visual interest

All About Bark
As an artist, I tend to look at the world with an eye to "distinction" - that is, what makes certain objects stand out, what makes them appear round, what makes them catch my eye, what makes me notice them. By contrast, most "civilians" notice overall appearances.  If they're in a garden, for example, they will enjoy the sea of shapes and colors and will generally respond to a particular plant or design element only if it really stands out in some way.  Knowing this, I like to play in my garden designs with elements of visual control and on finding ways to direct what the viewer will look at first, then second and so on. In lots of my gardens, I use trees to capture this sort of attention.  Even uninspired observers will take note of
Shaping the Night
We all know that plants are beautiful in daylight.  Perhaps less well known is the vast visual potential they posses when carefully and thoughtfully lit at night. It's no small challenge.  Indeed, maximizing the beauty of most any landscape while also ensuring that your lighting design works well throughout the lifetime of the landscape requires a keen understanding of both plant materials and the lighting techniques that will bring them to life when the sun goes down.  Furthermore, surrounding watershapes with well-lit spaces and foliage will add a distinctive aesthetic dimension to the overall design. To my mind, there's no substitute for paying attention to every plant in the plan, because overlooking any of them or ignoring the role each has to play in the overall landscape will almost invariably detract from the effectiveness of the lighting design.  You can't overlook technology, either, or the need to sort through the variety of techniques that can be used to light plants while keeping an eye on a wide range of practical, aesthetic and creative issues. When you encompass all of this successfully, the results will often