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Plant Form

Posted by Yardviser (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 28, 11 at 10:21

Here are two tree form shrubs. They happen to be crape myrtles and are actually close in age. (Ignore the fact that I've "painted" over the trunks of the one on the left to make them thicker and appear more mature. Right now they're just skinny whips.) I'm wondering, between the two, which one do people see as the greater master of commanding its space? ...or in other words, which one looks more important? If you think it's the one on the right...why?
TREE FORM SHRUB FORM COMPARISON


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Plant Form

The one on the right. I like the structure of the trunk, it makes a stronger element. My guess is that the unpruned version would result in more damage to the tree under the weight of its bloom.


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 11 at 12:06

Most people are habituated to thinking of trees as having a single trunk, as the traditional classic tree form. I actually prefer the twiggy version of the Lagerstroemia, as a more natural version of how the plant wants to grow naturally. It would probably benefit structurally from some thinning out to select for the best placed 5 to 7 trunks. Several trees in a grove or in formation to direct the eye could utilize the first tree's form which adds both qualities of line, texture and color, and has similarities with bamboo trunks which can be both a focal point and a translucent screen giving partial views of the garden beyond. The other trained as a tree is more static and less versatile for multiple functions, but both forms can have their own functions and equally valuable reasons in the garden.


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I don't think either one is strong enough to be "master of commanding its space" and would make a stronger statement as part of a group rather than a specimen.


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When I look at the one on the right, my main reaction is "unbalanced."

The one on the left doesn't look natural, for two reasons: First, the razor-straight edge of its foliage -- plants don't grow like that. Second, there are too many trunks for the size of its "top."

But it's not a fair comparison. For the photo on the left, we can't see the entire tree, but we see about 95% of it. Whereas perhaps 50-60% of the one on the right is visible -- and we're distracted by whatever the dark stuff is on the right.

Sorry, but that's the way my mind works.


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The one on the right makes a stronger relative statment (to me), because of the singular trunk versus the diffuse impact of multiple trunks. When a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear it?


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Perhaps you won't get much more than this yardviser so what have you learned?


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I'm sometimes struck by the distance in thinking in landscape design between other members of the forum and myself. This was an attempt to elicit better understanding of the disparity, though I'm not sure it was much of a success. (Not too well received or played along with.) I see an enormous value placed by many members (I'm also lumping comments of other threads into this appraisal) on the concept of "natural." As a source of inspiration, I "get" that. As a limitation to creation, I don't. And there seems to be much sentiment against things cultured, i.e, created by man. I also see the employment of fairly rigid rules (that to me, are arbitrary) about how plants should or should not be...what's allowed...what's not. Guiding by the hand of man seems to be looked down on.

Regarding the plants themselves, I'm glad at least one person commented that the plant on the left, like bamboo, could be a focal point and a translucent screen...two useful functions. The comments that the one on the right is a "stronger" element is lost on me. I can see a pronounced, balanced cone shape on the left. On the right I see imbalance and disarray. In real life, I don't think anyone passing by it would notice any more than just the flowers. They would ignore the trunk.


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When a query is as vague as this the replies will be all over the place because no one is quite sure what the OP is looking for. I, for one was not seeing the nature versus 'cultured' thing at all. We have had discussions about concrete trees and trees painted blue in the past and while some saw this as sacrilege an equal number saw the point so I am not sure where the looking down on the hand of man is coming from.

In the recent discussion on inspiration there was also a balance of where to go to rekindle the fire.

In my ever so 'umble opinion you are making a valuable contribution to this forum but I would appreciate it if your aims were clearer. You used this same multi stemmed configuration in a mock up recently so you obviously have something to say about this form: what is it?


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I really thought it was a question about pruning two trees on your own property -"I have one pruned should I prune the other the same way?"

I see now that you were trying to make the examples extreme to illicit a more theoretical response. In its extremity, it is a weak question because if I saw those at a nursery I would not purchase either one. As David said if you pruned the left one down to 5-6 stems that would be the most desirable. As MTO said - there is a huge discrepancy in the cropping of the photos.

I am also wondering how long it will be before Ink works a bra reference into this thread too?!?!


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Honestly, when I saw the two pics, I immediately zoomed in on the trunks... not knowing the tree's habits, the whole man-made/pruning issue was not apparent. To me the right trunk simply occupied space in a more interesting way and created an interesting negative space as well in the vertical plane.

Is this really an ink-blot test for landscape psychology?


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I think the thesis should stand up on its own, any signs of artificial support or even enhancement should be viewed but viewed with suspicion.


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It's a question about form, but it translates into a pruning question. So why reduce it to 5,6,7 stems? Why is that more desirable? In my view, the form then becomes weaker, not stronger. If it was a solid cone, it would be stronger yet.

(Ink, after I saw fine examples of the multi-trunk tree form shrub--which are rather hard to find, btw--I found it to be not only great looking, but valuable in countless situations. Aim?...find out WHY people think what they do.)


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More important? The left. It's got a firmer hold to the ground as a group yet almost still appears as one. It commands more space. The one on the right appears to be pushing itself gently up and over as to allow others to be directly underneath it, lending it a more submissive feel in a way. Left is more robust, right is more delicate. To me, robust is to important as delicate is to unimportant in this specific setting.

I'm not good at expressing myself and I apologize.

I also agree on the general attitude about manforms, but you're always welcome to take your disagreeance outside into your field and love them there if you wish.


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 0:55

Without context, I couldn't say which is best. The tree is in a garden, not standing alone. I would have to see the surrounding garden to say which is best.

In isolation, I prefer the form on the left. It's fuller, prettier, more balanced. But that doesn't mean it's right for where it is situated.


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The multi-trunked crape myrtle will have to be significantly pruned as there won't be room for the trunks as they grow. Leaving as growing will cause extensive damage.


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Did not understand Ink's comment: "any signs of artificial support".

Isa...Yeah, I think it's ink-blot for landscape psychology. I think that plant on right is a loading dock orphan...looks pruned by trucks backing into it a few times...a stick with a stick coming out of it.

