Let’s be honest: even the most beautiful home can be dragged down by lackluster landscaping. But it’s as true when you’re looking from the inside as it is from the outside. The last thing you want for your big beautiful windows or gorgeously decorated room is a disappointing view.
When you design your landscaping, take some time to consider what it will look like from the most important windows in the house. Think of your window as a work of art, like a photograph or a painting. You can use the same guidelines for composition in planning your yard and garden that artists use in creating beautiful pieces.
Here are some concepts to help you turn your everyday view into a masterpiece.
Framing is really the overall idea we’re talking about. In photography and film, framing means carefully choosing what is visible in the shot and where. The point of all the ideas below is to help you think about where things are placed on your “canvas” and how they interact with the eye of the beholder.
You can also literally frame your view with climbing plants like ivy, forget-me-nots, or wild roses. A classic window box would also ground your view and add depth, color, and interest to the scene. And the right window trimmings (even a literal frame if you’re feeling bold—and working with a smaller window) can of course make all the difference.
Even if your yard isn’t large, you can create layers for your eye to move between. Having plants right below a window will create a foreground to give your masterpiece depth. You want to have focal points at different distances so the view doesn’t end up feeling flat.
If you’ve ever taken a photography class, you’ve almost certainly learned about the rule of thirds. The idea is to divide your shot (in this case, the view from your window) into thirds both horizontally and vertically, so you end up with your view divided into nine boxes crossed by four lines.
Those dividing lines—and the points where they meet—are the natural focal points of an image. To create a visually pleasing image, you want to place points of interest at those points and/or along those lines.
For example, planting a tree right along one of those vertical lines would give you a lovely focal point. Having a divider like a low fence or a flower bed along a horizontal line (where a photographer would usually put the horizon) helps the scene feel balanced and anchored.
We’ve already mentioned ways to give your eye places to move, and you want the movement to be natural and smooth. But because the objects in your scene are real and three-dimensional, you can bring movement to the scene with objects garden art that catches the wind. And of course you can literally bring your view to life with a bird feeder or bee- or butterfly-friendly flowers.
And then there’s always:
If there’s something in your shot you can’t move, like a utility pole (or a neighbor’s unfortunate taste), use your landscaping smarts to block it from view.