ENRICHMENT ITEMS

When the indoor room has been constructed, the final step is to add those things that make it usable and personal. Furniture, pictures, a stereo, and lamps are just a few of the things needed to complete an indoor room. Additions are also needed for an outdoor room. They are termed enrichment items. These are elements of the landscape that do not function primarily as wall, ceiling, or floor (Figures 9-27 through 9-30), but serve some other essential purpose.

Outdoor enrichment items may be classified as natural or man­made in origin, and as tangible or intangible in character (Table 9-7).

There are two pitfalls in the use of landscape enrichment items. One is that the quality of the items selected may not match the quality of the overall landscape. The other is that the items may be used to excess. To avoid the overuse of enrichment items, a good test is to remove an item, then stand back and decide if it is missed. If the design does not suffer by its absence, it probably was not needed.

figure 9-27. Water, in natural or directed forms, ranks as the favorite enrichment item in any landscape. Its movement, sound, and sparkle are without equal. (Delmar/Cengage Learning. Photo by Jack Ingels.)

figure 9-30. The appeal of this fountain is readily apparent. (Delmar/Cengage Learning)

Determining the quality or worth of an enrichment item is more difficult because it is so subjective. In general, the types of outdoor fur­niture usually sold at local discount centers such as aluminum frame lawn chairs with plastic webbing, are too gaudy to fit tastefully into a well-designed outdoor room. As for gazing globes, pink flamingos, plaster ducks, and impish gnomes, they are better suited to carnivals than landscapes. Much of what is available in garden statuary is mass production of sculpture created for 16th – and 17th-century gardens. As

R’A TABLE 9-7.

Landscap

e Enrichment Items

Natural

Tangible

intangible

• Rocks, boulders, and natural

• Plant fragrance

outcroppings

• Sounds:

• Specimen plants

Wind in the pines

• Waterfalls, streams, or natural

Birds

pools

Crickets and other musical

• Animals

insects

Man-Made

Tangible

intangible

• Outdoor furniture

• Night lighting

• Sculpture, murals, and other art

• Sounds:

• Lighting systems

windchimes

• Pools and fountains

music

• Music systems

such, it is anachronistic in most modem gardens. Whenever possible, invest a bit more money for enrichment items that are more natural or original. Even without much money, a good designer can incorpo­rate many tangible and intangible natural enrichment items into the landscape. Thoughtful selection of plant species can attract interesting wildlife to the garden. Pleasant fragrances are also merely a matter of selecting the proper plants.