The concept of borrowed landscaping incorporates the view beyond your garden. It takes advantage of nearby elements like trees, architectural structures, and other natural views, so that your garden seems to extend beyond its borders.
Active borrowed landscaping requires planning. The idea behind it is to blend trees and plants grown on your property into a cohesive flow, so that the landscaping out of your control becomes one with your garden.
Passive borrowed landscaping simply takes advantage of what is already there. You accept the challenges, and works within those parameters. We are grateful for our borrowed trees every time we head out to the yard.
We live on a small lot in the suburbs with narrow lot lines and small yards. They built homes with fences surrounding the back yards to afford privacy. I have friends on the east coast with two acres of land, and others out of country with farms. We measure our puny lot size in feet. With 1/8 of an acre, you want to make everything count.
Here is what we borrow every day:
This majestic tree grows at the back corner of our lot. It towers over neighborhood homes. The pine provides shade we wouldn’t otherwise have and drops an occasional pine cone. It makes a suitable race track for energetic squirrels who go round and round, the tree.
Our neighbors Crape Myrtle is tall enough to branch out over our shared fence. It’s covered in tiny lavender blossoms this time of year, giving a softness to an otherwise rigid fence. Myrtle isn’t far from our dining patio, so our guests get to enjoy her lovely show.
This prickly plant belongs to a prickly neighbor, so it seems appropriate to include it on the list. It’s currently flowering behind the lattice. In this case “good fences do make good neighbors” with a thorny plant thrown in for good measure.
I discovered alternate spellings for this lovely tree. Our shared Crepe Myrtle sits on the property line in front of our homes. It has lovely white flowers all summer long, then further entertains with its shedding bark. The kitty from a few doors down love using it as a scratching post. This tree gets lots of “love” and attention.
Do you have a favorite borrowed landscape outside your window or door? Let me know in the comments below.