Hide and Reveal - The Mystery of the Unseen (Excerpt from Gardentopia)
I am sharing excerpts from my new garden design book, Gardentopia:
If you want a small outdoor space to appear larger or more interesting, you can use an ancient Japanese design technique known as miegakure or 'hide and reveal'.
This technique involves partially screening a view or section of a garden with a strategically placed shrub or wall to create the illusion of distance.
|This walk at the public garden,Chanticleer, in Pennsylvania leads you on by hiding what is at the end. Photo- Jan Johnsen|
By providing a half-hidden vista, you encourage people to go farther into a space. This is effective because people cannot help but want to see what is around a corner or a blocked view. This popular garden design technique is used for making smaller yards appear larger than they are.
People will invariably walk forward to see what lies ahead, unseen.
|The grass steps at the Mount in Lenox, MA lead up the hill and then the walk bends, out of sight.Photo - Jan Johnsen|
You can hide parts of your garden by planting a leafy plant by a curve, angling a set of steps or locating a mound in front of the view. You can even plant a mass of plants to create shadows. The shade they produce “darken” an area which makes it appear to recede in the distance. That is a clever way to use 'hide and reveal'.
|I planted a holly in front of this marble column to partially hide it, adding a mysterious air to the scene.- Jan Johnsen|