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Report From PIA – August 17

Since it was overcast (finally!) it was a perfect day to take photos of the landscape. As I walked around, I appreciated the rhythms of the garden.

One way to define rhythm is, “recurring at regular intervals” and this is easy to apply to plant design. The repetition of foliage color or texture, or a specific plant will set up a rhythm in the garden that makes the landscape flow. Ditto with flower color or shape.

It’s easy to see how we can plan and manipulate rhythms in the garden, but how about our lives? Is it possible to plan for the recurrence of what we desire? Partially, yes…we can schedule in time for the people we care about, arrange to contribute to charities and organizations we believe in, and set up, as much as possible, our free time to build health and happiness.

The key is in knowing that those “regular intervals” set up the rhythm. Intentions don’t do it. It’s up to each of us to first determine what pace we want in our lives, and then we can determine how best to cultivate what we want.

The repetition of the Calamintha in the entry garden, and the contrast between the softness of this plant and the heavy, stone path, sets up a rhythm here.

The small dashes of bright colored annuals set up a different, faster rhythm in Annual Alley.

Purple foliage is repeated down the entire lakeside border. From the ninebark at one end, to the purple heart, Iresine Purple Lady, Heuchera and caster bean plants, purple ties this garden together.

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