• Sandi Manna

With Good Choices You Can Have Your Dream Garden. Part 2 of 5 Create Desirable Views

Are you struggling with an awkward space? Did you inherit a messy design when you purchased your home? Does your garden miss the mark for your lifestyle? Maybe it requires too much maintenance for your schedule. If you answered yes to any of these, don't give up. The right changes can transform even the worst outdoor space into a dream garden. In this series you'll discover the key things it takes to transform a nightmare into a dream. You'll learn what to take into consideration and how to enhance the views from within, and beyond your garden. You'll get tips for creating a landscape that's colorful all year long (yes, even in the dead of winter), without overdoing it. In this 10 part series, we'll discuss the different points that professionals take into consideration to create the ideal landscape.

So stop stressing over your garden and start enjoying it!


Not everyone is blessed with incredible views. With a few tips, you can create compelling views that lend depth and perspective. You will naturally be able to draw your eye through the scene and create a desirable view.

If you're not blessed with beautiful views, there are a few things you can do to enhance the view of your garden and your property.

Whether you're limited on space, have an expansive area, almost everyone has some sort of undesirable view. It may be your neighbors home, a shed, the street or an unsightly space in your yard that you just can't tame, there are creative ways to "edit" that space and create some beauty.

Edit Unwelcome Views

The shed itself in the right side of this photo is very pretty. Don't let it fool you though, lurking just out of site is a rather unattractive neighbors yard that is a tangled mess. We planted these shrubs to create a screening so our client wouldn't have to look at their neighbors mess. If you have an undesirable view, edit it. You can do a raised bed with shrubs or trees. A garden in front of a fence softens harsh lines. A partially blocked view can give the impression of unlimited beauty surrounding your home, even if the neighbor's less than beautiful yard sits just in your view.

Borrow Views From Beyond

Unlike editing an unwelcome view, if you have a beautiful view, use it! You can do this simply by placing plants or containers to draw your eye toward a particular area. Another way is to keep your property border low to prevent blocking your view from beyond. If you have a nice view of the Sound or a tidal river, if you keep your border low you'll borrow views from beyond your property line and your garden will appear more expansive.

• Create "Window" By Framing Views

You can develop areas or even different focal points in the garden by breaking up garden spaces. Instead of looking at a conglomerate of plants, you look at views that are sectioned, or framed. Sometimes you have to see the view from your home, out a window, to clearly get a good overall view and narrow your viewpoint. You want to figure out what you want to accomplish in that space and go for it. Don't forget different views as well. One of my favorite views as a kid was sitting under the canopy of our favorite tree and looking up. We would sit and have lunch under this beautiful maple we had nicknamed "Lola" and it was so pretty to look up at the sky through her branches and see the filtered sunlight dart in and out of different shades of green. If you have a tree that has a particularly beautiful canopy or trunk, be sure to think about that. Really stroll in the area you want to be your garden and think outside the box.

• Accentuate the space you have

You may have a long view, a wide view or an expansive view. Regardless of what the view is

you can take advantage of it. If your view is a more expansive view, you can create a park-like setting. If your view is narrower or goes to a focal point, you can enhance that view by flanking the sides with plants. If you have a privacy fence between your neighbor and yourself, plants with colorful foliage accentuate that. If you have a gate, you may want to create a path to the gate, even if it doesn't really go anywhere, you'll never know that from the front. The point is, think about your unique space and think of ways that you can work with whatever unique space you have.

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