Continuity in the Landscape

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Continuity in the Landscape

Of the many elements of a well-designed landscape, continuity is one of the ‘big ones’. But for such an important element, continuity can also be rather difficult to define. It is kind of one of those things that you know it when you see it, and you definitely miss it if it’s not there. But creating it is necessary in creating that feeling of welcome, of warmth and familiarity that exists in great landscapes.

Continuity is one of those things that is very often missing in a landscape in need of a re-design. It’s that feeling of nothing being connected, of the individual pieces not being a part of the whole. One analogy would be the various melodies and ‘hooks’ in a song. The song often repeats these elements in just such a way that is very appealing and catchy. If the writer repeats them too often it’s not good. If a melody appears only once, that’s not good either. So they are mixed in and repeated in just the right way so that the song is a complete piece unto itself, but is also a product of the many pieces that it contains.

Let’s look at one example. I recently did a re-design for a beautiful estate here in middle Georgia. The design had a few obvious flaws, one of which was a lack of continuity. There were lots of nice elements present, but they lacked any connection to each other and to the whole. So, I started with focusing on a beautiful fountain that was already present in the front lawn. It was a large ornamental fountain with ornate ironwork. I added two more (smaller) fountains to the landscape, also with ironwork but in slightly different styles for each one. Then I added a few more subtle ironwork pieces throughout the landscape (garden bench, iron railing along a path, etc.). With each change you could feel the landscape becoming more of an inter-connected environment. There were other challenges than just the continuity issue, but none more important to gaining that ‘feel’ that the client was searching for.

Thank you for reading. Just let me know if you have any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you.

Michael Turner
Southern Accents Landscape Design