Irene, those beds are beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, my friend and mentor (forestry and planning) hypothesized a functional relationship between our aesthetic sense and our sense of "healthy" or "functional" forest structure (which might be helpful in designing a treatment or target stand). Come to think of it, he introduced me to the idea of the golden mean during a seminar on forestry and aesthetics. In relationship to this statement, "I make my beds following the size and shape of the paths which have developed from using them to get somewhere," I wonder if aesthetics don't have a strong influence on where we choose (unconsciously or consciously) to walk -- in a decision between paths or in an environment without paths -- or where we choose to plant, other factors notwithstanding.
OK, coffee break is over. Enjoy the day.
PS, I just now checked out your website. You've created a beautiful homesite and a nice website.
Interesting point, Joel. Lots to be said for Euclidean forms, of course. That more or less describes my current garden, though it's not designed in relationship to the golden ratio. But, I'm interested in moving towards irregular shapes determined more by everyday foot-travel routes, practical (habitual) access, and use -- zones... as well as "sector" considerations... and site considerations (terrain, alternative uses, etc.)... But, I would like to compliment direct access with a low path-to-bed ratio (area) (but, I lumber like an ox and like plenty of path)... for example I am experimenting with dendritic patterns.
When I have time, I want to look into this a tad more. I've heard of a golden-ratio based spiral that sounds intriguing. (I'm not particularly spellbound by spirals, but I notice that several people employ them, as did Mollison. But, that's off-topic.) I'd like to know more about that, and see what else might be useful. Perhaps none of it, in a practical sense.
I'm interested in the book Wyldthang recommended and will read it when time permits. But... the days are long and I have much to do. Thanks for the comments.
@ Diane, thanks for these links!
@wyldthang, I'll post pics asap. My battery charger had died so I'm w/o camera temporarily. (Replacement charger costs barely less than the entire camera, which itself retails for far less than it did when I bought it. What a world.) I'm assuming you want photos of my typically Euclidean garden?
Do you feel like it is more than the fact that, perhaps even on the deepest levels, our minds tend to be pleased by theses configurations?
Do you feel like it give your space a more natural flow?
Perhaps. That statement would be consistent with the theory that our aesthetic sense is structured. I tend to believe that it is structured by evolution (genetics) and by culture... (similar, _maybe_, to Chompsky's grammatical structures, work he did in the 40s and 50s before going to "Orwell's problem"... but for another thread, another forum).
Is it something like the feelings folks get when the Feng Shui of a space is really good?
Some say yes. I don't know.
Are there structural benefits when you use it in building?
Perhaps several (many) other ideas are at play for applying the golden mean?
forcing the system to look like phi in order to garner some sort of advantage in an interplay with nature.