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Two Chairs in SnowTaking time over the drawing phase
of your landscape making journey,
whether you draw in snow, on the lawn or on paper,
will strongly influence the quality of the choices
you will ultimately make in the design
of the things for your landscape.

  • Drawing in your snow is a pleasant way to get thoughts going for your future projects. The great thing about snow as a medium is that it comes right to your house and presents you with a full clean canvas, allowing you to draw everywhere within your connected landscape, at full scale and all at the same time.
  • As you wander through the snow and mark the outlines of what you are thinking about creating, your feet will be exploring the the paths to important things and making tangible ‘footprints’ of future built projects or planting beds.
  • Once drawn out roughly, you can physically experience the relationships of all the landscape elements to one another.
    Now you can walk everything to see how the flow and the relational shaping of your various landscape elements will feel. You can check from all directions, adjusting your imprinted lines until you are pleased with form, flow and linkage of the parts of your place. Once imprinted, you can check the views of your evolving outlines from elsewhere, indoors and out.
  • Play with slow curves, fast curves, driveway apron curves, deck configurations, or anything you like.  Site a wall or planted bed, consider  shapes, beginning and ending points. Try out table and chair locations. You can tromp in outlines representing planned trees.
    You are searching for pleasing spatial relationships both functionally and esthetically. These beginning ideas will evolve as the projects come closer to life.
  • Try to avoid random footprints as best as you can until your intended shapes are pleasing, but if the process gets messy, the next snow will provide a new clean canvas.
    You will have more chances to try various ideas if you start with the early light snows.01 24_1733_edited-1…….
  • With a tape measure in your pocket, and an iphone you can give yourself notes and images to roughly record what your winter thought process has found.
    Even without much in the way of measurements though, you will have learned alot from your experience with the snow lines, and the thoughts they engendered.“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake”
    ………………………………………………………Wallace Stevens
  • By Spring you will perhaps have developed some ideas of what you may want. Once the ground is green or brown again you can be laying things out in an exploratory way using braided line, chalk based marking sprays and stakes.
    Invariably there will be new or preeminent considerations which come to the fore as your organic things reawaken, become fully three dimensional and your active outdoor life begins again. Add these thoughts into the mix and just keep thinking...

  • While having carefully considered your range of choices before beginning your projects, you may find that you want to adjust and fine tune your compositions right up to and even during the time of building. That’s fine.
  • Leaving details as flexible as possible until it is necessary to finalise them usually leads to the best custom work with natural materials, if you can continue to pay close attention all along the way.

“If the designer is forced by complications to
figure things out on paper,
the final result will be better if the plan
is then memorized and hidden,
and the work laid out on the ground
with the help of stakes and string”

…………………………………………………….Fletcher Steele   Gardens and People

Here is a link to some other “USEFUL SNOW IDEAS”

Ellen Cool

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  • All written and visual materials on this site are Copyrighted. (C) Ellen Cool 2010 - 2021

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