Garden Design as Outdoor Theater

I recently discovered a landscape architect named Steve Martino, based in Arizona. He creates artwork through landscape design.  Given the arid nature of the surroundings, it makes sense that his color palette is frequently shades of green and bright orange. Interesting enough, even though we live in New England, the colors are a close match to our wonderful autumn colors.

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Scottsdale, Arizona, landscape by Steve. Steve’s Facebook page

Steve talks about the juxtaposition of nature and humans-as evidenced in garden design. Life in the garden changes daily and over time -impacted by weather, sun and animals too, which add both excitement and challenges. Dynamic, interactive design as if found in a play. Steve offers, “We look at gardens more than we use them, so I create mood and atmosphere the same as for a theater. I’m basically a set designer, and I edit and manipulate elements to control views on the site.”

It’s true! Here in New England we have a wonderful opportunity to experience all four seasons. Evergreens, large stones or statues take on great importance when the leaves fall and snow blankets the once wild and woolly flower beds.

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Bob Kluge, our local blacksmith refinished the gate and created four new horizontal extensions with angle clips installed in the wood opening to hold the metal gate.

Last winter we found a single antique metal gate in Albany that echoes the shorter set across the main garden entrance. Now, each fall we can remove the painted Indonesian doors to the barn but can maintain the garden enclosure in winter.

Based on my observation of our garden through last winter, I added a few more evergreens for better balance after flowers. Right now, I’m working to extend early Spring blooms with later blooming tulips and phlox that will linger through early autumn.

I just discovered the new phlox came with mildew. No problem…. mix up a spray of water and baking soda-1 tablespoon to a gallon of water and soak the plant. Some people add a little dish soap. Working so far. And don’t forget to soak any new perennials generously to help them integrate into the soil before the cold winter settles in.

This time of year as the days grow shorter and the cool comes in, jazz comes to mind more often. Tunes that conjure up old movies and dark romantic spaces. What about you?

Hosta leaves are a forever love of mine. They too, change personality with the seasons. You can see all our pillows here. And you can buy them on Etsy. Subscribe to our blog and we’ll keep you posted on the march to Amazon and beyond.

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                                                                   Raspberry Hosta

 

 

 

 

More wonderful photos of Steve’s work here.

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