"there won't be room for the trunks as they grow. Leaving as growing will cause extensive damage." This seems in concert with the advice to remove all but 5-7 trunks. I don't think that plant physiology and growth will back this idea up. What happens is that the trunks just grow together. At grade, the multi becomes one. Throughout aging, this process continues upward as all new wood thickens...like the process of candle making by repeatedly dipping a string in melted wax. Don't focus too much on my ability (or lack thereof) to draw precisely; It's just for the purpose of illustrating a point, but below, I'm trying to show aged trunk. Below that, I'm showing the trunk with all but 5 removed. For the life of me, I can't see that it's an improvement on form. By an improvement on form I mean more cultured, pampered, buffed, loved, hugged-on, educated, cleaned, finessed and demanded of. As opposed to being left to its own devices. To my thinking, the 5-trunker is dime-a-dozen average Joe. The 25-trunker eventually, as it ages, becomes royalty. But even the 5-trunker will have all trunks grow into one at it's base. I've seen it a gazillion times.
crape aged trunk
5 trunks


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"I am also wondering how long it will be before Ink works a bra reference into this thread too?!?!" "artificial support" oh well!


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  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 11:20

Exactly right about the need for corrective pruning if you want this form to be retained as a larger tree. Lagerstroemia is notorious for growing with narrow crotch angles that will later split if not pruned. Many people would tray the tree on the left as a shrub to be cut. Back to the ground from year to year, rather than thin it out to form a more stable tree form. In areas subject to high winds or heavy rains where the tree is winter hardy, it is usually kept smaller or treated as a shrub, because it is so time consuming to prune it for more durable structure.

If you like the multi trunk look, why not stick with plants such as bamboos? Although my personal pruning preferences even with bamboo is towards selective thinning of culms to better show off their form and individual culms. As I see massively dense groves of unthinned bamboo at the local Botanic garden, this form seems less desirable in a typical garden unless there is lots of room, or it's being used as a boundary screen.

I'm not a big fan of densely twiggy crape myrtles as a tree form because the are bound to fall apart in a storm. As to whether it is more beautiful left to its own devices; its worth pointing out that the left tree has also been stripped of all lower side branches which isn't natural either. Crape myrtles require a lot of careful selective pruning as a landscape tree, and are probably amongst the most commonly badly butchered trees in the southern USA, along with the fruitless Mulberry. Perhaps the promenance Oreo manly badly pruned Crape Myrtles is an influence upon yardvisor's preferences, but the left tree isn't exactly natural either, and will present maintenance problems over time if left as is. It will also require continual limbing up to remove lower branches, as this plant prefers to grow as a shrub when not thinned to a single trunk._


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Ink, thanks for clearing that up!

Bahia, I will agree with you that crapes are some of the most butchered trees. But not because they are pollarded. Because they are badly pollarded. Whether one wants it as a single or multi, side branches will be removed from the trunk(s)...neither is "natural" but it's the it the method of making it a "tree." I disagree that maintenance problems will come. In 25 years of observing them I have not seen it in any degree that approaches calling it a problem. Any plant can be storm damaged, but there's nothing that likens it to something like Bradford pears or such. Also, my experience shows that maintaining crapes as pollarded multis is by far the easiest, least time-consuming way to maintain them. Continual limbing up is not necessary. As trunks age, sprouts diminish year to year. They eventually appear mostly near the top of pollarded trunks. But wherever they are, a quick swipe of a gloved hand is all it takes to "prune" them. An entire tree can be done in less than a minute. You say, "this plant prefers to grow as a shrub when not thinned to a single trunk." I maintain that it doesn't mind having its side branches removed near as much as it does being forced to grow as a single trunk. I've never seen a single-trunk version that didn't have a pile of weed-like sprouts at its base trying their best to re-establish the tree as a multi.

The larger point I am trying to make is that there is barely a woody landscape plant of any kind the is better in appearance and performance when left "natural." Almost all benefit by being shaped by the hand of man. In some cases the "shaping" can be extensive. But this is not to say that it should be at battle with nature either. The prevalent thought that opposes this is that man should leave plants alone to be "natural."


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Fro me this query was a bit contrived because of the photo augmentation and the lack of context. I think that a plant is not good or bad in and of itself, but right or wrong for the context. I've got nothing against pollarding or other forms of specialty pruning; in fact I admire it in context, as I think I've made clear.

But in the two cases where you've photoshopped a shrub like this multi-trunked example into an OP's query, they were crammed up against buildings which I think is totally wrong for them. In that context they could be espaliered, but not pollarded (if that is what this is - I'm not sure, really). Here, you show the plant in the open, which is good since it it obviously a 3-D plant.

Also, any time you recommend a specialty pruning solution for someone, it has to be within the boundaries of their interest and capability to maintain it. In the two cases where you've recommended it, I didn't get a sense that the OP was in that ballpark at all. But that doesn't mean you can't suggest it; you never know what will motivate someone to come up the learning curve.

In short, to me there is no "better" growth habit. In some settings the one would be better, in others, the other.

KarinL


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Typing this b4 I read anyone's responses, which I rarely do, but wanted to offer unbiased opinion. You didn't specify if you wanted the opinion of the gardener in us in regard to possessing this plant, or as the observer driving or walking by.

My inner gardener can't give you a single answer. At the moment, the one on the left is much more of a focal point and prettier although I think the pictures are unfair since the top of the one on the right (most of the flowers) is missing. After observing the local ones here for a few years, I would choose the one on the right because of structural integrity, disease resistance, weeding, sucker control, and longevity. Also, the left one reminds me of the ubiquitous "murdered myrtles" and no such reminder is pleasant. I attach a lot of significance to self-reliance when giving a plant the label of "important." It would have to be able to be reasonably expected to continue on its' present course without my aid. If not, no matter how much I like it, it's an experiment.

Now reading... In real life, I don't think anyone passing by it would notice any more than just the flowers. They would ignore the trunk. Totally agree.


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Well this ink-blot test has been interesting with regards to showing everyone's adherence to their own set of "rules".

Instead of discussing a particular species and it's habits, what if we had choice between a single trunk and a multiple trunk and a bamboo like clump, what type of context would each best enhance? (this is where I thought this was originally headed)


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Perhaps my mind has been diverted, as I still wonder why someone would try to flog bra's on a landscape design forum but I can't get my head around this thread at all.

Personally I don't see Crepe Myrtle as a main player in any design situation but it is not only presented here as such but also as a main player in the Nature argument and I just don't get it.

The field of possible discussions here is vast and like karin says without context we could be talking at cross purposes for ever. If indeed the main thrust is The larger point I am trying to make is that there is barely a woody landscape plant of any kind the is better in appearance and performance when left "natural." (note parenthesis)then this depends totally on context.


