Scaling big ideas for the home garden

When walking around a place like the Chicago Botanic Garden, it’s easy to get intimidated by the scale of things — especially considering the space is more than 1,500 times larger than a standard quarter-acre lot. When we are awed by the grandeur one of these display gardens, our minds often go into I can’t do that at home mode. The problem is one of scale. How do we translate the idea down to a manageable size for our home garden?

For me the trick is to ignore size and look for the design principles at work. Take massing, for instance — the use of large numbers of the same plant to create visual impact. Many of the gardens at Chicago Botanic Garden use massing to great effect.

The scale of the gardens in each of these photos is different. Some are enormous, others quite intimate. But each uses the same principle of massing — and each could be reproduced on a smaller scale in a home garden.

For someone who is more plant collector than garden designer, I struggle to use massing well in my own garden. After my visit to CBG, I’m motivated to find ways to incorporate massing as a central element in my home garden design.

Published by

Christopher Tidrick

Be real. Love always. Share beauty. Lead well. Learn more.

4 thoughts on “Scaling big ideas for the home garden”

  1. This is one thing I always notice when it's done well and vow to do it more in my own garden. I am, as you know, a plant collector, and this doesn't come naturally to me, but I'm trying. Beautiful photos, Chris!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s