This "LANscape" [sic] version provides a printer-friendly link. Its sole purpose is to provide the printer-friendly alternative for the commentary. To see the actual photo gallery, please see Landscaping Pictures: Photo Gallery. Unfortunately, "printer-friendly" means all you get is text.
5.While the landscape design in the prior picture used a fence as a structural element to create a transition, the landscape pictured above shows how post and rail fences can serve as decorative landscape borders. The pavement shown in the photo is the driveway. The post and rail fence doesn't come out to the curb of the street (The street is not shown in the photo, but it would be on the left). Rather, there's a "buffer zone" of grass between the street and the fence. The visual effect of this landscape border is two lawns for the price of one.
On a practical level, it is also better for the plants growing around the post and rail fence (and for the fence itself, too) to be removed a bit from the street: They're insulated from road salt (on northern landscapes) and from stray vehicles.
Besides splitting the lawn in two from front to back, notice another visual effect created by the fence -- this time from left to right. The eye is unconsciously led down the length of the attractive post and rail fence, accentuating this impressive span of road frontage. Its length is accentuated while, at the same time, the fence and the plantings fill up the space, giving the eye a rest from the open expanse of lawn.
6.The landscaping in the prior picture looked down the length of this same fence, used as a decorative landscape border. In this head-on photo, note how the plants spill over from the back of the fence to the front. This softens the look of the fence and gives the landscape border a more natural feel.
Note also how the lawn behind is nicely punctuated with a couple of focal points that lend visual interest, without cluttering the lawn and making the chore of lawn mowing more difficult.
7.The landscaping in the prior picture showed a post and rail fence being used as a decorative border. In the photo above we see another popular style of fence -- white picket fences. Note how this white picket fence undulates, rather than running evenly across the top. This undulating style helps soften the hard lines of the clapboard house, in the background.
Despite the fact that this landscape is located downtown, it exudes a charm evocative of a country cottage. The white picket fence is partly responsible, but so are the black-eyed susans peeking out through the pickets. A more formal (and more conventional) planting of annual flowers just wouldn't have the same effect. Another idea would be hollyhocks, which are often used to grace white picket fences in the cottage garden style. But even these or other conventional perennials wouldn't connote "country" as effectively as do these wildflowers.
8.The landscape design in the prior picture showed how wood picket fences can create the illusion that your landscape is in "the country," even if you live downtown. The photo above was snapped in an area renowned for its appealing countryside, so there need be no question here of creating an illusion. But no matter how beautiful your natural setting, it is possible for human skill to improve upon it. That is the premise of landscape design. Incidentally, it is also the premise of a fascinating story by the great Edgar Allan Poe, entitled, The Domain of Arnheim.
These homeowners have, indeed, improved upon their lovely natural setting. Their landscape design has combined the rugged beauty of stone walls with the elegance brought to their wood picket fence by the use of finials. Wood and stone complement a country setting so well that sometimes it's hard to choose between them, when selecting materials. Here the landscape design obviated this difficult choice simply by using both!