To create mood with plant choices, you not only have to define the boundaries of your space, but you also have to think metaphorically about the character of the space and how it will be interpreted. To do this, you must relate the elements of the space to their context.
The elements that we generally think of when we talk about mood are lighting, color, shape and position. Moods of spaces can range just like moods for people: funny, somber, relaxed, excited, scared, angry, etc.
- Two large, colorful hydrandgeas on either side of an entrance gate can be inviting, but a barberry with thorns can say to stay away.
- A shrub pruned into an ice cream cone would make most passersby laugh.
- A square courtyard with tall Italian cypress trees all around, a fountain in the middle, neatly manicured grass and shrubs, and amber lighting close to the ground would make the space feel very sophisticated, serene, and proud. That same space with cherry trees around the outside would feel a little more cozy and a little less formal. The cypress trees would create a place to entertain, the cherry trees would create a place to sit and relax.
The great thing about creating a mood with your landscaping is that you suggest that same mood to the people using it. So if you have a high stress job and want to relax, you can create a space in your home that can constantly suggest that you relax a little bit. Any number of moods can be achieved with your landscaping and can begin to silently suggest that you feel the same way yourself.
~Trey McBride, BLA