Though advancing through my landscape design lessons more slowly than I’d like, what has been presented so far is starting to make sense. (read through my previous landscape lesson posts, click here or go to Training in the category list in the right sidebar) The last assignment required building a computer aided drafting (CAD) pergola, complete with a tiled patio underneath, planting beds, vines over the pergola, and patio furniture. The point: to become comfortable with methods that allow taller, more prominent objects to appear taller and shorter, less prominent objects to look farther away or as if they are underneath taller structures. Doing so calls for the use of different line widths, cutting away lines of objects sitting beneath others – such as the chairs and table under the pergola – and learning how to use hatch patterns so they actually look like stone, pavers, etc., rather than black blobs.
Here’s a portion of my completed drawing.
In this cropped jpeg image it may be difficult to see all the aspects of this particular design, but that’s not important. What is important is that with each lesson I better appreciate the amount of time, thought, and technical skill that goes into creating CAD drawings, and the amount of research and plant knowledge needed to create a beautiful and workable landscape plan.
This plan includes a 12×12 ft pergola, 9 ft tall, with one wall solid to support and block off an outdoor shower, and to screen swimming pool mechanicals (at top of drawing) from the seating area. In the planter bed to the left of the pergola I suggest sweet autumn clematis (Clematis terniflora) trained over the pergola. Teepee supported annual vines such as moonflower (Ipomea alba) or earlier blooming Ipomea would be lovely along the fence side of the planter box. Fragrant herbs and flowering annuals could be used along the edge nearer the seating area. The planter could also house a cherry tomato plant or some purple pod snap bean vines, kale, eggplant, and a couple of hot peppers.
This fence-protected bed would be a good place to plant any deer-candy annuals – whether flowering, edible, or both.
I envision tropical hibiscus in the four planters to the right of the mechanicals area, and two large potted topiary or standards to flank the outermost pergola posts.
I cut out the North directional arrow on the original drawing for the sake of fitting the image here, but North points to the upper left corner of the drawing. Therefore, any plantings will receive ample warm sun in this zone 6 region.
The deeper I get into this Anna Grisham School of Landscape Design program, the more I could kick myself for not having done this years earlier. But there’s no going back … only forward … and these lessons teach me how to draw out my ideas in a way that allows others to visualize my visions. I can show that ideas floating around in my head actually work in real scenarios. While filling in the plant ideas above I could almost smell the sweet scent of the flowering vines and feel the warmth of the summer sun on my skin.