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I will concede that I did a less than adequate job of introducing this thread and making it clear. I was trying to talk about form and the "why" of it. When I added the crape example, in my own mind, I was thinking about the trunk structure, not about the top or the flowers.

"I would choose the one on the right because of structural integrity, disease resistance, weeding, sucker control, and longevity."...I think those are 5 myths. My experience indicates that sucker formation increases relative to attempting to limit trunks to too few. A crape's genes tell it to form many trunks. Weeding? I don't see how trunk form has anything to do with that. Structural integrity, disease resistance and longevity...there's a lot of opinion and myth that floats around, but not much in the way of actual facts or hard evidence. My personal experience does not indicate that these factors apply.

"...they were crammed up against buildings..." When a tree form shrub is close to a building face, it's grown as the front-facing half of the form. The plant and the building know no difference and do not care. I don't see why you think one cannot do this...? Is the principle any different than using a semi-circular wall planter in front of a wall? It's an example, actually, of extending architecture with plant forms....like adding a domed awning.

Pollarding requires far less knowledge, skill, time and patience than most other common pruning. And the technique offers some special advantages to the plant in addition to creating unique art forms.


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  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 18:57

I'll own up to a bias against pollarded trees in general,unless it is part of a more formal french style garden. The winter appearance of pollarded trees just doesn't do much for me, just as in general I mostly prefer shrubs pruned informally rather than sheared. My design clients tend to appreciate my tendency to thin out dense tree growth to show off branching structure while also controlling for size and retaining more light and views through/beyond the garden, and I'll also admit that such thinning takes more time than shearing, especially if the tree is very fast growing. These days, I'd rather use slower growing and more open habit trees appropriate in mature size to the space available than get locked into constant pruning. As much for the more sustainable character and less expensive upkeep as the being tired and less willing to be obligated to constant pruning. If I held fast to this preference I'd probably never plant another Brugmansia Charles Grimaldi or Arbutus Marina or Cercis canadensis Forest Pansy, 3 trees that I spend the most time having to thin out repeatedly.

Trees such as Sycamores are the most commonly pollarded trees here in the San Francisco bay area, but I'm not a big fan of the style, and even less so with Crape Myrtles.


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I agree David - not a fan. My daughter went to France at age 14 without us, and all she came back with other than skiing pictures was photos of the trees, asking Mom what it That?!?!

I am trying to avoid all the innuendo in this thread, but I have to confess I am very impressed with ink's rapid rise to my challenge.

Also reading this thread through after my long day of work has really made me laugh. Thanks!!


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I'm going to have to let this go it's doing my head in.


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  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 31, 11 at 19:31

I'm with Catkim!

How can anyone detemine which "commands it's space" without having the benefit of seeing the space?


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I was thinking about the trunk structure, not about the top or the flowers. Thinking about what it would look like in the winter is something I just couldn't get past in answering, sorry.

My experience indicates that sucker formation increases relative to attempting to limit trunks to too few. A crape's genes tell it to form many trunks. If you plant a tree, not a mass of shoots, and leave it alone, it will continue to grow as tree. They permeate this area. Nobody's doing anything to these trees but mow around them.

Weeding? I don't see how trunk form has anything to do with that. If you can't get your hand between those trunks to grab a weed, that would be frustrating to me.

Structural integrity, disease resistance and longevity...there's a lot of opinion and myth that floats around, but not much in the way of actual facts or hard evidence. If you can see hundreds of old, mature multi-trunk CM's with rotting sections while there are many more healthy-looking single-trunk counterparts, I'd call that evidence.

Pollarding requires far less knowledge, skill, time and patience than most other common pruning. Totally agree about the skill and knowledge part, but I fail how to see it can be less time consuming to prune at all when none is really needed? My opinion is that looking at those decapitated things until they recover (if they do) is not pleasing. It's the only thing I can think of that people do regularly that is so often fatal. And the summer-time appearance of looking like a giant lollipop is not pleasing to my eye, either. If people want to do it, that's there prerogative. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

And the technique offers some special advantages to the plant in addition to creating unique art forms. Not sure to what advantages you are referring, but with the part about art forms, I couldn't agree more! This is something that has always intrigued me since I first saw a braided Ficus benjamina. Bonsai, espalier, arborsculpture, grafting multiple varities of stems on a single trunk - all fascinating stuff. But as I said above, I consider almost all of this an experiment. Something that needs to be decapitated yearly is not permanent. It's a dependent, like a bonsai. And, no doubt, very cool to look at.


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The big thing I am getting from this thread is the amount of cultural context in gardening. So Yardvisor is from a part of the country where a) crepe myrtles are a common ornamental, and b) heavily manicured properties are common and considered desirable.

Coming from a part of the country where neither of those statements are true, I'll just sit here with my popcorn and watch the show.


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--The crape myrtle on the left will look terrible for 6 months of the year. The one on the right isn't a very good example of a finely grown crape.
--Pruning is not the same as pollarding.
--Large finely-grown crape myrtles have lovely trunks and at some point you can't even tip prune them due to size.
--For a plant form to provide a lot of "screening" near the ground, I wouldn't choose either one.


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  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b NC (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 5, 11 at 10:48

They would ignore the trunk? Maybe in the summer when it's in bloom...but many lagerstroemia have lovely bark. I particularly like the cultivar that has the exfoliating cinamon-colored bark...Biloxi? I think so...

In general I like legerstromeia grown as trees with just a few trunks and not pollarded, but pruned selectively.


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I didn't count the votes... but it looks like the newly created non-committal "no-opinion" option won!!


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Isabella, I think you are correct. Non-committal has won. I chalk it up to a poorly introduced subject and vow that I will try to do better in any future attempt. The early-on claims of confusion were justly deserved. With that I hope this thread dies promptly. Though it could easily have off-shoots...pruning, crape myrtles, Pollarding...or a more focused discussion of form.

For myself, I grew weary of the discussion as I felt that some of the arguments were on the silly--even ridiculous side (with eyes wide shut.) I felt like we were talking about social policies and that the undercurrent of political correctness was the most powerful force in the discussion.

