Rhythmic Techniques For Flower Beds And Mixborders. Photo

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Rhythmic Techniques For Flower Beds And Mixborders. Photo
Rhythmic Techniques For Flower Beds And Mixborders. Photo

Rhythms and repetitions play a special role in our life. Therefore, there is nothing surprising in the fact that the most popular and successful in the history of landscape design techniques for decorating flower beds and flower beds were and remain precisely rhythmic techniques. Born as a remedy for boredom and gloom when filling an area under hedges, rhythm in flower beds has become one of the indispensable tools without which you cannot succeed in arranging complex compositions. The main enemy of monotony and surprisingly simple, this technique of playing with rhythm allows you to create colorful, non-monotone and emotional compositions.

Rhythmic techniques in the design of flower beds
Rhythmic techniques in the design of flower beds

Rhythm in landscape design is one of the most important techniques in the art of garden design, which gives fullness, energy, connectedness and dynamics to all landscaping, causes surprise and admiration, awakens emotions and sets the direction of movement of the gaze around the garden, as if pushing it to move on. Rhythm governs perception and sensation, acts subconsciously and literally sets the tone for life in the garden.

The influence of rhythm on compositions is easier to explain in terms of the problems it helps to fight:

  • boredom;
  • monotony;
  • facelessness;
  • tiredness;
  • irritation and anxiety;
  • monotony;
  • everyday life;
  • impermanence.

The ability to play with rhythm has always been especially vivid in the classic English gardens with their obligatory sheared hedges, walking areas and serial mixborders. Actually, it is from the art of planting colorful perennials under boring green walls or fences, creating ridges around the perimeter of a garden or a separate zone with an amazing total length, and the concept of a rhythmic design technique depends.

Rhythm is a versatile means of introducing variety into wide strips of plants of great length and in composition over a large area. In huge parks and estates, even the classic version with parallel flower beds running opposite each other and a lawn between them required special skill in preventing monotony and boredom. Today rhythm has evolved from aristocratic gardens with their vast areas into an important technique for the design of any, even a small flower garden, rabatka, landscape group - as one of the basic tools in the arsenal of any landscape designer.

Rhythm in the art of garden design is a basic technique or means of constructing a composition along with symmetry and asymmetry, contrasts, scales, proportions of forms, etc. But, of course, it is rhythm that is the most emotional means of fighting monotony. This is a universal means of "sharpening" all the decorative characteristics of complex compositions, bringing flower beds and flower beds to emotional and aesthetic "peaks", giving them not just interestingness, but also aesthetic expressiveness and integrity.

Rhythm gives any composition integrity, orderliness, thoughtfulness and subdues any chaos, even color. And it "works" on any flower garden - with a dozen species of plants, and with a hundred crops on neglected or created without a plan flower beds, with any color palette. The ability of rhythmic techniques to limit, highlight, arrange the color gamut of compositions is unique: if you overdo it with variety and variegation, then only 3-5 rhythmic elements completely neutralize any drawback of ill-conceived play of colors and shapes.

In practice, rhythm is the repetition, duplication of elements and the distances between them (or both of these components at the same time), which create the dynamics of the composition and introduce regularities into the design. To set the rhythm, the chosen motive (or element), you need to repeat them at least 3, but no more than 10 times, placing them at the same or thoughtfully changing distance. The more the intensity, repetition of the rhythm, the stronger its emotional impact. But having reached a certain emotional limit, repetition can instead of dynamics, on the contrary, increase monotony. Therefore, more than 10 times "directly" one rhythmic technique is not used even in very large objects.

Rhythmic techniques in the design of flower beds
Rhythmic techniques in the design of flower beds

Depending on how complex the pattern and dynamics given by the rhythm are, rhythmic techniques are divided into two types:

Static or metric rhythm. For it, the selected object or element is repeated at the same distance. This trick is usually used in regular style and minimalist projects with a focus on geometry, grand effect and classics. Static rhythm is often used when creating mixborders and ridges, placing selected accents along the centerline at the same distance. The metric order, in turn, is divided into two types:

  • simple, with one single element or plant repeating at equal intervals - for medium-sized and non-extended objects;
  • complex, in which one or two more rhythmic alternations are added to the simple main rhythm - spaced less often and with a different interval, other focal points or color spots in nature, breaking the monotonous basic rhythm and creating harmony of several repetitions at the same time (for very extended borders and ribs, large area flower beds, carpet mixborders).

