The Most Important Lesson of Garden Design

A strong design principle led this Eugene, Oregon, couple down the path to a showcase garden

The main axis is punctuated with interesting focal points that draw the eye, and in turn the visitor, along a controlled line of passage.
The urn, planted with imperial taro ( Colocasia esculenta ‘Illustris’, Zones 8-11) and a hardy water lily ( Nymphaea ‘Virginalis’, Zones 3-11), aligns with the orchard sculpture and draws us through the vegetable garden.

The first and foremost consideration when designing a garden, according to Buell Steelman and Rebecca Sams, is the deft use of line. When laying out a plan, they draw strong lines that direct the eye and lead the visitor through the gardens. At a focal point, the path opens up into a wider space. From this space, a new focal point along an axis presents itself and directs visitors onward.

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