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Trompe l’oeil in Garden Design

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Trompe l’oeil (Fr. “optical illusion”) is the art of manipulating with a wide variety of visual techniques (the laws of perspective, distance, changing the length and width distortion, geometry, blur, zoom in and out, etc.), which creates a non-real perception of an image, and a garden object in landscaping. It is a trick, which makes objects appear not as they really are.

Trompe l’oeil: Optical Illusion in Garden Design

Trompe l'oeil, optical illusion

Trompe l’oeil, optical illusion

Creating of optical illusions can be the best decorative techniques in the design of the garden, the best design highlight in two cases – when the possibilities and conditions for a garden plot does not allow you to implement ambitious projects and the desired composition. This is a subtle tool that will help to find an alternative solution without large decorative construction work.

There are three factors that influence on how trompley is perceived: the environment, the play of light and angle of view. The illusion traps work only when they are placed in locations, where they are opened suddenly and in static: the full experience of reality can only be achieved from one point of view.

The tricks can be hided behind a potted garden, a shrub, high ridges, and trees so that they could not be seen during the movement and from a distance. They should be opened unexpectedly, like a rare treasure.

Functional trompley-l’oeil is made due to the form distortion of flower beds or other “flat” areas or varying perception of depth and size of the garden due to tricks with landing of some catchy plants.

So, a lawn area, which has trapezoidal contours instead of rectangular ones with narrow far side, will seem much longer. If you plant a large tree with a round crown in the beginning of the pathway, and a similar, but small tree in the end of the pathway, it will appear several times longer than it actually is.

Most popular trompe l’oeil, which is easy to create even without artistic talents, is the imitation of small architectural objects using facades and doorways, passages and doors leading “nowhere”. So, a gate located in the end of a pathway, in the border of the garden will give the impression that the garden is much larger than it actually is.

Real artistic tricks are also ranked as trompe-l’oeil: fresco, murals and paintings on the doors, walls, and fences with the prospect of creating a sense of continuation of the garden, extra space, secret rooms, passages and turns. For example, you can draw a beautiful landscape of fields, hills or mountains on the wall, in front of your garden furniture.

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Category: Gardening

One comment

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