Gardening is a living art form that can be modified according to your taste and preference. If you are not happy with your choice of plants this year, you could practically replace the entire set of plants or a part of them, the next year. Apart from changing the plants, your garden plans and designs could also be altered to suit your interest and taste.
The thought of a garden gives you a vision of flowers of various hues, which include wild flowers, exotic plants, crotons, ferns, bushels of tomatoes, and vegetables. Whether it is a vegetable garden, herb garden, or a flower garden, you need to have a proper plan and design in place.
For instance, if you want to have a flower garden, choose a site that gives you a good view, either from your favorite window or from the door (front or the back). The location of your garden should motivate you to garden often and also spend sometime in the garden. The reason is gardening is one of the most relaxing activities, as it helps to de-stress and unwind after a long and tiring week.
Garden Designs and Plans
Even within minimum space you can have a colorful garden, provided you have a good design plan. Have you heard of the concept of vertical gardening? This is considered as a solution to bring concrete courtyards and bleak buildings to life by planting plants vertically on the walls. Many government and non-governmental organizations promote this concept, as vertical gardening brings greenery into the city and the plants cleanse the air.
Even if there is not much space available and you still want to have a garden, try container gardening. This is one of the most favored plans, where the plants are grown in containers and pots instead of growing them directly in the ground. This plan is appealing to many and is practiced where the soil is not good or unsuitable for growing plants. You can plan to keep your container garden on the porch, rooftop, or steps. You can grow decorative plants, vegetables, herbs, and also small trees. You can also design a wildlife haven for butterflies and hummingbirds within your container garden. Due to mobility of the containers, this form of gardening appeals to many upcoming gardeners.
A form of garden design which became popular in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I was the knot garden. They were popular with most of the English and French homes. The knot garden is designed as per the pattern of a rug or a tapestry. Generally, the plan and design of a knot garden would consist of geometric patterns and short hedges of evergreen herbs. There are closed knot gardens and open knot gardens. In a closed knot garden, there is no access to inside the garden compartments. The compartment may contain gravel or sand. While an open knot garden would have a path and sweet-smelling herbs such as rosemary, thyme, lavender, or sage planted within the compartment of the geometric shapes. Planning, designing, and maintaining a knot garden is time-consuming and tedious.
If you wish to have a border for your garden that also acts as a fence, you need to have a plan and design. Some plans for border gardens include mix and match, moonlight garden, rose-border, pink and purple border, and yellow and green garden. A border garden plan could be made to give an attractive contrast border to your flower garden or your vegetable garden. Else, if you have a large space, the border garden plan could be implemented in the center of the garden. Some of the flowering plants that could be used for a border garden include Moonflower, Artemisia, and Japanese fern.
Coastal gardening is popular in the coastal areas. If you have to make a beautiful garden in a coastal region, you must have plants that grow in sandy soil and also can withstand the sea wind. If you are planning a garden for your beach house, once you have chosen the site, border the garden with laurel hedges. The ends of your garden border could be marked with Korean Fir trees. Some of the flowering plants that are best suited for coastal gardens are Geranium, Stonecrop, Phlox, and Delphinium.
Alpine or rock gardens use rocks and stones as the foundation and the plants that are usually grown are native to the rocky environment. The westerners call the Japanese rock gardens as Zen gardens. Bonsai can also be incorporated in this type of a garden. Plan one on a natural slope or a terrace. Ensure there is good drainage for draining excess water. Plan and design a rock garden that can be easily managed and maintained. Some of the plant varieties that make the rock garden beautiful are Snowcap rock cress, Chocolate chip, Burgundy glow, Sea pink, Purple gem, Blue clips, Snow-in-summer, Yellow ice plant, and many more.
