Tag Archives: landscape design

Suburban Garden Design

Garden design advice with regards to one’s neighbors:

Scott, Frank J. The Art of Beautifying Suburban Home Grounds of Small Extent. Illustrated by upward of two hundred plates and engravings of plans for residences and their grounds, of trees and shrubs, and garden embellishments; with descriptions of the beautiful and hardy trees and shrubs grown in the United States. New York, John B. Alden, 1886, [c1870].

There is no way in which men deprive themselves of what costs them nothing and profits them much, more than dividing their improved grounds from their neighbors, and from the view of passers on the road, by fences and hedges. The beauty obtained by throwing front grounds open together, is of that excellent quality which enriches all who take part in the exchange, and makes no man poorer. As a merely business matter it is simply stupid to shut out, voluntarily, a pleasant lookout through a neighbor’s ornamental grounds. If, on the other hand, such opportunities are improved, and made the most of, no gentleman would hesitate to make return for the privilege by arranging his own ground so as to give the neighbor equally pleasing vistas into or across it. It is unchristian to hedge from the sight of others the beauties of nature which it has been our good fortune to create or secure; and all the walls, high fences, hedge screens and belts of tress and shrubbery…are so many means by which we show how unchristian and unneighborly we can be….To hedge out deformities is well; but to narrow our own or our neighbor’s views of the free graces of Nature by our own volition, is quite another thing. (60-61)

Scott, pg. 60

Cridland, Robert B. Practical Landscape Gardening: The Importance of Careful Planning, Locating the House, Arrangement of Walks and Drives, Construction of Walks and Drives, Lawns and Terraces, How to Plant a Property, Laying Out a Flower Garden, Architectural Features of the Garden, Rose Gardens and Hardy Borders, Wild Gardens and Rock Gardens, Planting Plans and Planting Lists.  New York, A. T. De La Mare Company, Inc., 1927.

Have some thought for your neighbor and the passerby. Surely such an opportunity is not to be overlooked, for of all the pleasures none is to be compared with that which brings joy to the heart of others. 

The owner who plans, builds and cultivates beautiful things is a benefactor, and in no channel of thought or activity is there greater or more satisfying response than in the creation of the beautiful in landscape design (Fig. 3), showing a well placed flowering specimen. (pg. 10)

Cridland, fig. 3

Eckbo, Garrett. The Art of Home Landscaping. New York: F. W. Dodge Corp., [1956].

Unless some minimum cooperation between neighbors exists- so that each neighbor thinks about what his planning may do to the people next door, and knows that they are just as concerned with what they may do to him- problems like the elm and the roses are bound to arise. (pg. 259)

Eckbo, pg. 258

Vertical Gardens

The arrival of spring compelled me to dive into the Architecture & Planning Library stacks this week looking for some greenery. I leafed through several lovely books about gardens in Europe, the United States, and Japan, spent some time with works on topiary, and then I found Vertical Gardens.  As an avowed urbanite I am very interested in the greening of city spaces, so I was delighted to find this book with its focus on the utilization of “vegetal vigor” on the vertical plane.  The expense of horizontal space in cities often precludes the development of the gardens and green spaces that so greatly improve quality of life for city dwellers, but the designers featured in this book have found ingenious ways to work with limited horizontal space in interior and exterior design, public and private space, and in a wide variety of built environments. My favorites are the designs that incorporate flora into the facade of a building, blurring the distinction between artificial and natural, interior and exterior space, and dynamic and static.  I would love to spend time in any of these spaces, wouldn’t you?

Vertical Gardens includes an introduction by Jacques Leenhardt which briefly discusses the history of gardens and architecture, vegetation in an urban context, and aesthetics of vertical gardens, short essays by Anna Lambertini, and large color photographs by Mario Ciampi. Celebrate National Landscape Architecture Month by exploring the Architecture & Planning Library’s collection!

New Arrival: Going Public

As major societies shift from the industrial age to an age of information, the field of architecture is faced with the challenge of adapting to the increasingly rapid exchange of ideas and ease of communication. Although designing for and implementing the latest technologies in buildings is a key response, public architecture is taking to the streets – literally – to help support the needs of individuals and communities today.

Public architecture can be considered a “countermovement” focused on utilizing public spaces to bring people together in the joint activity of sharing experiences. Going Public: Public Architecture, Urbanism and Interventions showcases a wealth of innovative solutions in cities and landscapes across the globe that are geared towards increasing our experiences with our surroundings.

Topics and projects include urban renewal, public shelter, interactive installations, and the creation and definition of new spaces to fit contemporary needs. Public architecture is even redefining traditional and preconceived stereotypes of spaces; for example, have you ever been to a 24-hour, open-air library before? You can visit one – and several other worldly examples of bold public creations – by flipping through the striking photographs within this book.

The 265 pages are filled with designs that can truly challenge the way you imagine the future of public spaces. I don’t know about you, but visually traveling the world via a series of inventive public spaces sounds like a wonderful experience to me!

Interested in reading the title discussed above? Click the Library of Congress Call Number link below to check its availability status.

Robert Klanten et al. Going Public: Public Architecture, Urbanism and Interventions. Berlin: Gestalten, 2012.
Call Number: 9050.5 G65 2012

For a list of recent Architecture & Planning Library arrivals over the past few weeks, please visit our Recent Arrivals feed.