Wayside Gardens: Designing Your Garden - What Makes a Good Garden?

Garden design is a very personal thing and is often an expression of your personality. What I like you, you may not and vise versa. Some people like neat and tidy gardens where there are no surprises, others love the thrill of windy paths, lots of different plant material and not knowing what is around the corner. There are three main styles of gardens formal, semi formal and informal. They can then be divided into many types of gardens and that depends on what you would like. Garden design can be intimately tidied to the style of your house as in example of the grand french chateaux where the geometric patterns of the garden mimic the geometric construction of the house or it can have no connection to your house at all.Some people are lucky and have this innate gift of knowing how to design space, making it a pleasing place to be in. Others don't have this gene and find it very difficult to visualise how the space will work. To create a good design it is important you understand that design is about managing space and people moving around it. The core of good garden design centres round patterns and the space within these patterns. By using geometrical shapes, circles, triangles, rectangles etc. you can achieve a unified feel to your garden. So you need to think about ground patterns and movement around your garden. Where would you like people to go? Ground patterns can be achieved with the use of bricks, paving and plant material such as cut grass etc.Formal gardens are symmetrical and geometrical and are strict in terms of repeating patterns and plant materials on either side. It is very controlled, plants are clipped, shaped, manipulated regularly and today is often suitable for small gardens like court yards. Urns, balustrades, stone, gravel paths, parterres, formal pools and framed views are all part of the formal garden. There are no surprises, you know what to expect.Informal designs are asymmetrical and not as regimented. Plant material is allowed to spill over the structural elements such as walls, steps and paths. Plant material is allowed to self-seed and wander around the garden. Informal garden design is softer, full of surprises thus you don't know what to expect.And semi formal is the combination of the above two. Usually it is the built structures such as retaining walls, paths and steps that are formal and the informal element is the plant material which is allowed to spill over them, softening their hard outlines.Within these three types, there are many different styles of gardens to choose from such as contemporary, Japanese, Mediterranean, cottage, courtyard, kitchen garden or secret garden.Contemporary is a modern style that likes to reflect the surrounding but also use a wide range of plant material. Form and texture of foliage are as important as flowers. Hard landscaping is woven into geometrical shaped buildings; all of which flow into the wider landscape. Plants are used as focal points to highlight the architectural forms.Cottage was a late nineteenth-century ideal to return to the simple cottages of the country. They were planted with hardy bulbs, flowers, fruit bushes and herbs and vegetables. They were geometric, colours were harmonised and luxurious as plants grew well as they were heavily manured regularly.Mediterranean is not limited to one particular area but are defined according to hot summers and low rainfall. They encompass entertaining areas, shade, good views and dramatic shadows. Hot colourful plants are used and lots of lush green foliage plants to create a cool atmosphere. Plants need to be drought tolerant. Evergreen plants are popular because they cast shade on hot days. Walls are white washed to reflect the sun, pergolas built to create shade and use terracotta pots. There is often a water feature and water provides cooling vibes.Japanese gardens encompasses religion and Japan's cultural history. Japanese gardens are very symbolic often the symbols relate to nature. Plants are 'tamed' and there is an emphasis on evergreen trees and shrubs. They are very controlled and often minimalist. True Japanese gardens are contemplative a place of meditation and great calm.PlanningIf you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start when designing your garden, I suggest you break it up into areas called rooms thus dividing one big space into several smaller spaces. For example: there is the front garden, the side garden and the back garden. Once you have decided where they begin and end you can then divide each of those areas up again. For example in the back garden you could have the entertaining area, the grass/children's area, the utilities area (includes the compost heap and shed), the pool area and the vegetable/orchard area. Once you have defined the areas/rooms you can tackle one at a time, thus making a huge project into several smaller projects.The Three Planning StagesTo create an interesting and exciting garden there are 3 sets of plans (may be four if you need an engineer's structural plans) you need to devise:- Site Analysis Plan, Concept Plan and Planting Plan, usually all drawn to scale.The First StepsTo design a garden that works there are several things you need to do before buying plants and planting them. If you follow these steps you are more likely to have a successful garden.Site AnalysisIt is important to make an inventory of the area you are designing. Things to include are:Levels - steep/flat
