Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Minimalist Guide to Garden Design: Quincunx & Hedge

A new garden book arrived to doorstep yesterday.  Quick fanning of pages, pure gold found.
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"...a quincunx of trees on the lawn...."
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Moth to a flame, love this 'quincunx', but what is it?  More than perfect, I knew what a quincunx of trees was, didn't know it had a name.  Locally, middle rural Georgia, myriad pecan orchards, all planted in a quincunx. 
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quin·cunx
ˈkwinˌkəNGks/
noun
  1. 1.
    an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square or rectangle and the fifth at its center, used for the five on dice or playing cards, and in planting trees.
    "  Google.
  2. .
First draft of the layout for the gardens of the Petit Trianon. Approved and signed by Marie Antoinette on July 10th, 1774.
Pic, above, here.
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Always wondered, at full speed 70mph, how pecan orchards would be lines vertical, lines horizontal, finally, lines diagonal.  Now I know, quincunx.
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 Quincunx planting
Pic, above, here.
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Discovering 'quincunx' realized it's a complete package with hedging.  Pure historic, pure modern, pure sustainable.  A changeling too, without moving.
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What kind of Garden Design do you prefer?  Quincunx & Hedge.  Done. 
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Excepting, who knows what that is?  I'm 30 years into Garden Design professionally, yet just learned 'quincunx'.  Moments later, received the epiphany about its use in Garden Design, Quincunx & Hedge.  Who doesn't like a no-brainer?  More, unique each time created.  Better, perfect at all price points.  Minimalist personally, yet for eco, macro in myriad layers. 
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Quincunx & Hedge is now my Landscape Invention, a few others, here.   

 
Pic, above, here.
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Small garden?  Quincunx can be created with a single tree, above.   Pruned with 4 branching quadrants, trunk is central, this fruit tree will produce more fruit because of its pruning.
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Notice the low hedge, above, too?  With a mid-century USA ranch home in a subdivision, a quincunx of trees/large shrubs, with a hedge toward the front curb, pruned tall to block views of cars, but leaving sky and neighboring trees part of YOUR vision creates form/function far superior to what the builder planted merely to receive a certificate of occupancy.
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Of course Quincunx & Hedge is best designed with little/zero pruning in mind.  Heavy on the zero.
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Quincunx & Hedge, definitely an arrow in my quiver.  Already.
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Take it for your own.
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mayjunegarden04
Pic, above, here.
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Garden & Be Well,    XOT 
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A bit of garden history with Quincunx, here.

4 comments:

JenT said...

I am a brand new reader of your blog. And oh my GOSH. This one is fascinating and beautiful. Simple and easy to read and your work is incredible. I looked at some past posts and they are equally interesting and beautiful. I used to read only one blog faithfully - Dirt Simple by Deborah Silver. Now I'll be reading yours too. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

rohan rj said...

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with. Each & every tips of your post are awesome. Lake in the Hills Landscaping

whimsigal said...

Loved this. Would you please share the name of the garden book you mentioned? Thank you.

Mary Jo said...

I, too, was captivated by the quincunx planting pattern when I learned about it in landscape design school. While it is often used in classical design, as you pointed out, it was also used often by Dan Kiley, the modernist. His design at the cathedral in Burlington, VT and a famous design at a bank in Tampa, FL, demonstrate the power of the pattern to entice you into the space. Kiley actually considered himself a classicist because he used simple, clean, geometric designs. What I find most interesting, as you suggested, is the kinetic effect of this pattern whether you drive by or walk by. It creates a fascination in our brains as we see the pattern go from vertical to horizontal to diagonal as we pass by. Powerful stuff. Framing it with a hedge is brilliant.