I love to walk into a garden and not be able to see it all. Your initial scans dart around taking in the vista and then eventually hones in on a pathway leading out of sight. This is Explore-Lust. The desire to head off exploring the unknown because the garden was designed to draw you into it.
Some gardens are merely border beds with a patch of lawn. These are incredibly boring and don’t entice your visitors to explore your plants or your garden. They merely green your living area but could never captivate someone to return visit.
No. I’m talking about a deep-seated desire to explore. As if you were a child again longing for an adventure which could be just around the corner…perhaps that corner where the pathway disappears. Maybe there’s a secret garden with fairies and elves or even a vast waterfall pooling into a shaded lagoon.
This is what explore-lust is. The mind begins to imagine the realm of possibilities that may await once you head off into the unknown. Everything that surrounds the entrance to this gardening mecca gives signals that you’re going somewhere safe but it’s still adventurous enough to invigorate the adrenalin.
The great gardens of this world are commended for this practice and this one small landscaping ‘trick’ could elevate your garden from average to sensational.
So how do you create some explore-lust in your garden?
It all has to do with training your visitors eyes. Taking them to a focal point in your garden that disappears out of view. It can be a natural structure (such as an opening between two trees) or it can be created such as gates, hedges, pergolas etc.
Here are some tips if you are thinking of creating explore-lust in your garden;
- Examine your garden for natural explore-lust possiblities – If you have some slopes or hills in your garden that naturally direct your eyes accentuate this.
- Use plants or structures to direct – If you have an opening between two trees that could be exploited for explore-lust value yet as sooon as someone gets near them they can instantly see the rest of the garden, grow or create a barrier that blocks their vision.
- Let some small children play in your garden – Consider this as a focus research group for your landscaping. Watch what excites them about your garden and see if you can’t exploit the adventure somehow.
- Use pointers – Position a statue or garden ornament that points away from itself directing the eyes to a hidden place.
- Create visible pathways – The easiest way to achieve explore-lust is by using a pathway. Once it disappears out of sight, the eye begins imagining where it could go and creates a desire to explore.
- Leave gates ajar – If you have a gate that leads your visitors somewhere else in the garden, leave it open a little. A shut gate tells the visitor that they can’t enter whereas a gate left ajar will entice them to venture through.
Take some time to play with this feature and your garden will shine.