Aspect - North/south
Sun/shade
Sun Summer/Winter
Shadows
Existing trees and buildings
Wind
Views - good and bad
Soil conditions
Entrances - Front/back doors
Power lines
Underground cables and pipes
Clothes line
Fences
Sheds and garages
Paved and unpaved areas
Patio/BBQ
Lighting
Drainage - runoff of storm wateredOnce you have noted the above, it is time to draw up the space. You can draw it roughly (not to scale) but eventually you will have to draw it to scale. Start by measuring the area you are designing, draw it to scale ie. 1:100 and put all the above points onto your drawn plan. All these influences need to be drawn on paper, so that you can gauge any trends. For example there might be a paved path from the back door to the garage, but everyone takes a short cut across the lawn, creating a desire line. No - one uses the paved path. So perhaps pave the desire line and make it the official path.The next step is the concept plan and this is the plan where you put down you ideas. It can be as wild and as adventurous as you like. Forget cost, enjoy your creativity. This is the stage where you put down your dreams of what you have always wanted. Later on, you hip pocket will decide for you whether you can have them. Anything is possible, so don't be shy, dream away. Again this can be roughly drawn or to scale, it is up to you.The third and final plan is the planting plan and it is preferable that it is drawn to scale as this allows you to know exactly how many plants you will need. It incorporates all the ideas you have decided upon and shows you how the finished garden is going to look. It is the road map which will guide you to building your new garden.There may be a fourth plan if your site is steep or you are having major elements built, as you may need the advice of an engineer.Points to ConsiderThink about your soil conditions, is it heavy clay or light and sandy? What plants will grow in these conditions? Are some areas boggy and some always dry?Sun conditionsThe sun is higher in the sky during spring and summer and shadows are shorter. Whereas in winter, the sun is lower in the sky and casts longer shadows. So a plant might be in full sun in summer and complete shade in winter. Can it tolerate this? Also think about the conditions the plants require. Are they full sun plants like roses or shade loving plants like azaleas?WindYou also need to think about wind direction. Which way does the prevailing wind come from? Screens and hedges are one way of managing this problem but what problems are they going to cause? Making the block feel narrow, casting shadows etc? It is important to know because some plants don't like wind and it is no good putting the BBQ/entertainment area in an uncomfortable spot.ViewsViews out your window or from your garden are very important. Some are intrusive while others are desired. If you wish to block out flats/neighbours etc. you may need to put in a higher fence or a hedging screen of some kind. Or you may want to design your garden to enhance the view of the mountain, ocean etc.Utilities and Service LinesYou also need to be aware where your services and utilities are; things like clothesline, overhead power lines etc. If you damage the gas, telephone or electricity lines, you are liable to pay for their repair.Principles of Garden DesignTo create a well designed garden, it is important to put the right plant in the right position. This means considering the cultural requirements of the plant. For example putting a full sun plant such as rose into a shady position isn't going to work, because the rose won't be receiving the right amount of sunlight for it to grow. The idea of good garden design is to follow this philosophy, using the placement of plants to create mystery, tension and surprise by using tricks of the eye, colours and textures.Tension, mystery and surprise make a garden interesting. One way to create these is to use hedges, low walls, screens, paths, steps to make individual 'garden rooms' with tension points that captures your attention on the way. For example a narrow oblong garden can be made more interesting if you can't see the back fence - that there is a feature (plant or statue etc.) that obscures the fence. It also becomes more interesting if the path way is narrow then opens up into another room. A winding path adds mystery to the garden if you can't see what is around the corner. Surprise comes when you go around the corner and discover a focal point.A focal point is something like a seat/statue/water feature that leads your eye directly to it. For example - a pergola that has a statue at the end of it. The statue is the feature and is the reason why you look/walk to see it. Another example of a focal point is a pathway leading through a door that is open and shows a vista of the wider landscape.The success of the focal point can depend on the how successfully the ground patterns lead you there. If the paving encourages you along this path thus creating some