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If you live in a northern climate, the best time to study the flow of your property is in winter when the bones of the land are evident—especially after a snowfall.

What do we mean by “flow”? Flow happens when something moves freely from one place to another in an unbroken stream. It is important in design because creating a sense of flow links different Comfort Zones to one another, such as the front yard to the back, the inside of the house to the outside, and a view of something to its vantage point.

Adapted from Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love by Julie Moir Messervy (Taunton Press, 2009, pp. 141-142). Design by Jan Enright and Associates Landscape Design. Photo by Virginia Weiler.