Reflecting Nature: Garden Designs for Wild Landscapes by Jerome Malitz

By Jerome Malitz

This provocative photographic essay through a skilled father-son group specializes in a number of usual landscapes---permutations of water, rocks, forests, and meadows---and indicates how they are often echoed in smaller backyard settings.

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Previous page < previous page page_157 page_158 next page > next page > Page 158 effect of planned randomness characterizes many of our favorite landscapes. How did the arrangement get to be as it is? How could it possibly have been different? It is a game of chance with a perfect outcome, and that is the wonder of it all. A section of garden modeled after this spot along Cub Lake Trail would be easy to design. Aspen, both nursery-grown and collected, are readily available and inexpensive. The trees pictured here are full grown, but aspen reaches maturity very quickly, and even young trees have the greenish white bark and fall color of the adults.

This is an appropriate place to end our journey, for these gardens exemplify many of the ways in which nature can be interpreted. Here we find subtle and abstract interpretations, as well as those that are direct and simple. These gardens offer a wide range of aesthetic and horticultural ideas that have wide applicability: techniques of controlling growth and shaping plants, techniques of cultivation, and a rich repertoire of designs for gates, fences, paths, benches, and other garden structures that humanize the garden without detracting from its wild allusions.

Besides privacy and yearlong beauty, what more does a garden forest offer? Gardens where trees are grown in clumps and groves, as they often grow in nature, are usually horticulturally sound. Trees such as birch, aspen, various maples, some oaks, sassafras, and many conifers look their best and grow their best under these conditions. Although some of these trees are short-lived and disease-prone, they tend to send up new growth from the roots, providing a constant source of renewal for those that are used up.

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