tension and mystery, you are more likely to follow the path to see what's there because you have become inquisitive. Narrow paths encourage you to walk quickly and not to dilly dally along the way, where as wide paths say stroll, take you time, look at the surrounding vegetation. A gentle curve can be negotiated at speed, but a tight curve can't be so people slow down as there is risk involved. Paving is used as a directional tool says don't walk that way, but walk this way. Edging bricks say don't step over this - this is a boundary. Paving can also be used to reflect the ground plane of the house or other shapes in the garden.Long narrow gardens have a strong directional emphasis that needs to be broken up. Square plots are static. To solve these problems the space's shape needs to be changed. A circular design distracts the eye from the straight lines of the boundary fence. You could also use a series of rectangles using the boundaries as part of the design.Another method is to turn the garden onto a 45 degree angle. A long diagonal line will immediately create a feeling of space. The paving near the house could be done on an angle and high light the diagonal line of the entire garden.Gardens with a dog-leg in them can utilise the bend by using tension, mystery and surprise to lead you around the corner to a focal point of some kind.Unified space is created by controlling the movement around the garden. It is the way areas are linked together by paths, bridges, pergolas, steps and terraces that determine whether a garden is successful. Careless placing can ruin the flow of the garden. If you wish to direct someone's attention to a particular point then there must be a clear reason in the design for following this pathway.Ground levels are very important when designing a garden. If a slope is too steep to walk down safely, steps may be needed and if the entire block is on a slope, the whole area may need to be terraced. What material you use is also important. Steps should not be of slippery materials and gravel may wash away. The surfaces need to be flat otherwise they could be dangerous and people will not want to walk along them and instead they may create a desire lines.Levels help to create interest and 'rooms' in a garden because you move from one place to another by steps/paths/etc. Allow your levels to gently flow into one another and keep them simple. Don't over decorate them. A slope up from the house will appear foreshortened whereas a slope down from the house will appear larger.Choosing Plant MaterialsThere are 3 types of gardens:- the plants man, the garden designer and the gardener's (mix of the first two). The plants man gardens consist of lots of singular plantings, unconnected and often rare and difficult to source. The garden designer's garden consists of plants that are tried and tested - they use plants that they know and how they perform. The gardener's garden has learned that their favourite plants can be more effective if planted in a scheme.When choosing plants you must consider what the conditions are of your garden. There is no point putting alkaline tolerant plants in acid soil or vise versa. It won't work! You need to think about what your plants you have chosen require moist soils, dry soils, shade, sun, well drained, boggy soils. If you do your research correctly and place your plants in the right position, you are well on the way to a successful garden.The height and spread of your plants also needs to be considered. Tall growing plants are placed at the back of the garden bed, graduating down to the low plants. Remember some plants send up flower spikes that may be much larger than the plant itself, so they need to be positioned according to their flower spike height. Some plants are bushy so don't forget to leave sufficient room for them to spread. They may need annual pruning to keep them in check.ColourAnother trick in the designing tool bag is using colour. Colour is the sensation of illumination which is light. The way colours inter-react with each other depends on their position in colour wheel. Manipulating colour is great fun and can create all sorts of illusions. Colours are divided into 2 groups primary red, yellow, blue and secondary green, violet, orange. Secondary colours are made of combining two primary such as mixing blue and yellow together to create green. You can make a space look cold or create distance by using pale and brown colours. You can also make a space looker bigger than it really is by using warm colours such as oranges, reds or yellows. If you want to make a space look closer to you, again use warm colours. As reds, oranges or yellow are very busy colours to the eye, it is a good idea to intersperse white flowers or grey foliage plants to calm the visual scene down. White and grey also intensify blue and pale colours.One thing to remember about the Australia sun is that the best time to look at our gardens is in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong. Our hot sun tends to fade our flowers colours and the glare at mid-day tends to wash the colour out.If you are feeling overwhelmed about designing your garden, divide your space up and take it slowly, completing one section at a time. Don't start