A garden can be a narrative that offers a beginning, a middle and an end.
The first moments in a story garden should make the visitor begin to wonder what happens next or, in terms of gardens, what is in this way? The garden then, like any good story, takes the visitor to its final resolution.
Whether a garden should be a painting or a story depends on the purpose of the garden. Most of the front yards, designed to be seen from the street, are, by their nature, pictures. Many courtyards, built to be seen from inside the house or to complement a patio, should also be observed, not explored. If a garden goes further and invites you to actively explore its secrets, it is a story. Whether the story is an anecdote or a novel, the gardener, like the author, must use certain devices to ensure interest and excitement as the history of the garden unfolds.
Each garden with story must have three parts:
Anticipation: a door or entrance that provides a feeling of invitation, a suggestion of something ahead;
Suspense: a trip to the unknown, a walk along a winding road, or a series of steps towards a place that can not be seen;
Liberation: a destination, a trip to a lawn, pool or rest area, where the visitor will stop, rest and quietly explore the destination, the view, the plantation and the end of that episode.
The entrance creates anticipation. An entry must not reveal the destination immediately. It should suggest that there is something ahead but not give away the surprise. Your door or entrance should attract people in a way that lets them know that something interesting is beyond. An arch or pergola that looks at an angle with the beginning of a path out of sight excites any visitor that is worth inviting. An obstructed view of a distant summer house or waterfall without a clear way to arrive always creates anticipation. But just as you should not be able to guess the end of a book after the first chapter, ideally, your visitor should not be able to see his final destination completely from the entrance.
An inspiring garden should be slow and easy. Try long paths, gentle curves and places to pause, sit and literally smell the roses. A fun garden can have a faster pace: fast turns followed by surprises. A mysterious garden must be paved unevenly, have worn steps. Plantations that extend over the paths. People like a little melancholy, that's why the ruins, real or created, are nice. Whoever visits a really big mysterious garden should feel that he has discovered this garden, which was something lost.
The tension increases when the destination is further away than initially thought. A shaded and twisted path adds a sense of mystery and suspense. Just like the end of a chapter must bring some kind of resolution in the story, also a path must have some destination. Every tension needs a release, and there must be a balance between the two. When you build, you have to deliver. A wonderful path with a disappointing fate is like a long joke with a bad punchline. If the destination is modest, the route should not create anticipation. Reading a story garden is an activity, it is dynamic, not static. Destiny must also invoke an action, but an action that takes place in a specific place. Something to do at the end of the journey of the path; otherwise, you have taken a history route just to see a picture.