Well, design it in theory if not in actuality – although our designs will be juried by the Campbell House Museum curator. Daunting? You betcha. Handed part one of my design plan in this week, and I’m already picking it apart in my mind. I can see the mistakes I’ve made, all the times I rushed past the design rules in my excitement and did what I always do: make for the plants.
Over the past week, we’ve watched the performances of some of the world’s most talented, highly trained, determined athletes in the prime of life. They’ve devoted years of hard work and sacrifice to get where they are.
Yet, occasionally, they experience some of the things we mortals do. They make mistakes. In the excitement of the moment, they lose track of their form. When these things occur, usually Olympians dust themselves off and smile bravely for the camera, like true sportsmen and sportswomen.
So, I’m dusting myself off.
Next installment of the design is our preliminary plant list. I’m taking a step breath and reminding myself of the design process:
a) Think of the function the plants (or other design elements) have to perform
b) Think of the size and shape of elements in abstract terms (like kids’ toy blocks: columns, cones, cubes, rectangles, &c.)
c) Which plants would you choose to fill those shapes? Think how massing can change the outline of individual plants. This plant list will likely be long.
d) Now, thinking aesthetically – in terms of design principles such as balance, texture, colour – which plants are the most pleasing or impactful? The plant list is getting shorter.
e) Finally, and most important, of the plants that work aesthetically, which are best suited to the site in terms of maintenance/culture and long-term tolerance?
This is The List.
And I don’t get to make for the plants till I’ve got all that worked out. Wish me luck.