another part until you have finished the section you are working on and very soon you will have a beautiful garden. Remember gardens are ephemeral, it is a process that is for ever evolving. You never really finish. [EXTRACT] Garden design is a very personal thing and is often an expression of his personality. What you like, can not and vice versa. Some people like the neat and tidy gardens where there are no surprises, love others the thrill of windy roads, lots of different plant material and not knowing what is around the corner. There are three main styles of formal gardens, semi-formal and informal. Then can be divided into several types of gardens and that depends on what you like. Garden design can be closely arranged in the style of your home as in the example of the great French chateaux, where the garden geometric patterns mimic the geometric construction of the house or can not be connected to your home to all people. Some luck and have that innate gift of knowing how to design the space, making it a pleasant place to be in. Others do not have this gene and find it very difficult to visualize how the space will work. To create a good design is important that you understand that design is about the management of space and people moving around. The core of good garden design patterns and centers round the space within these patterns. Using geometric shapes, circles, triangles, rectangles, etc. can achieve a unified feeling to your garden. So you have to think about the movement patterns of land and around your garden. Where would you like people to go? Ground patterns can be achieved with the use of bricks, paving and plant materials, such as mowing the lawn and gardens are symmetrical geometric etc.Formal and are very strict in terms of repeating patterns and plant materials on each side. It's very controlled, plants are cut, shaped, handled regularly and today is often suitable for small gardens, and patios. Urns, balustrades of stone, gravel paths, parterres, pools and formal framed views are part of the formal garden. There are no surprises, you know what to expect. Asymmetrical designs are informal and unregulated as. The plant material is allowed to spill on structural elements such as walls, stairs and paths. The plant material is allowed to seed itself and stroll through the garden. Informal garden design is softer, full of surprises so you do not know what is semi formal expect.And combining the two. In general, the constructions, such as retaining walls, paths and steps that are formal and informal element is the plant material is allowed to spill over them, softening their outlines. Hard Within these three types, there are many different styles of gardens to choose from, and contemporary Japanese, Mediterranean, house, yard, garden or secret garden.Contemporary is a modern style that surrounds you like but also reflect the use of a wide range of plant material. Shape and texture of the leaves are as important as the flowers. Urbanization, which is woven into geometric form of buildings, all of which flow into the wider landscape. Plants are used as focal points to highlight the architecture was a late nineteenth century forms.Cottage ideal to return to the simple houses of the country. They were planted with hardy bulbs, flowers, herbs and fruit bushes and vegetables. Were geometric harmonized colors and luxurious as the plants grew and were paid largely regularly.Mediterranean not limited to a particular area, but are defined in accordance with hot summers and low rainfall. They cover entertainment areas, shade, good views and dramatic shadows. Hot plants used colors and plenty of lush green foliage plants to create a cool environment. Plants should be resistant to drought. Evergreens are popular because they cast shade on hot days. The walls are painted white to reflect the sun, built pergolas for shade and the use of terracotta pots. There is often a water feature and provides cooling water vibrations. Japanese gardens including religion and cultural history of Japan. Japanese gardens are often symbolic symbols relate to nature. Plants are 'domesticated' and there is an emphasis on evergreen trees and shrubs. They are very controlled and often minimal. True Japanese gardens are a place of contemplative meditation and great calm. PlanningIf feel overwhelmed and not know where to start in designing your garden, I suggest you divide it into areas called rooms and a large space divided into several smaller spaces. For example, not the front yard, the side yard and back yard. Once you have decided where to begin and end, then you can divide each of the zones again. For example, in the backyard that could have the entertainment area, the grass / area for children 's, the area of ​​public services (including the compost pile and shed), the pool area and the area of ​​plant / orchard. Once you have defined the areas / rooms can be addressed one at a time, making a large project into several smaller projects.The StagesTo Three Planning to create a garden interesting and exciting that there are three sets of plans (four if you can planes need a structural engineer) you need to design: - The site analysis plan, the concept plan and planting plan, usually all drawn