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My COVID Project Design Principals – Enclosure and Borrowed Views

The only plants that were existing when we bought our house in 2009 were a Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood), a Redbud (Cercis canadensis), a Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda), and a hedge of Privet (Ligustrum). When redesigning the space, I automatically worked around them because of their maturity, but it wasn’t until the space was complete and being used that I appreciated the level of enclosure they provide.

Gravel patio area
The red-leafed Japanese Maple was in place when we bought our house in 2009.

While lots of our clients request ‘privacy’ this feels different to me than ‘enclosure’. Privacy can mean blocking an unattractive view or providing a buffer when your back patio lines up exactly with your neighbor’s, for instance. Enclosure to me means to have a sense of being nestled in a space, to be separate and protected. These plants not only blocked views of our neighbor’s properties but also made the space feel buffered from the outside world.

Chair, trees, and potted plants
The fence was existing but adding a row of Arborvitae buffers the view of our neighbor’s property.

Furthermore, you can’t see the space fully until you enter it – and once you leave it’s only partially visible from the other parts of the house and yard. This separation makes the garden feel like more of a destination. I have to make an effort to get there and appreciate it all the more once I have arrived.

Hung lights
Fall view through the string lights of our neighbor’s Magnolia and Maple.

There are also views from our garden that I never appreciated until we began to use the space. One of our neighbors has a Maple with absolutely stunning fall color, especially with their mature Magnolia in the foreground. While I always knew these trees were there I never appreciated their impact on my space until we began to use it in a different way.

While we have been the beneficiary of trees planted by previous gardeners it’s never too late to get started. Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919.619.4460 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential