Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exterior Decorators Offer Design Tips

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Exterior Decorators Offer Design Tips

Article excerpt

Designing a garden is different from decorating a home. First of all, there is the time factor. When you design an interior, for example, you put up the wallpaper and see that it's terrible. You realize instantly that you've wasted your money.

"In a garden you may not know for eight years that you've wasted your money," said Ken Miller, eliciting one of the many laughs in his program titled "The Creative Process."

The talk opened the garden seminar presented by Ken Miller Horticultural Consultants and Gilberg's Perennial Farms at the Missouri Botanical Garden Ridgway Center on Saturday.

Ken Miller, his partner, Mike Miller, and Cindy Gilberg were the speakers at 12 sessions which 250 people paid $50 to attend. Because of the size of the group, the program was divided so that you could elect to attend six of the sessions. The first to sell out were the sessions on butterflies and birds, herbal offerings and magic water and stone.

Those I chose to attend were uniformly excellent, filled with ideas and inspiration at a time of year when gardening is only in the dreaming stage.

Ken Miller, who has been designing gardens for clients for 13 years, speaks from experience when he says, "Great gardens don't just happen."

The rules are universal, the same as those governing clothes, interiors, graphics and other art forms. Illustrating his message with color slides - some beautiful and some hilariously awful - he demonstrated the use of accents, structure, balance, density, color, rhythm, proportion and tension. We plain dirt gardeners don't think of these qualities consciously as we plant, but they exist. So do our emotional needs and reactions.

Gardens serve many needs. For some, it's the desire for peace and tranquillity after a long day's work. A tranquil garden may mean gentle flowing lines or geometric order. …

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