigned, and get plants from growers for free, so you can see my garden loses a bit of cohesiveness with this.

  7. Patty says:

    I think this may be the first time I have seen your front garden. I think it is absolutely charming. I recognize some of the plants but do not know the white flowering one. What is it?

    • Thought I tagged the photo, but didn’t. It is Salvia nemorosa ‘Snow Hill’. Patty, there are a number of front yard photos at different times of the year. I show it often because it really does show differently through the year, especially when the Shasta daisies, Veronica and asters bloom.

  8. Beautiful Captures – love gardens that have interaction to them – makes me want to explore:) Have a Great Day!

    • Even small spaces can be sectioned off into smaller intimate areas. My back garden has four areas that ‘feel’ a bit different from one another, yet work together for the whole.

      • Love that:) I am working on creating spaces in our new back yard and patio area – so far have a dining space, a grill space, a veggie garden, and a sitting space.

  9. Our garden club for which I am the secretary has but 5 members trying to do a huge town so we have chose to do One Corner At A Time 🙂

    Today before rains hit NH another member and I dug for over an hour all kinds of Lilies and Irises, foam flowers as well as assorted other goodies. from a local mans yard who is making an amazing place to call home. We reap the benefit from all of his divisions.

    Now to tackle MY SPACE

    Your post was awesome!

  10. A.M.B. says:

    Your garden looks beautiful! There are many important considerations that go into designing a garden. I really appreciate how you lay it all out so clearly.

  11. Great views Donna. I designed many views of the garden from inside the house. It is the perfect way to enjoy your garden.

  12. jaymart46 says:

    Is that an Iceberg rose? please tell

    • Yes, front and back – Iceberg roses.

      • jaymart46 says:

        Thank you for your reply. I am in 5b Canada. It is nice to see it in someone elses garden to get some perspective. Last Fall I planted 7 Icebergs and they are doing great. I bought all they had…….. for $1 each, mid September in HomeDepo, Ontario WOW

        • They are pretty disease free in our climate that is not too favorable for most roses. I do little pruning, let them stand over winter and never use pesticides. Occasionally, the Japanese beetles will chew on them, but never much of an infestation since I rely on the birds to eat the grubs. I use no lawn products either for this reason. I had six planted out front, but reduced that to two. The roses happily live at my neighbor’s property.

  13. You design gardens also? This one that you’ve shown is wonderful. Such a great cottage garden you’ve created.

  14. Always love seeing your photos of your gardens. You have special talents.

  15. I’m just catching up on my reading. Great photos and great design!

  16. Very helpful, Donna!

  17. Bom says:

    I would never have considered looking at my plant arrangement from inside the house. I think mine is more of a collectors garden (is there even such a thing?). Everything grouped together and located according to sun / rain exposure. I’m so impressed by the effort you put into your designs and looking at the different views you have shared in this post shows how good you are at your work. I’m also impressed by the angle from which you take your shots. Remember our discussion about how I thought your gardens were so much larger because of how you framed your pictures? 😀

    • As a collector, you have different design needs. I have a few clients that are collectors. Some daylilies and some in tree peonies. I still make the beds viewable from the house, these particular ones from the home offices of the doctor with the peonies, and the sales rep with the daylilies. They like keeping an eye on their babies. I do remember talking about the lens I use to make the garden appear larger. Honestly, I like it looking larger, rather than being larger. Work keeps me in gardens full time, so home needs to be less work and more pleasure.

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