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Do you need direction?

Do you need direction? Some simple tips for your garden

If there's one thing we all need, it's DIRECTION. Just imagine what chaos it would be on the road without it. People like to know where they are going - whether it's on a motorway; in life; in a job; in a public park or indeed, in a garden. Why?  Because making sense of the things around us means that we can work out what to do. Where to go and how to proceed. It enables us to get the most out of what we are doing.

Signpost giving direction through a garden and park Which way shall I go?

Do you know where you are going?

Let's not think in philosophical terms here, but concentrate on something far more achievable. Gardens. Have you noticed how pleasurable it is to be in a garden that guides you on a journey? Or within a public park that gently leads you from one pleasure to the next without leaving you to work out how to get there?

We all need direction. In a garden, in a field, with a dog, in life Which direction would you take across this meadow?
Long grass in the countryside Where should I go here?

It's all quite easy once you realise that you have the power to direct dozens; hundreds; even thousands of people, without having to say a single word.

How can you do this? Take the above picture of a simple meadow. The pathway through long grass looks like a pleasurable route. Indeed, the temptation to resist travelling down that path would be difficult to resist. The second picture, however, is quite different. Where would you go? There's no 'destination' mapped out for you. Perhaps you would turn around to find another path.

Pathways are an excellent method of providing direction. They can be purely functional or rather more decorative; creative or plain; essential or frivolous. Not only do they provide a 'flow' for pedestrian traffic but they protect areas around them by keeping people on a definite 'route'. A form of crowd control without the police.

pathway through trees to a bench in the woods Who could resist following this path to the bench in the woods?
Footpath through vegetables Fully functional - this footpath keeps everything neat and tidy and directs you to where you need to go.

There are other ways to direct, without using paths. This is the STRUCTURAL element of a garden. Structure can be provided by plants and features that are permanent. Trees, including conifers; shrubs; hedges; ponds; garden archways; pergolas; statues; even flowerbeds and the shape of your lawn. They guide the eye to visually lead you around the garden and also provide physical clues as to what this garden is all about.

Low hedge provides direction around a garden It's easy to see which direction you need to walk in with the aid of a structural hedge

This is the great attraction of statues; benches and specimen plants that are positioned to provide a 'destination' . Seeing something interesting in the distance immediately gives people DIRECTION.

Hedges, gardens, statues, sculpture all provide structure and give direction Hedges and statues provide great structure in a garden
Garden, lawn, borders, sculpture, hedges, destination, direction, garden design The shape of the border together with hedges and the appealing sight of a statue in the distance provide good direction and draw people towards a destination
Cast aluminium deer in a garden border, sculpture, statues, give direction These deer sculptures close to the borders might provide a touch of intrigue and some permanent structure in the garden

Try it in your own garden! Add a statue to create a 'destination' and  see how it alters the perception of an outdoor space.

sculpture in garden provides a destination and direction. Statue A sculpture gives a garden meaning and allows people to make sense of a space. It gives direction - and provides a 'destination'

Even tiny spaces should have a sense of purpose. But don't make the mistake of filling small gardens with tiny features. Think big - it's far more effective. In fact a large pot or sculpture makes a small garden look much larger.

small garden with pot and planting The central large pot gives a great sense of scale to this well-designed small garden.

Have FUN with your garden. It doesn't need to be a blank lawn surrounded by a fence! Use planting and structure and the place will burst into life.

A boring garden with lawn and fences no planting How much better could this garden be with some plants and some structure?
Interesting garden with lawn, planting, walls, structure There's still a lawn but lots more interest in this garden which has plenty of structure from walls to furniture and planting.

Perfect Plants  would love to see what's going on in your garden! Tell us about it. Post your pictures on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/perfectplantsonline or email us: info@perfectplants.co.uk

Happy gardening!


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