In my previous post about the difference between flower borders and naturaltistic perennial meadows, the first was described as a picture to be view and admired from outside while the other, the naturalistic planting scheme, was designed to be entered and experienced from within. How then can we place a perennial meadow within a garden’s overall design?
The shape can be anything and will be determined by the setting. Near to buildings the meadow may well fit in best as a regular straight sided block or strip. However, a circle or any free form my just as easily be used depending upon the way the space will be viewed and used. The more important consideration is devising a way to allow people to enter and become involved with the planting. One approach is to create a grid of square shaped beds separated by straight paths. Personally, I favor a more asymmetrical arrangement of different sized planting areas, but everything must ultimately depend upon the setting and the preferences of the people who will be using the garden.
Also consider how each segment of the meadow will be planted. Each planting area could use the same planting scheme so as to create one uniform meadow crossed by paths; but there are alternatives. One bed could be planted with a low-growing scheme to create an opening within the design, while an adjacent bed could have a different, taller growing scheme for contrast or, maybe, be filled with just one single species such as a tall or a low growing grass.
With a little fantasy, a maze like space can be created to entice and lead visitors deeper into the heart of the meadow.