I've seen hundreds (I could probably say thousands, actually) crape myrtles and other tree form shrubs. I've barely ever (I could probably count them on one hand) seen exemplary trunk structure. The focus is 99.999% on the canopy and flowers. The trunk structure is all but ignored. I get from this discussion that a great many people are satisfied with mediocre trunks or think that this is the way it SHOULD be. I subscribe entirely to a different school of thought. I see plants like I see dogs. Left to their own devices they are rude, dirty, noisy, obnoxious, smelly crude things. But pampered with bathing, clipping their nails, taught some manners and a couple of polite tricks, they can be sweet, adorable loving and good-smelling companions...who other people could enjoy...not just their owners. Do all this pampering to a dog and it's still a dog. No one has changed that. For some reason, when it comes to plants, people seem to think that when you pamper and massage it into a more sophisticated form of what its capabilities allow (almost even beg for) that you are guilty of criminal plant molestation. Overall, I think that in the United States, landscaping and the appreciation of it is in its infancy. Here, there is an obsession for all things "natural" ...which means left alone to their own devices. While nature is great almost everywhere that it is (it's an awesome default) it took the mind of man to shape sounds into a symphony. I see no reason not to let the same force apply to the realm of landscaping.


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" I have barely ever ...seen exemplary trunk structure.".

I don't know where you are from, but have you ever been to new Orleans? There are gorgeous crepe myrtles all ove the city- in the highway median, the sidewalk of the French quarter, in the uptown neighborhood. They generally are pruned down to 3-4 trunks, which emphasize the amazing peeling bark, and then they bloom for months at a time. Crepe myrtles are one of the few indicators of the passing seasons in Nola. I see you put them in a lot of the designs you have been putting on this forum recently, so perhaps you understand how beautiful they can be. But you feel like most people here don't have that same appreciation? I am still really not sure where you are going, or intended to go with this thread.


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Or walked the LSU campus in Baton Rouge?


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  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 6, 11 at 1:24

I certainly didn't get the sense that most responses here were anti-pruning motivated, but from your comments about dogs, I sense you like to get people wound up... I still disagree about Crape Myrtles not being more prone to storm damage than Bradford Pears; they both have the same tendency to form narrow crotches than can fall apart in high wind situations. I don't live in hurricane or tornado country myself, but have read enough gardening articles on safer trees for such circumstances to know that big old Lagerstroemias are prone to such damage. I've seen it happen here in northern California under high wind winter storms.

Naturally pruned trees can be more beautiful if you look around you. The 400 year old Coast Live Oaks with looping trunks in all directions like an octopus and open dappled shade isn't something that can be easily replicated by pruning and training, and seems an amazing transition from a young oak with its impossibly gawky branch angles become smooth sinuous curves with age.

I find myself backed into the corner of having to do a lot of tree thinning over time due to the nature of small sized California gardens with too many trees for their size, and the desire for more variety of understory plantings that aren't usually tolerant of deep shade as the trees get more mature. It's hard to design a permanent landscape in a small garden with a variety of trees that wont require either continual thinning/pruning or switching out the understory plants from sun to shade tolerance. So while my preference might lean towards gardening with less necessity for continual pruning, I still do a lot of pruning as necessary.


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It's a whole separate subject--what's a tree?; what's a shub?--that I don't want to get sidetracked with. I'll use shrub to mean any woody plant that WANTS to have multiple trunks and doesn't get over about 35' tall. It's a vast grey area not yet well defined by science or industry.

I rummaged through some photos. The first one has 5 multi-trunk shrubs (I think these are serviceberry.) Trunk 1 and 5 are the best of the lot, but they're trunks are fans in flat planes. They're not full, round. Yet they're in front of a pretty finely detailed, clean and precise building. They should look like a bouquet. Trunk 2, skimpy. Trunks 3 & 4, crap...they don't even belong. The whole lot of them look casual and scruffy....teenagers hanging out looking for some light criminal activity to get into.

Haish Memorial Library
The next photo is a pair of burning bushes. When in fall color, they absolutely dominate the street. They're quite old so no surprise they're maintained by shearing. I've no problem with that. Their canopies are stunning. But kept at trees-for-toddlers height only because those who maintain them are too lazy to get up on a ladder. It's an injustice to their capability...how grand they could really look. Their bulk is right in your face. It should be an over-head-height canopy. They're trunk systems are haphazard. If there was a place begging for a full bouquet of trunks it's this setting. And they're partly a mess for being planted too close to the building. I don't mind a little outward learn, but this is way too much. I think their trunk centers are about 12" off the wall!
Haish Memorial Burning Bush

Here's a couple of crapes (with no paint molestation done to them!) They're both 3 years old (2gal to start, I think.) They've not yet entered the height at which their canopy will be formed. They're probably 6 1/2 - 7' H. The one in the front is buff. The one in the back is going to get sand kicked in his face. Though the one in the front is acceptable, it needs to be fatter. Of course, it will spread some with age. I think ideal is about a 45* spread. Because they're infants, neither have the full brushy winter head or the bulbous paddles that develop over time (as a result of pollarding.) I can't locate a picture of a good winter head of a crape, but because each branch is one year's growth they have the typical brushy, uniform look except that their heads spread out in dome fashion instead of the typical pollard "ball." They arch...almost weeping form. It's not uncommon for branches to be 9 or 10' long on an adult. Here's a picture of a stunted willow that's been pollarded. Imagine something like it's head on a big full-trunked crape. It's quite a site. But you never see such a thing in spite of all the "murder" that takes place.
Crapes College Place


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I subscribe entirely to a different school of thought. I see plants like I see dogs. Left to their own devices they are rude, dirty, noisy, obnoxious, smelly crude things. But pampered with bathing, clipping their nails, taught some manners and a couple of polite tricks, they can be sweet, adorable loving and good-smelling companions...who other people could enjoy...not just their owners.

While I totally disagree, I liked this analogy so much, I've saved it in my garden notes. It helped me see your POV much more clearly, which I respect. I'm just more in the "right plant/right place" camp where plants are given the opportunity to grow to their natural form and height, and don't *need* to be coddled. I'm sure you can respect that, too. Neither you nor I are right or wrong, just discussing different opinions, a healthy thing.

Your last post has 3 pics. In the first pic, I like #3 the best although I would remove that strange branch going out to the right and the junky whipper-trunk trying to compete with the primary one. The 2nd picture is an example of lack of forethought, IMO. Why not put an evergreen there? At least something softer. It's prickly-looking, almost menacing, and in its' naked state is wasting a tiny yet very prominent space that could be otherwise used in a way to provide more beauty and interest year-round. Totally agree they are too close to the wall. Nothing is right about those bushes. Looking at them makes me feel sad and cold. Aesthetics are subjective, based on a thousand subtle factors that are different for each person. And I'm glad for such. How boring it would be if there really was a "right way/wrong way" to landscape. It would all look the same and utilize no imaginative ideas.