Fairy garden is a theme garden. Many parents would love to make a fairy tale garden for their little ones. Once the theme and the site for the are decided upon, you can start with the designing and planning process. A fairy theme garden unleashes the imagination of young children where they can escape to daydream of fairies and pixies. There are many shops that sell supplies such as fairy wind chimes, bird feeders, statues, fountains, cottages, and houses. There are fairy lamps which function on solar energy that glow late into the night. This would take one's child/children to the enchanted world of fairies. A few plants that you can grow here include hollyhocks, pink roses, vegetables such as peas, carrots, and cherry tomatoes, Foxgloves, Narcissus, Rosemary, Tulips, and so on. Pebbles and cobblestones could be used to pave the path inside the fairy garden.
Generally, if the landscape of the garden is shady, many of the plants do not grow well. However, there are plants, which thrive well in shade. Depending on the degree of shade, you can choose the plants to make a shade garden. Some of the plants that are suited for shade include different shades of Christmas rose, Jacobs ladder, Money plant, Toad lilies, and Japanese painted ferns. Foxgloves, Epimedium, and Geraniums are the optional plants suited for a shade garden.
If you want to have flowers and greenery throughout the year, plan for a seasonal garden. Once you have designed your garden, choose the plants that you wish to grow during each season. The reason is, if you want tulips as your spring flower, the bulbs have to be planted before the onset of winter. Plants such as Dame's rocket, Lamb's ears, Delphinium, and Larkspur are some of the plants that flower in summer. In fall, grow plants such as Ornamental onion, Asiatic lily, Worm wood, Purple cornflower, Siberian iris, and Creeping phlox. Tulips, Pansies, Daffodils, and Poppies would bloom well in spring. Before the beginning of a season, you need to have an idea about the plants that you wish to grow. A well-planned seasonal garden would have flowers throughout the year. You can also opt for a few exotic plants such as orchids, ferns, and bamboo.
To have a good vegetable garden, plan well in advance. Choosing the site for a vegetable garden is of utmost importance. Choose a site, where there is plenty of sunlight. Also, ensure that the soil quality and drainage system is good. Avoid windy areas because the winds can break the plant and make the soil dry. While planning a vegetable garden, it is always better to have a well-maintained small garden instead of a large neglected one. Remember to fence the vegetable garden to keep animals such as dogs and rabbits out. A fence would serve as a trellis, if you are planning to grow tomatoes, peas, and beans. It is always better to grow vegetables that your family loves to eat. However, remember to apply the technique of crop rotation.
One of the upcoming trends of the recent years is water gardening. A water garden is simply a pool of water where you can have water plants and water animals such as fish. It should be planned on the basis of the size of the space available and also on the ability to maintain it in the future. If the space is less, it is wise to have a small pool. A pool could be a concrete dish or a plastic tub filled with water. You could add features such as waterfalls, rockwork, lighting, fountain, and other pond accessories, according to the availability of space and the style of the landscape you have chosen. Some of the aquatic plants regularly used are water lily, watercress, and lotus.
Another garden plan that is in vogue today, is hydroponics gardening. The practice of growing plants either in a highly nutrient-rich and oxygenated water is known as hydroponics gardening. In hydroponics gardening, the water is fertilized with water solution fertilizer and organic matter. The Aztecs and Incas used this technique in ancient times. Today, hydroponics gardening is a technique used in biological research. Special gardening kits are available, if you plan to build one. Some of the plants that grow here are baby carrots, cabbage, broccoli, green onions, and many flowering plants and herbal plants.
Dedicating a space to grow herbal plants is known as herb gardening. Nuns and monks cultivated herbal plants in the medieval period. Herbs are used for medical or culinary purposes. Some of the herbs grown in an herbal garden are parsley, sage, thyme, mint, bay, basil, rue, and marjoram. Today, many of the Ayurvedic health centers have their own herbal gardens.
One of the ways to improve the outlook of your garden is by landscaping. A landscaped garden adds visual beauty to your house and also provides a cooling effect to your outdoor living space. Garden landscaping is a hobby to many and a profession to others.