to scale.The StepsTo first design a garden that works there are several things you need to do before buying and planting plants. If you follow these steps that are more likely to have a success is important garden.Site AnalysisIt make an inventory of the area being designed. Things to include: Levels - strong / apartment Appearance - North / South Sun / shade Sol Summer / Winter Shades The existing trees and buildings Wind Points of view - good and bad Soil conditions Inputs - front / rear doors Power Lines Underground cables and pipes Clothes line Fences Sheds and garages The paved and unpaved areas Patio / garden Lighting Drainage - storm runoff wateredOnce has noted the above, it is time to prepare the space. You can get more or less (not to scale) but in the end have to draw to scale. Start by measuring the area that is being designed, drawn to scale, ie. 1:100 and put all the previous points in your layout plan. All these influences must be drawn on paper, so you can measure trends. For example there may be a paved road from the back door of the garage, but each takes a shortcut across the lawn, creating a line of desire. No - used the paved road. So maybe you want to open the line and make the next step is the official path.The concept and this plan is the plan you let the ideas. It can be as wild and as adventurous as you like. Forget the cost, enjoy your creativity. This is the stage where they left their dreams of what you've always wanted. Later, back pocket will decide for you if you can have. Anything is possible, so do not sleep shy away. Again, this may be more or less elaborate or scale, it is for you.The plan is the third and final planting plan and preferably is drawn to scale, since it lets you know exactly how many plants are needed . It incorporates all the ideas that have determined and shows how the finished garden will look. It is the roadmap that guides you to develop your garden.There new plan can be a room, if your site is steep or has built the most important elements, as you may need the advice of a ConsiderThink engineer.Points to the ground conditions is light or heavy clay and sandy? What plants grow in these conditions? There are some wetlands and some dry forever? Sun conditionsThe sun is highest in the sky during the spring and summer and the shadows are shorter. While in winter the sun is lower in the sky and casts more shadows. So a plant can be in full sun in summer and winter full shade. It can tolerate this? Also think about plant conditions require. Are plants in full sun or shade, like the rose-loving plants like azaleas? WindYou also need to think in the direction of the wind. What direction the prevailing wind comes from? Screens and hedges are a way to handle this problem, but the problems are going to do? Making it feel narrow block, casting shadows, etc? It is important to know because some plants do not like the wind and not good to put the BBQ / entertainment in an uncomfortable spot.ViewsViews window or your garden is very important. Some are intrusive, while others want. To block floors / etc neighbors may have to put in a fence or a screen with the widest coverage of any kind. Or you may want to design your garden to improve the view of the mountain, sea, and LinesYou etcUtilidades service should also be aware that their services and utilities, things like clotheslines, power lines, etc. If you damage the gas telephone lines or electricity, are required to pay for your Garden repair.Principles DesignTo create a well-designed garden, it is important to put the plant right in the correct position. This means taking into account the cultural needs of the plant. For example a plant to complete Sun rose in a position of the shadow is not going to work, because the rose is not going to get the right amount of sunlight to grow. The idea of ​​good garden design is to follow this philosophy, by placing the plants to create mystery, tension and surprise by using tricks of the eye, colors and textures.Tension, mystery and surprise that an interesting garden . One way to create these is the use of hedges, walls, screens, paths, steps to "garden rooms with individual points of tension that captures their attention on the road. For example, a narrow rectangular garden can be more interesting if you can not see the back fence - which is a feature (the plant or statue, etc.) that obscures the fence. It also becomes more interesting if the road is narrow path opens up in another room. A winding road adds mystery to the garden, if you can not see what is around the corner. surprise comes when you turn around and find a focal point. A focus is something like a security feature / image / water leads the eye directly to her. For example - a pergola that has a statue at the end of it. The statue is the property and is the reason that you look / ride to see it. Another example of a focal point is a path that leads through a door that opens and displays a broader landscape. The success of the focal point of success may depend on the patterns of soil that are there. If the pavement invites you along this path, creating a bit of tension and mystery, which is more likely to follow the road to see what's there because you have become curious. Narrow