People who enlist the aid of a landscape designer are one or more of these: lacking the knowledge to do it themselves, the time, the desire. To think that they will be willing and/or able to care for pollarded or other plants intended to be specialty-pruned is unreasonable. Being on the landscape design forum, I couldn't detach myself from that. Constantly (yearly) pruning shrubs or trees to maintain a shape or lower height is not something I like, or want to do, and most people don't. But there are plenty who do - otherwise the meatball shrub and meatloaf hedge would be even less common. Many people are intimidated by their yard, or avoid certain plants because of the "work involved." Like the mindset of "I don't want roses because I don't have time to spray them/don't like to use chemicals." If you avoid the hybrids that are so subject to pests and diseases, roses are very easy plants. No need to create future work.


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RE: Plant Form

Ok I officially am giving up on trying to figure out where this is going.

Here is a good example of an amazing specimen in front of commanders palace in New Orleans. If they dont grow like this where you live Yard, maybe you should stop planting them? IDK, I dont plant stuff that doesn't do well in my climate.

Here is a link that might be useful: commanders palace


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RE: Plant Form

Purple, Well, I'm glad that someone finally understands me...even though we disagree on what's desirable. You're lucky because you will be more easily satisfied than I, who will be forever unhappy and griping about the sorry state of tree and shrub trunks across the land! Your comments about the burning bushes reminded me about when I was going to school and got a summer job working at a garden center. While I knew a few things about a few perennials, I'd never owned a home and didn't know squat about trees or shrubs. I'd just finished loading a tree I'd sold into a customer's truck. The boss had been watching me from inside and when I walked back in he questioned me about why I'd sold the customer "that" tree out of the other dozen like it. It was just the first in line. I was dumbfounded about what he was getting at. Then he said it had a crooked trunk. I didn't want to admit it to him but I swear to god it NEVER occurred to me to look at the trunk...for anything other than being broken. A tree or shrub was all about leaves. Some time later, I would take a winter tree I.D. class (Z5) taught by the great Larry Marty who knew so much. But trees...in winter? I was expecting it to be stupendously uninteresting. To my surprise it was the eye-opener of classes. The hidden beauty, form and all of the subtle coloration and unnoticed winter details of trees came alive for the first time in my life. It made winter another season to look forward to and deciduous plants the reason.


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RE: Plant Form

Yardvisor, I have a sense you're trying to sell your taste here. What I don't understand is why, and why you can't just let it rest - it's like you're driven to convince everyone and you won't stop - there's an octopus-shaped crepe in every mock-up you do. It's a very arcane selection, this "shrub as bouquet" look, and it doesn't look good in all settings - specifically, it stinks in foundation plantings. But I totally get that you might love it, and that it might look good in certain settings. No problem with that. But it's like you're recruiting for a fan club or something.

Around here, we tend not to be fans, or cheerleaders; we tend to be "it depends". Not that I speak for anyone, just an observation. And as far as these octopus-shaped things are concerned, the answer is, it depends. You don't seem to compute that answer, and you keep pushing to get people to admire NO MATTER WHERE.

I like your story of awakening awareness; it's something we have all gone through. I still remember dismissing both conifers and rhododendrons, both of which I now spend a startling amount of money on. But no one is ever going to talk me into Pelargoniums, although I can admire them in context, for certain people, at times. It depends.

And so it is with umbrella crepes. Is that not OK with you?

Karin L


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RE: Plant Form

Ouch. Pass the popcorn, mad_gallica...


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RE: Plant Form

I'm cutting back, so I'll pass on the popcorn...(unless it doesn't have butter)

From the multiple choice question, above I would prefer #1 in this context, because I don't want to see the architectural statement of a large trunk competing with the buildings architecture.


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 7, 11 at 10:41

It's a common human trait to filter everything through one's own personal experience. Here we have everything about landscape design filtered through pruning.

Yardvisor, do you live in the Portland area by any chance? The commentary reminds me so much of someone who used to post here years ago.


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RE: Plant Form

I was wondering the same thing.


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RE: Plant Form

karinl, I have no desire to further a conversation of a personal gripe on a thread that is supposed to be about something else. Is this is a clique or a forum? It sounds like I'm being warned to get my thinking in line with the group's. It seems that a few people here are skilled at disparaging comments and language, but unable to critique with meaning and intelligence, viewing their opinions as facts. Regardless of your opinion, I can pledge that I will think with my own brain...not someone else's. I will defend my ideas if they need defending. It forces no one to believe anything other than what they want to believe. I attack no one. I disparage no one. But the same cannot be said of others.

catkim, no to Portland


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RE: Plant Form

I think it is quite refreshing to have new people around, so please don't mistake my comments as being disparaging. Nor am I trying to get your thinking in line with the group's - again, I think it's refreshing to have new people around. But not just any new people.

Make no mistake, this is what you might call an "elite" group in that we aspire to and seek to sustain high standards of design analysis and advice. I don't apologize for that, nor for my part in sustaining it. Most of the regulars here don't subscribe to Adrienne's "sandbox is big enough for all of us" theory - there are lots of sandboxes on the internet where you can be advised to do all kinds of ridiculous things with your landscape, either ridiculous for your yard or ridiculous for you. Here, most of us hope that, along with the OP, we will learn and practise the accurate identification of the landscaping challenge, and the art of meeting that challenge.

There is a reason why you don't encounter a lot of "put up window boxes and shutters!" type of advice here. It's because people whose advice is that shallow are called on it pretty quickly, or ignored; certainly not applauded and echoed as occurs on other forums. Yes, new people have to undergo a bit of testing first. It's not purposeless, like frat boy hazing, nor is it dangerous. It is, quite simply, to be challenged on your ideas and the reasons for them. If there are good reasons, welcome to the club.

All of us, old and new, OPs and regular respondents, are picked on, called out, and even ridiculed if that is what it takes, to keep standards high. It would be nice if everyone attacked just ideas and not people, but unfortunately we are all human. Better that, though, than a proliferation of simple-minded "pretty flowers" discussion though - in my opinion, and apparently in a lot of other people's.

