Balance and scale are two subjects often referred to when speaking of landscape design. Scale refers to the size and visual weight or volume of landscape elements and their relationship to their surroundings. The principle of scale can be applied to trees, shrubs, plants and garden accents such as boulders, statuary and buildings.
I came across a good example of scale while working in the front perennial garden this week. The garden is many years old and is a mixed planting of iris, geranium, daylily, phlox, salvia, agapanthus and more. Over the years most of these plants have more than doubled in size.
The tall phlox, however, a very aggressive grower, had tripled and quadrupled in size and was out of scale with the surrounding garden. Digging and dividing, I left a third of the plant in the garden and things will be back to scale next year. Check out the size of your perennials while working the garden this fall. It is a good time of year to bring things back to scale.