paths encourage you to walk quickly and not Dilly Dally on the road, where, as they say across the road trip, you take the time to look at the surrounding vegetation. A smooth curve can be negotiated at full speed, but a closed curve can not be that people slow down as there is risk. Paving is used as a management tool says do not walk that way, but walk in this way. Bricks songs say they go over this - this is a limit. Paving can also be used to reflect the floor plan of the house or other forms in the gardens close garden.Long have a strong emphasis on leadership that needs to be broken. Square plots are static. To solve these problems in a space needs to be changed. A circular design that distracts the eye from the straight lines of the fence. You could also use a series of rectangles with the limits as part of the method is to convert the garden design.Another at an angle of 45 degrees. A long diagonal line immediately creates a feeling of space. The paving around the house might look at a high angle of light and the diagonal line of the garden.Gardens all with a dog-leg in them you can use the curve by using the tension, mystery and surprise that will take you around the corner to a center point kind.Unified space is created by the movement control throughout the garden. It's how the areas are linked by roads, bridges, arbors, stairs and terraces that determine whether a successful garden. The placement of neglect can ruin the flow of the garden. If you want to direct someone's attention to a particular point, then there must be a clear reason in the design to follow up this way. The floor levels are very important when designing a garden. If the slope is too steep to walk safely, the steps may be necessary and if the whole block is on a slope, the whole area may be necessary in terraces. What material is used is also important. Measures should not be slippery and gravel materials can be washed. Surfaces must be flat so may be dangerous and people do not want to walk along them and in turn, can create a desire to help to create interest and lines.Levels "rooms" in a garden, as it move from one place to another by steps / routes / etc. Levels allow to flow smoothly with each other and keep them simple. No more than decoration. An uphill from the house appears foreshortened, while a downward slope from the house will larger.Choosing MaterialsThere Floor 3 types of gardens: - the man plants, garden designer and gardener (mixture of the first two) . The gardens consist of man plants the seed lots singular, disjointed and rare and hard to find. The garden design garden consists of plants that have already been tested - using plants they know and how they work. The garden gardener has learned that their favorite plants may be more effective if planted in a choice of plants should take into account scheme.When what are the conditions of your garden. It makes no sense to alkaline-tolerant plants in acid soils or vice versa. It will not work! You need to think about what your plants you have chosen requires moist soil, dry soil, shade, sun, good drainage, swampy soils. If you do your research properly and place the plants in the correct position, you are well on the road to success garden.The height and spread of plants should also be taken into account. High growth of the plants are placed in the rear of the garden bed, where he graduated to the ground floors. Remember that some plants send up flower spikes that can be much larger than the plant itself, so it must be placed according to their height flower spike. Some plants are so thick you do not forget to leave enough room to spread. They may need annual pruning to keep the bag trick check.ColourAnother design tools is the use of color. Color is the sensation of light, which is light. The way the colors to react with each other depends on their position in the color wheel. The color manipulation is fun and can create all kinds of illusions. The colors are divided into two groups: red, green, yellow, blue and secondary, violet, orange. The secondary colors are a combination of two of these primaries as the mixture of blue and yellow to create green. You can make a space look cool or to create distance by using colors and pale brown. You can also make a voyeur larger space than it really is the use of warm colors like orange, red or yellow. If you want to make a space look closer to you, again using warm colors. Like red, orange or yellow colors are very busy for the eye, is a good idea to insert plants with white flowers and gray leaves the visual scene to calm down. White and gray colours.One also intensify the pale blue and the sun to remember about Australia is that the best time to watch our gardens is in the afternoon when the sun is not as strong. Our sun warm colors tend to fade our flowers and the glow of noon on out.If tends to wash the color you are feeling overwhelmed by the design of your garden, divide the space and take slowly, completing one section to time. Moreover not start until the end of the section you are working and will soon have a beautiful garden. Remember that gardens are ephemeral, is a process that is forever evolving. You never really finish.
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