Fling 2014: Big Meadow, Little Meadow

This post has been under construction for a week.  I spent several hours one day getting it done.  Once completed,
I accidentally deleted the entire post by Lord only knows what unintentional keystroke combination. 
After I finished screaming, another attempt, another unintentional deletion.  Arrgghhh!  This post is jinxed.

We're doomed.
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It was wise to put the post aside for a while.  Now, I'll try one more time.
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Big Meadow, Little Meadow.  Thinking over the Fling gardens, it seemed that two are alike in using the "new perennial" style--a style exemplified by the High Line in Manhattan and the Lurie Garden in Chicago--one of grasses and tall herbaceous perennials used to create the appearance of a natural, informal landscape.
Layers of translucent living curtains.
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The two gardens are quite different in most other respects--Rhone Street is a town garden on a small lot, most of it house.
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Westwind Farm Studio is rural acreage with a view (besides the one of a very stylish toilet).
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This view.  The wide-spaced small trees accent the meadow and link it to the forest beyond. 
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Both gardens are successful using many of the same plant selections.  Each gives a vision of the prairie, the meadow.  How did they do it?
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Rhone Street is an intricate stew of many different plants.  Because the garden is so small, mass plantings are impossible--there just isn't room.

Complex combinations create a sense of space where there is very little.
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In a small garden, architectural structure is provided by a chair...
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...or a rain chain.
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At
Westwind Farm Studio, architectural forms must be large in order to make an impact.
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At Rhone Street, look around...
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Now take one step back...and everything changes. 
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Tiny details delight those who look carefully. 
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The many layers slow down the visitor.
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We were at Rhone Street for over an hour, and I felt I hadn't seen half of what there was to see.
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In contrast,
Westwind Farm Studio concentrates on mass plantings. 
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On so large a scale, intricacy would create chaos and have no impact.
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Mass plantings of lavenders, daylilys, monardas, and other plants stopped the visitor.  Simplicity, not intricacy, ruled.
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The enjoyment was just as relaxed, but not as intense as at Rhone Street. 
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Situated near the top of a long slope, Westwind Farm Studio has a view of forested land beyond. 
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A beautiful distant view becomes a feature of a garden, not the whole point.  The view and the garden are equal partners in beauty. 
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A more arresting view would demand only a frame for that view--no garden could compete and maintain any dignity. 
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A large area of golden grass below the home acted as visual quiet.  Trees in orderly arrangements divided and punctuated the grass, shaping the space. 
Without the trees, the golden expanse would have been dull. 
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Plantings surrounding the structures were dramatic and colorful, but simple.  

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Perhaps this brief analysis provides insight into why these two gardens were so successful.  Or perhaps it does not.  However, this version didn't get accidentally deleted.
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Comments

  1. Great juxtaposition of the two gardens Gail. Glad this finally got posted with no more hitches!

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    1. Thanks, M&G. Text doesn't exactly read quite right, but I just don't want to lose it again.

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  2. I would cry and be so frustrated if I had worked on putting so much thought into a post and then accidentally deleted it twice. Glad you finally got it together and tried again. Good insights here into why both gardens work, yet with the same sensibilities.

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    1. Instead of crying I said a lot of bad words really loud. My poor husband.

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  3. How frustrating with the multiple deletions, I'm glad you persisted as this is a lovely comparison of the two, so similar and so different.
    (oh and btw it's Westwind Farm Studio, not Wind River, although I certainly love the name Wind River!)

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    1. Thanks for pointing out the error. I fixed it, all the while worried I'd delete the post again. Whew! Wind River, where did I get that? Took me a minute. Wind River is an embedded systems software company, a relic of my computer nerdy-ness, before plant nerdy-ness took over.

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  4. I loved this post (and I'm very glad it didn't get deleted). You did a great job with your juxtaposition of the 2 gardens. And your beautiful photos highlighted the best aspect of each.

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    1. Thanks Kris. They were wonderful gardens.

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  5. Compare and contrast: what a nice way to look at these similar yet oh so different gardens.

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    1. Well, something like that. Thank you. I was just glad I actually got to post it.

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  6. I'm glad persistence is one of your many virtues. I grabbed that shot of blue lavender for my tumblr amongst your very inspiring selection. A shimmering meadow no doubt lured us out of the trees millenia ago.

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    1. In my ancestor's case, I'm sure the lure was ice cream. Love lavender, can't do without it. What is your tumblr?

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    2. http://agrowingobsession.tumblr.com/

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    3. awesome tumblr photos denise. my humble pic amongst such beauty!

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  7. Well said Hoov and how I loved these two gardens!. The great thing about Scotts was the realization tha here was a garden small enough, and planted with so many things I can or already do grow that I can apply lessons learned there directly to mine. I dug up half my hellstrip the weekend after we got home.

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    1. Scott's garden was much more difficult than it looked, I suspect. I know yours will look great also.

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  8. I am so pleased you were able to re-post. Both gardens are beautiful, I love the natural look of the prairie gardens, the simplicity is wonderful yet I am sure it was a great effort to plan and plant, so many interesting textures and colours. I also love the mass plantings of grasses punctuated by colourful flowers and the lavender is always a pleasant addition.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    1. Many interesting plants that will not grow, or grow well, in our area (except lavenders). Both gardens must take much planning and thought.

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  9. This post is great! thanks! The pictures of the meadow are stunning. This two gardens were so beautiful...I´m so happy to relive them with blog posts!

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