What we have is a tradition of what you might call intellectual rigour, and that is the only thing that I think we do "bully," if you like the word, in pursuit of. Call it a matter of professional pride, if you like. We aren't all professional landscape designers, but we all aspire to a high standard. Our holy grail is a full understanding of the site challenges and good design relative to those challenges.

We are neither clique nor collective of any sort; only a collection of individuals who are curious and enjoy solving problems.

My position on your shrub form question is simply that there may be a place and a person for whom such a shrub is right, but that I've seen you place them in mock-ups for places and people for whom they are not right, and in particular, for which many better ideas exist. The reason I am pushing you to examine your position is that I sense you have the capacity and the experience to do better. Indeed, your input in terms of site understanding that I've seen posted here is generally quite good and sometimes quite insightful. You have this one slightly incongruous weak spot.

We all have weak spots, and pet theories, and we are always happy to find applications for them. You may find that if you stick around and participate, eventually your shrub will be just right for a certain design challenge. (the recent thread with the big lawn, for example, to block the garage...). But it isn't right for every design challenge, and that is how you have sought to apply it, and now it seems to me that you are trying to create a little clique yourself of people who "get it" and people who don't. If anything, I see you as trying to bully the group into anointing your taste as superior? Or something. Your screen name adds to the feeling that you came here thinking you would be giving advice, and not learning anything yourself. That may explain your lack of responsiveness to perfectly rational input on this matter - and it is your apparent unwillingness to process input on this matter that is puzzling me.

It really doesn't matter what kind of plant you try to get a cheerleading section going for. You could have posted almost any pair of plants in your query, and you would have gotten the same answer - it's not about you, or about your crepes, really. It's about making it an "either/or" question in a vacuum.

No plant is better or worse than another independent of its context and owner. It simply depends. And therein lie the seeds of a fascinating discussion with every query posted here. That's why we all stick around, even though not every query goes that way.

You mostly seem like a person who would enjoy that sort of climate.

Karin L


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RE: Plant Form

Hee, I just can't help thinking of the Lone Ranger whenever I hear the William Tell Overture. Am I in the minority on this forum?


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RE: Plant Form

"That may explain your lack of responsiveness to perfectly rational input on this matter - and it is your apparent unwillingness to process input on this matter that is puzzling me." Did I receive a summons? Do me a favor and quote the "perfectly rational input" in your next post. I Swear to god, I have no idea what you are even talking about. I offer ideas. I haven't heard you ask a single time "Why this" or "why that" Are you too good to learn? I can't force anyone to accept anything. You're making comments like I held a gun to your head about liking or not liking a plant!...?? The snide and snipey fight-picking comments (though not in your last post) are unprofessional and undignified. They just show that you think you have unqualified license. As far as I'm concerned, being here longer gives no one the right to be rude.


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RE: Plant Form

"Did I receive a summons? Do me a favor and quote the "perfectly rational input" in your next post. I Swear to god, I have no idea what you are even talking about. I offer ideas. I haven't heard you ask a single time "Why this" or "why that" Are you too good to learn? I can't force anyone to accept anything. You're making comments like I held a gun to your head about liking or not liking a plant!...??"

ummm humm.
***sarcasm alert***"There is no rude or extreme speech in that comment. And no lack of responsiveness to perfectly rational input....oh, and no rudeness.


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RE: Plant Form

Make no mistake, this is what you might call an "elite" group... The doorman seems to be shirking his ID-checking duties.

All of us, old and new, OPs and regular respondents, are picked on, called out, and even ridiculed if that is what it takes, to keep standards high. Fascinating theory. Being picked on and ridiculed raises one's standards, or those of a group. I am relieved to know this since they say bullying is on the rise in schools. Thank goodness for the bullies and their standard-raising abilities! Anxiously awaiting the higher standardized test scores.

We are neither clique nor collective of any sort; only a collection of individuals who are curious and enjoy solving problems... through ridicule and bullying, as stated previously. Ok, got it.

This is a public forum on which anyone is welcome to post any ideas they have. As long as you are ready to ridicule them until they see things in your elite way it will be fine.


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 9, 11 at 11:49

I find it rather curious how some people here feel so strongly that they "are" part of the "elite group" and represent its thinking. That just rubs me the wrong way, and always has. I think that more people, if not most, respond to OP's that either interest them, or on topics where they have some personal experience. We all have our biases in life, as Kim more eloquently states, our advice and viewpoints are filtered by personal experience and context. Personally I try to keep my comments directly linked to the topic without getting swept up into debating with personalities, but dogmatic assertions that don't allow for exceptions or alternate views will tend to suck me in to the debate. I'd never assume to speak for the group, first, because how do you really know who and what it is unless these elite are also communicating between themselves beyond this forum, I don't see that "group thinking" mentality actually on display here.

I tend to find I trust the responses most that are backed up by thoughtful analysis, experience, or demonstrated results; much more than computer graphics imposed over a photo. I'd be willing to give those visuals more weight if they were also backed up by actual photos of built and successful projects, and of the type that were taken long enough after initial installation to really fully evaluate them, at least on their own visual terms. I'll admit that I'm at a disadvantage about responding via photoshoping images as replies, and also can't be bothered to spend the time to scan hand drawn images as replies here, while I appreciate it as a help to the OP. As we were taught in design school, a pretty picture or plan isn't necessarily good design if it doesn't address the concerns of the project,but can have a powerfully seductive pull on its own, just like advertising.

In the end, I'd suggest don't bother reading a reply if the personality posting it gets under your skin here. If you feel the need for affirmation of your viewpoint, work on the skills(be they written/computer/photography/logic, etc) to persuade people that you know what you're talking about and have actually listened to their concerns. Finally, recognize that taste is individual, and resist the urge to engage where you know your input wouldn't be appreciated. After all, as a professional designer you're not likely to seek out clients with tastes opposite your own, nor would the potential client be likely to seek your input if they're familiar with your style of work. Although I have heard enough funny stories from well regarded designers with clients who don't really mesh, and the hilarity that ensues...


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RE: Form

As a break from form and forum analysis I invite you all to watch something truly amazing. Go to the site and click on 'video'.

Here is a link that might be useful: wild and windy


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RE: Plant Form

Wow, it would be so awesome (and kind of scary too) to live in that fellow's head for a day!


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 9, 11 at 13:49

I always like to believe everyone has good intentions. But, um, ah, I would like to state I am not part of a collective "we" here. To have someone speak for me is presumptuous, no matter how well-intended. Now, on the other hand, if you want to call me eloquent, go right ahead. (blush)

I promise to watch the video after work.


