Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Curve your enthusiasm.

Any tool in the hands of an inexperienced beginner is going to be a challenge.

Remember the first time you had to set up your 4 point transit to shoot a grade?

I think I walked circles around the tripod for about a half hour trying to balance out the levelers. Don’t even get me started on calibrating a digital laser level !

So suffice to say that a beginner gardener using a simple convenient on site garden hose to visually assist in the preliminary layout might prove to be a little challenging.

But hey, it’s just a hose and eventually any moron can figure out how to work with one.

The tough part is not moving the hose , it’s understanding the aesthetics and function of line.

In my professional design business I’m not embarrassed to use any tool that can get a visual point across. If a hose is conveniently available on site I’m going to reach for it to help my client visualize a layout.

And I will encourage gardeners anywhere to try this visual aide. It’s cheap, easy and efficient.

Where the important aspect comes in, is understanding form, line and function.

You can be armed with a bucket full of wooden stakes or a digital laser , but if you don’t have an understanding of line, form and function, you’re just as useless whether you’re using a hose or a laser.

Below : A 3/4 inch pvc pipe was used to layout the curves.

From Before and After

From Before and After

While on site the first day with my clients I reached for a hose and laid out the curve.

During the actual site construction a 3/4 inch piece of pvc was used to layout the arc.

From R E D

Once again a hose was used to visually assist the clients on site when describing the layout of the curve.

Another use for a hose : a level.

Much to my chagrin, after purchasing a very expensive laser level the stone masons opted to use a simple clear hose to set the levels on all of the stone work.

Evidently , men with no formal education and little knowledge of the english language can actually use a hose ! - Imagine that. ( smirk )

From Outdoor Kitchens and Dining areas

You guessed it, that darn hose was used again on site to help the homeowners visualize the spatial layout. They actually bent down and moved the hose themselves !

See what a college degree can do for you ... give you confidence to move a hose.

From Beach House

Note digital level on site - not used for laying out the curves but for setting the grade.

Stakes used to layout the new deck and locate the edges of the bender board.

From Beach House

Once again, a convenient on site hose was used to visually assist in preliminary layout, there it is sitting there on the ground behind the table showing the layout of the new bar.

From New Album 12/7/09 12:51 PM

From portfolioMay08.jpg


Kate said...

great post! I almost thought you were going to conclude by saying that the laser level is a great place to rest your coffee cup! My garden hose is never far as I am always rethinking my outdoor space and constantly playing with the pathways. Thanks for a reminder about low-tech solutions.

danger garden said...

So do you prefer a cheap hose or an expensive one? (just kidding)

Susan aka Miss R said...

I can never find a hose so I use paint. Every pair of work shoes I have has fluorescent pink or orange paint on them. I stamp out mistakes and paint again. Not as environmentally friendly as a hose, but my lines don't mysteriously move when the homeowner comes home...

Desert Dweller said...

That is such a good example that many tricks of our trade can be so simple to find and use for most anyone!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

I've been known to rest my coffee cup on top of my transit tripod.

decisions , decisions !

I have a Toyota king cab truck. In the back I have a plastic tote box that has at least one or two cans of spray paint, irrigation parts , tape measurers and a small laser level.
Everything inside that tote has small bits of colored spray paint on it.
I too have multi-colored work shoes.

I agree, no need to make life difficult for ourselves.
If a garden hose is sitting on site and a client is having a hard time visualizing the layout, why not use what you have at hand ?
Who carries a five gallon bucket with stakes and a small sledge hammer around with them at all times ?
A hose is almost always present at the site.

Diana/ Garden on the Edge said...

While I've used hoses I have also been known to run in the house for a bag of flour. This works really well if you have more than one person digging and one of them (not mentioning my husband specifically) moves the hose out of the way and then asks you how the line was supposed to curve again.