The Reverie Alone Will Do - Speelse Tuin
December 14th, 2006
11:16 pm

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Speelse Tuin
Tuesday I presented my the design concept for a model garden at Appeltern. I've been obsessing about it for weeks and spent a crazy amount of time building a 3d model in Sketchup. Most of the extra time involved was in teaching myself the program after a much appreciated introductory lesson from [info]coco_keesses . The design was well received, though they were concerned about the feasility of building it - and rightly so. It will be quite the challenge with all those curves, but in my opinion worth the effort.

The garden is composed of flowing lines, subtle and sober colors, textural contrasts (including floral reliefs in the cement). The spatial concept is to create intimate corners - some of which are intended for adults to sit peacefully while others invite the play of children (who can run around islands sized to their proportions, swing inside an arch, experiment with an interactive water(fall) element and retreat in partially hidden cubbies). A lot of attention was payed to views (there is a gorgeous meadow visible from out the garden) and creating entry ways that draw you in. The idea behind the paths is that you can easily get from A to B, if need be, but that you are visually drawn into the corners and want to explore the garden. That's the idea anyway.

A bird's eye overview:





Below you are looking from one of the entrances into the "play" corner. In the next image you have the exact opposite view - 
you are sitting on one of the "floating" benches in the play corner looking out into the meadow.





Another entrance. Here you can see how the center of the garden is kept fairly open. You gain a glimpse of the water element
and are hopefully drawn into the garden.





Gaudi and Escofet ( a company based in Barcelona specialized in street furniture ) served as an inspriation.


As did Sarah Eberle's "Walking Barefoot" garden at Chelsea this year. I'll be using the pavement shown in the image below. 
It is composed of cement ellipses and will be available as of January 2007. 



If budget allows, there will be a floral relief in certain parts of the cement bench / planter/ wall features - 
larger and abstracter than that seen in the Nest Chair designed by Toord Boontje, but the idea is similar.


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From:djinnthespazz
Date:December 14th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
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Nice. Soothing. Green.
I want to spend time there!

I like your tree shortcut with the sketchup - very effective. Are those cedars?
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 05:34 am (UTC)
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It will be very green, lots of ferns and such. I'm hoping it will be a place to linger and remember. Thanks.

The "tree shortcut" works well, eh. I did come up with the trick myself, but I was pleased with the results. Good chance the trees will be Cornus controversa 'Variegata'. I love there horizontal branching and I think the variegation will be a nice contrast to all the darker green of the hedges and lighten thins up a bit. Other tree options are welcome.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:December 15th, 2006 03:58 pm (UTC)
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Dogwoods are always a nice choice. Very pretty, that one. I really like variegated plants. And the branching will be perfect!
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From:rudbekia
Date:December 14th, 2006 10:46 pm (UTC)
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I think I'd like this garden, based on your description, sketches, and other visual examples. Yeah.

I was reminded of you this past weekend when I took a brisk walk in the Arnold Arboretum and came across a garden that I'd not seen before.
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 05:37 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the link! That garden does look really cool - I particularly like the multi-season intersest and educational opportunities that it will offer. It's been years since I've been to the Arnold Arboretum, but it is still one of my favorite arboretums. Such a gorgeous set-up and, of course, the best Wich Hazel collection ever.

I think I'd like this garden too. It is always exciting to see if what is built is like what you imagine and intend. I hope so.
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From:68024
Date:December 15th, 2006 02:51 am (UTC)
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It looks neat and playful, yet also private, with the higher hedges! I like it! :)
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
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Playfu and yet private (intimate) is exactly what I was going for, thanks. The hedges will be a touch higher than normal (they'll be 230 cm high) to emphasise the feeling of intimacy.
From:abitblue
Date:December 15th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
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beautiful! good luck :) your are so talented.
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 10:10 pm (UTC)
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You're sweet. Thank you.
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From:lizardek
Date:December 15th, 2006 08:44 am (UTC)
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It's drawing ME in! The top photo looks like a smiling face :) Which is what I have after looking at these images.
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
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It kind of does look like a smiley face, doesn't it? I hadn't noticed that. :)
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From:iolanthe_rosa
Date:December 15th, 2006 02:59 pm (UTC)
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Wow, that's really nice. Forget the kids, I want to play in it! How about a purple-leaved tree along with all the green, like maybe a Forest Pancy redbud, to break things up a bit, or act as a focal point in a corner?

That's a very cool program you used to make th 3-D views.

I especially love that floral relief; I hope you're able to use that in your implementation.
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
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The jury is still out regarding the trees. I have considered a purple leaf tree - and specifically considered Cercis 'Forest Pansy' actually. It might work for the two trees outside the hedges. What is making me lean towards a variegated treee, however, is the darkness of the hedges (yew).

It's a very snazzy 3d program and surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. In contrast with 3d Studio Max, which made me want to pull my hair out.

I really, really hope I get to implement the floral relief idea. I'm wracking my brain (and that of several more technical types) to figure out a way to do so that won't cost a fortune.
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From:cottonmanifesto
Date:December 15th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
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i love the organic flow of this garden!
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 15th, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC)
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I suspect that Capability Brown and Olmstead would also approve.
I'm curious, however, how it will be received by the Dutch public - who do seem to love their straight lines.
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From:cottonmanifesto
Date:December 15th, 2006 11:14 pm (UTC)
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i love it - it's like walking through a dream. :)
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From:bezigebij
Date:December 16th, 2006 07:57 am (UTC)
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Wow, thank so much. That is incredibly encouraging to hear.
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From:cottonmanifesto
Date:December 16th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
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it really does look like it flows nicely. i can't wait to see real pictures of it!
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From:thinkzinc
Date:December 17th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
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The 3D model is great for visualising! It looks like a lovely garden, I too hope to see the real finished article :)
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From:logpoes
Date:December 20th, 2006 05:08 pm (UTC)
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Wow! That is a beautiful garden, I like the labyrinth-y feel of it! Please do post pictures once it's completed! :-)
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