by Connie Oswald Stofko
One of the things I noticed in the North Tonawanda yard of Nancy and Charles Bachman was that at every turn, the view was different. It was difficult to take just a single photo of an area because there were so many interesting angles.
I visited the Bachmans’ yard on the North Tonawanda Garden Walk in 2020.
The Bachmans have a large yard, but you can use ideas from their landscape even if your yard is small.
The most important takeaway, I think, is that the Bachmans don’t relegate their gardens to the edges of their yard. They have garden beds in the middle of the yard. If all of your plants are along a fence, you can look at them head-on or from a slight angle, but there’s nothing close to a 360-degree view.
Another strategy is using shrubs, tall perennials and tall annuals. That in itself is more interesting than using lots of short plants. But there’s another advantage to using taller plants– they allow you to implement the concept of “hide and reveal,” which is used in many Asian gardens.
In the first photo, take a look at the plants in the round garden bed. From that angle, you can see all of the plants, but the plants in front allow you to see only part of the shrub in back. From the back, you can see all of the shrub, but it conceals the flowers in front. “Hide and reveal” is more interesting than being able to see your entire landscape in one glance.
Another thing that makes the Bachmans’ backyard appealing is that they don’t line up their plants in a skinny row. Instead, their garden beds are deep.
As you plan your landscape, consider using these ideas in your own yard.