Garden Design – A Journey Down the Ages

Gardens add beauty and charm to our lifestyle. The tranquil peace and serenity works like a balm over the stress and rush that make up the modern world. Garden designs are on the priority list for both homemakers and home builders more than ever before.

Garden designs have become more unique along with being more utilitarian. The gardens were initially a green plot of the household where the family used to grow edible products. The entire concept was either for commercial or entertainment. The palatial gardens had pompous designs with grand structures and accessories.

The ancient gardens of Babylon; around 600 B.C could be coined among the first famous examples of garden designs which possibly even applied the Archimedes screw for proper drainage. Garden design includes the use of fountains, statues of exotic animals and rare flora.

Influenced by the styles of various periods, the English gardens have had the most dynamic styles and evolution over the ages. After Charles II’s return from exile in France in 1660, the High Baroque style of garden design crept in. It involved planting ranks of trees in straight lines on the avenues. It had a tendency to be enfolded by walls.

This form of garden design was best adopted in Melbourne Hall Gardens, England. It was designed by London and Wise. The typical old Augustan garden design was given a concrete shape by William Kent, a professional designer. Water, wood, glass and the archetypal statues were used for deriving the perfection. The West Wycombe Park, Castle Howard, Chiswick House as well as Riveleaux Terrace and Temples are a few examples where the Roman influenced Augustan style is evident.

The gardens were an integral part of the Mughal architecture. These gardens had luxurious fountains, water cascades, stunning structures and arrangements for relaxing. The Mughal gardens also had an extensive collection of plants and flowers. Moreover, the seasonal variations were complemented the garden design.

During the 18th century, the unbendable, frozen style of earlier garden design gave way to the pleasant designs. These were result of the careful selection of garden materials. The designers preferred using rocks, tarnished timber and earthy blocks ruled the gardens, along with appealing fittings.

The gardens, however, are planned counterparts of their natural entity. There has been a widely popular phase of garden designing which included forest-like gardens by Stephen Switzer. It had massive estates full of trees, caves, lakes and hills to give it a semblance of a stylized forest. The entire concept centered on more of serenity and economy by using the genuine works of nature. The concept’s success lay in the practical idea of having a comfortable garden with the pattern of the ‘cut-through the avenue’ concept.

The Post Modern style of garden design had designers experimenting with primary geometric patterns. Today almost every next garden is technically planned. The expertise of garden designers is recognized and in demand. Before executing the design, the garden designer draws a blue-print of the future garden with the natural and stylized elements available. Garden design is an intrinsic part of the present trend of setting up well-decorated gardens. Garden designers set-up the initial garden design plan, based on the natural flavor of the land, purpose, location as well as budget.

Small Garden Design Ideas For Any Setting

A well crafted small garden design could be desirable to people for a number of reasons. First, the outdoor space suitable for being turned into a garden could be rather small. Alternatively there could be plenty of outdoor space, but the person may not want to make a large garden. Also if the garden space is set in an urban setting there may only be a balcony or small patio available for a garden installation.

Those are all good reasons to desire a small garden space, but designing one for those applications can be tricky. It takes forethought and careful planning to make a garden of this type really work.

Here are a few small garden design ideas that anyone can use to get the most out of any space.

First, a person needs to consider what the purpose of the garden is: Decorative, functional, or a hybrid.

A decorative garden is one that focuses on plants that will have the largest visual impact per square foot without any consideration for edible, or in some other way functional plant. A functional garden on the other hand focuses on maximizing the yield per square foot of plants that can be eaten or used in some other productive manner (i.e. Aloe Vera for burns). Finally, a hybrid garden focuses on a cross between these two different concepts. It tries to produce a high yield of useful plants, while at the same time creating visual interest within the garden space.

The most common garden type that people choose in this regard is a hybrid approach. For the purposes of this article, it is this style that will be the focus of the following small garden design ideas.

