Making you dream garden
Coming home to your own little spot of garden is like having a piece of "green" paradise in your backyard. All forms of building need some form of garden to make the space in tune with nature. The garden could take on any shape and form. For the fast-paced urbanites, the garden could be the 1 to 2 pots of bonsai arrangement by the window. There are more high-rise buildings that are into roof top gardens and grassless gardens.
The wonderful thing about having your own garden is that you can just sit and absorb the peace emanating from the garden. Your garden does not have to be professionally done. You don't have to plant exotic and very expensive plants and flowers to have a nice garden. You don't have to split your nails and break your back in order to maintain a garden as there are plenty of low-maintenance plants available for the weekend gardener.
If you are planning on creating your own garden, it is best that you know some basic principles of landscape gardening. Although there is no need for a crash course in landscaping in order to put up a garden it is still best to know the basics so as to build an aesthetically pleasing and calming garden.
For the landscape architect, landscaping would mean the design of the physical locations and development of the site's flora, fauna, contour and elevation, drainage, the location of structures and fences and other man-made objects and structures.
For the weekend gardener, landscaping would mean planting plants and flowers, installing water structures and light fixtures.
Types of Gardens
There are different types of gardens. Gardens can be grouped according to the type of flowers you plant; gardens based on usage and garden based on styles. Based on flowers and of plants, you can have a rose garden, cactus garden, herb and vegetable garden. Based on styles you can have a rock garden, Chinese, Japanese garden, an English formal garden and more. Based on usage there is the butterfly garden, a botanical garden, a roof garden, a greenhouse and more.
Whatever type of garden you prefer, wherever you want to put up your garden, whoever will reap the benefits of the garden, knowing the basics in landscape gardening is a plus.
- Unity - Your landscape elements should all fit together. There is nothing more irritating that having an element of your garden sticking out like a sore thumb. No matter how put together the rest of your garden elements are in terms of flowers, plants and other garden accessories, one unrelated object seen in the whole landscape would ruin the whole effect. For example you cannot possible plant a rose garden in a dominantly Japanese garden. To unify a garden you don't really have to strictly adhere to one certain type of garden. You can definitely go eclectic but the transition from one area to another should still be cohesive. Repetition is the key to unity. One way of achieving unity is to stick to a theme. Choose a theme for a garden and start from there.
- Balance - There are two kinds of balance relating to architecture and design: symmetrical and asymmetrical. Simply put, symmetrical design is basically dividing an area into two equal parts and then designing each area exactly alike. This type of design is rooted in the Renaissance Revival period. Asymmetrical is harder to achieve but it is more interesting because you have to balance unequal areas with different garden elements and accessories. If there is no balance, your garden could look heavy in one part and light and airy on the other side. The elements involved in balance are: colour, texture, shape and form. At a glance your garden should look, feel and even sound equal.
- Proportion- Each element in the garden should have a direct relation to one another. An example of this is imagining that you have a 50 square meter area that needs to be planted on. It would be grossly unproportional if you plant one small rose bush in the middle of the allotted space. If you have a small courtyard yet you insist on planting a 10-foot statue in the middle complete with surrounding bushes, then that area would look cramp and stifling. The size of the objects in your landscaping design should correlate with one another. You should also look beyond the current sizes of the plants and consider their mature height when incorporating them in the garden design.
- Colour - Bright colours make object appear larger while cool colours appear to recede. You should mix-match the colour grouping of plants and other elements so as to achieve colour balance.
- Line - This refers to pathways and walkways "flow" from one area of the garden to another. An area should be easily accessible and not seem like in the middle of a maze.
Remember that mistakes can be avoided from the start. Note that you cannot fit a large object or garden component in a small area. This goes to say that you cannot insist on putting a small water fountain in the middle of an expansive field.
When choosing the plants to be grouped together in the garden, consider the mature height of each plant. You cannot group a baby fir tree with a bunch of shrubs. In no time at all, the fir tree will grow and dwarf the bushes. There are homeowners opting to plant bamboo plant by their deck because of its Zen-like appeal. Most of these homeowners fail to realize that the bamboo plant grows so fast their decking could be torn by new growths that shoot up overnight.
Stop grouping small plants together. These plants' mature height would basically be equal and that would leave you with a garden full of small shrubs here and there. The effect would be cluttered and cramped.
Your goal is to create a perfect (almost) relationship in the width, length, depth and height among all the plants and objects in your garden.
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