When landscape designers talk about centering a Houston landscape master plan on a garden, we are not talking about building the garden in the center of the yard. What is actually meant here pertains to centering the garden on the main access to the house. There is always at least one centerpoint to a home, and that this center point has a corridor runs to it through the property.
A garden is normally planted along this access, scope and scale permitting. If it this cannot be done in a workable fashion, gardens are centered on the view corridors. Anything that provides a person with a view of the Houston landscape is a view corridor. Examples of such corridors include windows, doorways, and walkways of ingress (going into the home) and egress (going out of the home.)
In one form or fashion, then landscape designers are always working off a central axis of the home somewhere, somehow.
The good thing about taking this approach to garden design is that it frees the garden itself from the limitation of size. The focus moves past size to scope and scale, with the intent being that the garden will proportionally reflect both home and yard.
For example, a master landscape design plan for a townhome may call for a garden that is only six feet wide. On the other hand, a three acre estate may have a 200 foot garden on a 3 acre estate. In both examples, the intention is the same: to make the garden proportional to the central access corridor inside the home.
Such focus but it is a driving principle of professional garden design. In certain very unique projects, plans may deviate from the norm that do not involve the planting of gardens. However, almost every other Houston landscape project usually includes at least one garden, and the rule of centering that garden on some axis applies.
From time to time, there are certain exceptions to the rule of centering a garden on an ingress, egress or view corridor. Gardens can be installed to the side of the home and off the axis of the main transit points. They can be planted on one or both sides of curved, linear, or natural walkways that lead away from architecture to more remote and private destinations in the back of a yard.
Gardens planted here are not intended to support the form of a building. Instead, they support the feeling of moving into a highly differentiated and unique portion of the Houston landscape set aside for special interests and activities.
Custom gardens can also be integrated into many forms of hardscape design. These are not the same as formal gardens such as English, French, Parterre, or Mediterranean styles. However, elements of these forms can be extracted and combined with all sorts of unique inorganic elements such as mirrors, fountains, trellises, masonry walls, and gravel.
Landscape architects remove a portion of the patio or build a natural retaining wall to which plant material and decorative elements can be added. This helps blend the natural and the manmade and harmonize the many features of the Houston landscape into a unified theme of quality outdoor living.
Gardens like these can be planted in both the front and back yards, but typically the more sophisticated garden designs are done in the back yard. Front yard gardens are limited by the perspective of front ingress and the front door.