We start with Reflective Gardening.
Did you ever consider how you view your garden? View it in a reflective way? Be reflective in a garden? Consider using a mirror in the garden? Adding water for its reflective qualities? How about a gazing ball? There is so many ways to add light and color, expand a view or have the view be expansive. Using reflection in garden design is a designer trick to add to the garden experience.
Many gardeners (above, Art of Gardening) in our area make use of mirrors in the gardens, especially those that do small space gardening. It makes the garden feel larger and if strategically placed, more flower-filled. In the case of the image above, it becomes a changing “painting” in the space. Notice next to it two other mirrors. The space is very well-appointed and designed.
A few things worth a mention, be considerate of birds. They have a tendency during mating season to fly right into a mirrored surface. Be considerate of neighboring properties too, since mirrors in a sunny location can redirect the rays of the sun in a glaring manner. A mirror in the garden can brighten a shady spot.
Large gardens approach the reflective design aspect of a garden a bit differently, using water to reflect back a pleasant view or in the case of this daylily garden, gazing balls. The orbs add sparkle and a bit of bling, yet had their beginnings in lure and legend. They were objects to keep evil at bay, bring good luck and prosperity, and a show of friendship through the ages. But they also were coveted for their reflective abilities, to see people entering a premises or even to spy on young lovers.
Click any image to see the garden of the gazing balls larger in the galleries below. The daylilies reflect back all the color and visual excitement of the gardens.
One of the best uses of gazing orbs is when they are surrounded by multitudes of flowers. View both galleries for ideas and a splash of garden color.
I think the best use of reflection in a garden does it both in the most obvious way with an image reflecting back at the viewer, but also allowing for those inner reflective moments. Nothing does that better than adding water to a garden, not just a small artificial pond, but ponds of natural scale.
Click through the gallery for the sense of peace.
Notice in all these images why one would feel at peace and reflect back on times of joy, contentment and inner peace. What makes these places feel like someplace special? Is it the large towering trees? Most certainly that is one aspect of the experience. Tall trees are comforting and sheltering, they also make one feel small in relationship to the nature that surrounds. This is where being reflective comes in, especially if a garden sitting area is positioned by the water feature as in the case of all images shown from the vantage point of the seating in the gallery below.
How about the water. Water can be soothing in its calmness, silencing and masking the internal chatter we have in our daily lives. Do you notice the lawns? They are also a factor in the feeling of calm. Green is a color that elicits calm, restfulness, cheerfulness and makes one feel healthful. The blue sky above adds to the tranquility. The grass sets the scene and is nothing more than a foundation for the theater of nature in these large gardens. Water and trees equals wildlife and all the soothing sounds that one hears. Take a look through the gallery of calming scenes. See if you feel it.
Stay tuned, April has some great ideas. Happy gardening! Hope you get some inspiration.