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Borrowing a View

This article was first published on 21 May 2021.

Borrowed Views

Borrowed Views

Photo by the Otago Daily Times

Borrowing a view is a well utilised concept in garden planning and design. Linking to the wider landscape extends your garden views and when done well can seem almost seamless.

Assess your views early on and weave the design and planting of the garden to make the most of them. Check what is planted in the view beyond, and link some of those plants into your garden to give a firm connection to the landscape beyond. Consider carefully what trees and large shrubs will be planted so they don’t block the view as they grow. Frame the view. I often find looking at the view as you would through a camera lens is a good way to think about framing.

Sometimes you may take on a mature garden, so then it is about looking beyond the existing palette and assessing what to keep or remove to open the view up. Before removing anything, check that the plants are not providing all important shelter or a barrier from noise. If they are, then be judicious in what you remove to open small windows as opposed to large ranch sliders of a view.

Lastly, don’t forget about that view. Regularly maintain it to ensure you are maximizing its potential. Prune. Keep plants in scale. Replace plants that no longer meet the brief. With plant selection, play with the changing light and colour of the landscape beyond.

Dunedin Botanic Garden has many borrowed views. From wide ranging views of the City to hill suburbs that roll before you, to the majestic northern hills that connect you to a landscape you just want to explore next.