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RE: Plant Form

Purple, you have made some nice points lately but these are not among them. Do some investigation of elite groups, and of forming storming norming and all that, and then observe the forum for a while. You too may then notice commentary like this:

..."by itself as proposed here would be about as subtle as disguising a pimple on the forehead as a bandaid in my opinion."

..."Wow! it's a while since I've seen anything quite as phallic as that."

..."Ink, this is one situation where your unfamiliarity with a Mediterreanean Climate limits the usefulness of your advice."

..."if you can't see the lack of good design flow with the roses and their size, height and general gawkiness in this photo in combination with a too narrow bed, mishmash of plants and homely if not ugly scalloped edging and white gravel mulch... My opinions on your design options shouldn't interest you anyway."

We don't like the word "elite" but a landscape design discussion of ordinary quality would have us rolling our eyes pretty quickly, David. You may remember the thread linked below.

The flip side of "everyone is welcome to post" is that "everyone is welcome to respond," and around here, the culture here is that they do. Every group, however loose or transient its membership, has a culture. If the culture here were all "squee" like that on the home decorating forum, the remarks above would get called out for being rude and harsh (as they do on the home dec forum). Here, it is squee remarks that get ridiculed, while these relatively rude remarks are left unchallenged. Good design advice is available on both sites, by the way, but on the home dec forum you have to wade through a lot of cheerleading and general collective happiness to get to it.

Bullying and norming are related, but the conditions of belonging to a group matter in making the distinction (freedom of association, cost, benefits, existence of other ways of meeting the same needs, presence or absence of hierarchy) You have to recognize that the same behaviours in a freely-entered and exited group like this one differ in both intent and impact from, say, a project group at work, or a group of children forced to be together in a class they did not choose. In a group like this one the culture can only exist by mutual consent... and it is enforced. Seriously, go to the home decorating forum and try to say things that are either objectively analytical or critical - like the above quotes - rather than warm and supportive. Watch what happens.

And by the way, Purple, if your post above wasn't bullying and ridicule, I wonder what it was. Polite disagreement? Respectful dialogue? Live and let live? Not really. Like it or not, with this post and the very piercingly accurate remarks you made in the snow/salt thread, you've just participated in doing exactly what I described. You're challenging participants to keep their standards of not just landscape design, but also quality of commentary and behaviour, high. If people can't support their comments, your post will cause them to write more carefully next time, or not write again. If they can support their comments (as Ink did in response to one of the quotes I used above), they will, and mutual respect is retained.

Catkim, your point is well taken and I don't mean to cross that line. I am not speaking for, but describing, and the problem I have is that I can only describe the behaviour of regular forum participants using either "we" or "they." And as I do participate here, the former is more accurate. Kind of like the conundrum of what words to use when describing the human race in general, as you did here, although I think you were not, in this quote, including yourself in this behaviour: " It seems we expect to be able to google everything instantaneously..."

Karin L

Here is a link that might be useful: any ideas? thread


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ps to the above

...and Catkim, you ARE eloquent! With the added advantage over me of being succinct :-)

Karin L


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RE: Plant Form

karin, I appreciate your kind compliments. If you see what I said as ridicule and bullying, then it was. It probably just feels different to me since I'm the one saying it. I can admit that. I love a good discussion with lots of varied responses. If nobody disagrees, it's really boring.

I still see no reason for ridicule/bullying in regard to reacting to suggestions. Saying, "I don't think this will work because..." is totally different than saying, "That's a bad idea!" Maybe I should have just said that instead but it wouldn't have been as fun. I can admit that, too.

I don't feel the need to be more familiar with the "norm" or elite groups since neither interest me.

Succinct is great, until ya think of something else to say. (mentally insert fav smiley.)

Going to go have a fun weekend now. Wishing the same for you all.


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RE: Plant Form

Yes Mr Rather, no matter how hard I try, I still expect to hear "Hi, ho, Silver" somewhere in the refrain.
But you needn't look too far to find others who will only speak of Rossini...


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RE: Plant Form

Ink, Interesting machine... collects and stores it's own energy and can meter it, while adjusting it's configuration as necessary to overcome environmental obstacles.

But can it photoshop design drawings with immense broccoli, narrow walkways restricting meatball yews in a limited foundation planting, and install shutters and window boxes?


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RE: Plant Form

If you planted giant broccoli, would you prune it or let it grow in its natural form?

Once again, the hijack has proved more interesting than the OP. I spent the morning rereading some of the threads trying to figure out what happened here over the last week - and I wanted to understand my role in it. I have to say I really don't think very often about the group dynamics on this forum, I am really much more interested in the landscape design discussions. (group dynamics was my old life as a MSW, landscape is my new happier life!)

I think "elite" is maybe not the right word to describe the forum, because it has a connotation of exclusivity that is not really the case. Any one can post and join the discussion, and this thread is a perfect example of that. Those of us who choose to participate regularly do seem to aim to cultivate a higher level discussion. (The opposite of which is aptly illustrated by Ink's thread linked by Karin. ) This level is obtained not only through discussion and debate, but also through agreeing with, reinforcing and elaborating on good ideas.

I have to confess I got frustrated with some of the ideas that were being tossed around here this week - but for the most part I am a person who laughs and jokes about EVERYTHING. I know that does not come across in this form of communication and in the past my friends have joked that I should put a smiley face after everything I write. That aside, though, I completely disagree with some of the advice that has been passed along on this forum that gave rise to this discussion. Thats all I am going to say about that.

Believe it or not, I would like to go back to the OP's statement of his intention to promote a discussion of the overemphasis placed on the concept of "natural" in this forum. Once again, I think of that as contextual and site dependent. Where I live, most of my clients are rural. A formal, pruned and structured landscape is generally out of place in this setting. Where I grew up - suburbia - the more natural informal landscapes we do here would look untidy and out of place in a world of extreme pruning. IMO the answer is it does depend. It is also dependent on the client.

If I were asked my personal opinion, I prefer nature improved by man. Not to the extreme, but a little better than natural. In addition, I really dont often consider nature as an inspiration, maybe because I am so surrounded by it that my life could become a constant fight against natures will. I am more inspired by other gardens and landscapes - resulting in a horrible addition to gardening books.