Complex or musical rhythm. Objects and distances change like musical compositions, "pulsate", then weakening, then re-emerging in full power. This rhythm is used in landscape currents of landscape design and modern gardens without dominating minimalism. Most often, the musical rhythm appears as a wavy, spiral, discontinuous (dotted) rhythm, but it can be more original. You can experiment endlessly with this rhythmic technique, using different objects at the same distance or, conversely, the same objects at different distances, play on texture or details, spots of color, lines, etc.

Simple and complex rhythmic tricks differ in the intensity of their impact. With straightforward use, equal distances and elements, the effect of the rhythm is strong and concentrated. If you play with distance, place rhythmic elements unevenly, the effect is slightly softened, there is no visual tension and obsessive influence. But on the other hand, a flower garden or a rabatka appears as more complex and multifaceted compositions, the details of which you want to consider endlessly.

The ability to give rhythm to a flower garden may seem very difficult in theory, but in practice it is not. Rhythm is designed to evoke emotions, and it is on them that you need to focus on creating flower beds, mixborders and rabatki in search of a means to make compositions more expressive. The rhythm is captured not by the mind and sight, but by mood, impulses and feelings. And it is precisely them that you need to try to control when using rhythmic techniques, remembering that it is very easy to overdo it with them.

To figure out what is what is all the more easy due to the fact that there are not so many instruments or methods of introducing rhythm into decorative compositions as it might seem at first glance.

Actually, there are only two ways to play with the rhythm of a flower garden:

1. Vertical accents. This is the most obvious, effective and easily applied technique. By introducing visual “peaks” into compositions and giving rhythm to vertical relief, you create a basic rhythm in the composition. Verticals bring any ensemble to life, give it expressiveness, change perception and fight boredom. And it is not at all necessary to use sheared pyramids of yew or privet as vertical accents: this role can be performed sequentially, controlled by high perennials, and statues, and shrubs, and even supports with flowering vines. It is not necessary to use only one plant: you can place groups of tall plants in repetitions and create complex “pyramids” and height differences to achieve a feeling similar to musical harmony.

2. Color and texture spots … Plants planted in a group with a pronounced color or contrasting size and type of leaves from the environment, located at the same or varying distance, do not immediately catch the eye. And their role in setting the rhythm is not always obvious. Color and textural accents unfold gradually, but give much more emotion and expression than vertical accents. Using a rhythm of color spots allows even a carpet mixborder not to look monotonous. Repetition of one and the same color or pattern of leaves can change from season to season, disappear or overlap each other and other rhythmic techniques. Thus, even hosta or fern bushes located at the same distance can create a rhythm no less catchy than trimmed boxwood spheres if they are surrounded by plants without the same ornamental effect. And the soloist roses used in the bed, placed in strict order, will give any ensemble a rhythmic dynamics. And if you supplement the rhythm from the host with strict adherence to the distances between the bushes of astilbe or heuchera, then the color rhythm of other plants will also be added to the basic textural rhythm.

Rhythmic techniques in landscape design
Rhythmic techniques in landscape design

The easiest way to study the art of introducing and using rhythm in compositions is the example of large plants - trees and shrubs. Alternating fruit trees with berry bushes in an orchard, planting shrubs of the same species at the same distance along the path, using the same supports for vines in an equal condition, walking paths, series of identical flower beds or beds, alleys - all these are obvious examples of rhythm.

When it comes to flower beds and mixborders, flower beds and other types of compositions with dozens of plants, the rhythmic components seem much more complex. After all, it is necessary to take into account the interaction of dozens of factors and create relationships that provide dynamics without disturbing harmony. But everything remains the same simple always and everywhere: the rhythm is introduced as a separate repetition of a specific element or motive. The distortion of the essence of the rhythm and the need to "calculate" (or rather, not to lose) in complex compositions is the main difficulty with the use of the rhythm by non-professionals.

Rhythm is a very simple technique, and only its perception and impact is complex and non-obvious. Just in how the rhythm changes our emotions and how it controls mood and movement, we can never talk about any one "object" in isolation: the effect is always based on interaction, the correlation of rhythmic orders with the environment and among themselves. But this does not change the essence of the technique itself, which is available to everyone without exception.

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