The first concept that any person designing a small garden needs to understand is that raised beds always make for a more vigorous crop. Raised beds can be constructed in virtually any shape imaginable so they are the perfect container for any small garden. For example an urban gardener who only has a condo balcony to work with could build raised bed planters in the corners of the balcony and a long narrow one straight down the front parallel to the railing. This design creates a lot of growing space without taking away much of floor space on the balcony.

Another very useful idea to keep in mind when building a small garden is that it can be constructed horizontally as well as vertically. For example a wall or fence can easily be turned into a living wall by adding hanging planters or vining plants like grapes, hardy kiwi, or honeysuckle to it.

Whatever style of garden is being constructed one thing that is important to keep in mind is that in order to create a strong visual appeal, it is better to stagger plants of different heights and colors around one another. This creates texture and dimension to a garden space that can make it seem larger than it really is.

Building a garden is a tremendous amount of fun. By taking the small garden design ideas listed above and making them their own, a person will be able to build a visually interesting and useful garden that will impress all of their friends and family.

Enliven Your Creativity With Your Garden Designs

Your garden can be a manifestation of your own creativity. It is no longer a place where you plant fruits and vegetables. If you would like to add a little more life and enhance the look of your garden opt for interesting garden designs.

Before you go ahead with some garden designs, you may like to keep some guidelines in mind to for better synchrony of your surroundings:

The Golden Rule

The key to innovative garden designs is a simple rule. THINK BEFORE YOU PLANT. Plan your garden in sync with the look of your house to make a cohesive unit that is in harmony with each other.

Discover The Purpose

Prior to finalizing your garden designs, you may like to consider how the garden would be used. Would you like to enhance the view of the house or would you like to entertain guests? Would little children be comfortable playing in your garden or would senior citizens love taking a walk there? Would your garden occupy private space or would it be in public view? It would really help if you finalized the main purpose of your garden, and then proceeded to design it.

Landscape Matters

Opt for garden designs that compliment the landscape and the house. It is important to remember that the house is the most important part of the landscape and the garden needs to be designed in harmony with the house and the surroundings. Then the different elements of the house and the garden can connect better to provide an interesting style to the house and the landscape.

Choose Your Garden

You have a choice of formal, a semi formal or natural garden designs. A formal garden has the plants and shrubs arranged symmetrically around two axis, which provide a cross with the pool or a gazebo at the center. These gardens are usually adorned with evergreens, hedges or walls and have a hard surface terrace. A semi-formal garden also works on the same axial plan as the formal one; however the garden designs are a little less rigid. In many instances, the hard surface terrace is replaced by grass or evergreen shrubs. Besides, you may also see flowers, vegetables or herbs spilling out of the beds.

Natural garden designs follow the intrinsic landscape. They usually meander around the surroundings and have a casual or softer look. The architectural style of the house, the budget and the personal preference of the owner may eventually decide upon the design of the garden.

Create A Theme

Most garden designs are usually creations of the owners or the gardeners mind, and you have a range of themes to choose from. Let your creativity decide the theme; just make sure that it compliments the overall landscape and the style of the house and garden.

Play With Colors

Colors play a very important role in garden designs. With practice and experimentation you will be able to understand the essence of combining colors. However, you may begin by referring to the color wheel, where colors are arranged according to their relationships with each other. Most color wheels contain 12 colors only, but you may be able to color coordinate the plants and flowers better a violet-red to red to orange-red, in the same order as they appear in the color wheel. Move Around.

Garden designs should be able to accommodate free movement. Designing walkways, pathways or driveways are very important aspects. To make the view of the garden interesting, you can expose vistas that would make a pleasant view. This may encourage visitors to get off the path or driveway and take a closer look at the garden.

Drainage

Drainage is another important factor in garden designs. A sound drainage system will ensure hygiene and maintain overall garden health. On the other hand an unsound drainage system will destroy your garden.

If you are not happy with your existing garden design, follow these guidelines and spice up your view! Add your imagination and creativity to these simple guidelines and create garden designs that will make you proud.