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RE: Plant Form

I came here to talk about landscape design, not spend time psychoanalyzing a group. I don't mind disagreement, critique, questioning or any of that. But it's a public place and needs a minimum level of civility and decorum in order to keep blood from spilling...so we don't have to waste our time talking about stuff like this. Some of the comments that drtygirl has made don't stick to the subject at hand and are equivalent to having someone spit in your face on a public sidewalk. They're rude, insulting and some of them just downright mean, fightpicking comments. Karinl, this is an astounding statement: "If anything, I see you as trying to bully the group..." Unless you're completely redefining the word to include "making peaceful offerings," there's no way. There's no force. It's not any different than you telling everyone over and over over how you don't like foundation plantings. Great for you. Even though you repeat that endlessly, I don't feel the need to tell you that I'm OK with foundation planting wherever needed...in spite of what you think. It's as if I said "Good morning" and you reacted with "Why are you attacking me?" I'm a landscape architect, not a psychologist. I'm at a loss to prepare a response that works for that. Honestly, you've made comments and suggestions that I thought were artistically barren. I'm seeing that maybe you need to be "challenged on your ideas and the reasons for them." I'll be wanting to ask you about that canopy picture you posted that looks 100% inspired by Trucknuts.

Because there's usually more than one answer to a design solution (sometimes several...or many,) I never feel compelled to "call out" the poster on the design solutions they offer. I'll offer mine and the OP can take it as they wish. If I want to know why you did something, I'll ask. But I don't see any benefit to being rude, demanding or insulting. In defense of the use of graphics I'll say that most people here seem to give advice with text only. And nearly 100% of the questions at hand, have to do with something visual. The "text only" advice leaves a lot to be desired if you're trying to help someone understand something. Do those who've accused me of "designing over a photo" understand the design process doesn't occur on the photo? That's only a way to display the process. Just like a word processor is not responsible for the design solutions offered in text. OPs want to see something they understand...not just words that create more questions. My graphics in a medium new to me might not be up to par yet, but the way I figure it, they're better than P. Allen Smith's, and the OP pays nothing so they've nothing to lose. I don't force. What I give them is something they can instantly decide if they like and appreciate, or not.

One can believe it, if they want, but the notion that only "professional" advice is given on this forum (where no documentation is required) is laughable (out loud!) and preposterous. At no point in the joining process is the mention of any such claim (that one will get professional advice, or must give it!) stated. Some of the advice I've seen given by others (some of those jumping my case) does not rise beyond garden variety gardening advice. Maybe some figure that strutting around with a prima donna complex will give their comments weight. As I see it, advice on an open Internet forum must stand and be weighed on its own. A haughty attitude is just a warning signal.

If credentials were required, I have a degree in horticulture, graduating summa cum laude and one in landscape architecture, graduating cum laude. In both cases I graduated top in my class. I have worked in zones 5 to 10, both in landscape design and management (for a major university.) Before returning to school, I started with tropicals, owning my own retail operation at age 22. Beyond that, my love of horticulture began before I entered grade school. My uncle (who lived with us) was an avid and proficient flower gardener (inherited from my grandma) and exposed me to that joy, and for someone who was just a kid, some amazing and mind-blowing exhibits. I will never forget Delphinium spires that towered well over my head. My experience is not just book or theory. I've built and experimented with much using my own two hands and own idesas. I have proficient carpentry and masonry skills, passable welding skills and an unlimited desire to see how an idea can come to fruition, rather than how it can't. I sometimes throw oft-repeated "rules" devised by others out the window, preferring to weigh success or failure in my own mind...not in the collective mind of the "politically correct." I did not come here to brag. I'm just here to trying to give back...to help people who need and want it. I figure that if my drawings are not perfect, OPs are still getting much more than they pay for. They're getting ideas, inspiration, concepts and schemes...of which they can take all, a little or none. And whatever they accept, they can adjust it to their heat's desire. (Which, of course, they're going to do anyway!) Some posters complain that OPs are getting less than full plans. Of course! Offering full plans was never my intention. I don't have THAT kind of time or the desire to do it. If someone offers a better idea than me, good. I hope the OPs recognize it and use it.


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RE: Plant Form

There went that olive branch, coppiced right down to the ground.


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by bahia SF Bay Area (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 10, 11 at 14:04

Actually I don't see any blood on the tracks from these more recent responses, and instead I feel I've got a better sense of the personalities involved. The major weakness of the internet as a forum is that one can't get the full range of expression; no body language, no facial clues, or looking into the eyes. I might even find major points of commonality with posters I seem to disagree with when they explain more about where they're coming from, and need to keep that in mind without reading too much into tone.

The group dynamics on this particular forum have changed a lot over the 10 or so years I've been following it. Some voices from the past have even recently returned, and I sometimes wish more would. I appreciate posters/threads where ideas and philosophies are discussed, and applaud yardviser for putting this one out there. Who would have foreseen that this thread would take on a life of its own? I don't mind karenl clocking me over some of my less temperate replies, I am busted, clearly. On the otherhand I've been quite willing to share photos of my projects here in the recent past, and never got anywhere near as much feedback. It is the nature and the mystery of the internet and timing as well.

If the truth be told, I simply enjoy both doing and discussing landscape design, and share yardviser's plants-centric emphasis within the context of a landscape architectural trained background that actively discouraged, if not disparaged such an interest. There is room for all here, and I wonder how it can be seen tht tangentially to the post comments from dirtygirl can be equated with spitting in one's face? Human interactions are always complex and mysterious, and the times seem to be especially fractious these days, just look at USA politics!

I hope all can take a deep breath and dive back into the debates, because I like the entertainment. Maybe also take stock of some of the comments here, and give each other some props when warranted, or at least throw out a bone(complement) from time to time. Owning up to our biases before we make declarative pronouncements on design theory can't hurt either, and ill start off by saying I've not met many roses I like, nor am I a fan of cottage gardens or white gravel gardens with scalloped concrete edges and cyclone fences, and am glad that I only have to put up with the first biases in my own neighborhood *)


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RE: Plant Form

  • Posted by mjsee Zone 7b NC (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 10, 11 at 14:05

I wish I'd had my camera with me today...I saw an entire row of beautiful crape myrtles as street trees in downtown Hillsborough, NC...and the trunk structure was lovely. I'm fairly certain they were Natchez. Pruned to a single trunk.

Ink---I remember seeing a television show that featured that guy's work...wish I could remember WHERE I saw it. Either Public Television or BBC America. SO COOL.

>deviant-deziner--LOL. Fer realz. ;^)


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