“I am sure there is Magic in everything, only we have not sense enough to get hold of it and make it do things for us”
Styles' is almost an overused phrase in today's garden vocabulary!
Unless you are just starting a garden, or have been an armchair
gardener and are just getting into your first love affair with your
landscape, you get to where you want to ignore all those silly titles
and just devour the photos!
Garden photos are full of ideas, evoke emotions, and delight your senses. Why even think about trying to style the garden?
Just plant. And plant some more!
a garden without thinking too much about style is just fine...
and can create some extremely beautiful gardens, many of which are
stunning during the gardening season.
greens poke through the soil, promising more to come, and annuals
show their pretty faces in a crescendo of welcome color.
flowers with their elegant stature and endless variety reflect the sun
and bombard your senses.
softness creeps in and overtakes the garden, casting long shadows
over plants getting ready to hibernate.
Then there is winter. Er.... what about winter?
Well, there is ONE reason to think about garden style! Winter does have it's own unique beauty, but if you haven't planned ahead for those sometimes long months, your garden may suffer a considerable lag in personality.
thought during the planning phases of a garden to provide visual cues
that evoke a style provides opportunity to capture the imagination and keep your garden
looking elegant and artistic, even during those winter months.
Creating a garden theme or styling the garden to evoke an emotional response provides plenty of opportunity to personalize your garden in ways that you would not otherwise have thought of.
Hardscapes and other garden features such as formal gates, arbors, water features, architectural plants and garden walls all work together to create a personality that soars during the gardening season, and shines throughout the winter too!
But OH, there is more!
Truly wonderful gardens usually have been planned very carefully to arrange the elements of the garden in such a way that a visitors mind is immediately transported.
We engage with fragrances, touch, sight, sound and even taste in ways that stimulate us. We “see” images from throughout the world through the gentle persuasion of just a few suggested thoughts.
call that “Garden Style”.
Whether using architectural plants as in a Japanese Garden Space, or planning a Patio Garden on the rooftop with hardscapes and planted containers, your garden not only gets a boost of grandeur during the flowering seasons, but it evokes an emotional response not otherwise likely to occur.
See how beautifully composed this Japanese Garden is? No lack of interest in THIS landscape!
Likewise, this Seattle Rooftop Garden makes the best use of the borrowed view, ensuring that the scale of the Patio Garden matches the enormous scale of the Puget Sound Waterway and the blue Seattle skies!
Hey! Wasn't this page supposed to be about garden styles?
Well, it IS! The key to a unified and coherent garden style is the planning.
It is about the investment of time and money BEFORE purchasing all those pretty plants.
It is about understanding your garden location, the soil, the light quality, and your climate AS WELL AS your preferences for a particular style.
And it is about nailing your circumstances, the surroundings, and your functional needs.
From these elements the garden will evolve
into a garden filled with style, that you will also love.
your physical needs, match them to the space and to the surroundings!
Plan a garden that is both stylish AND functional!
are you convinced yet? Using the planning tools provided on this
website and in books and other media about the subject can pay BIG
Only by thinking carefully about your garden will you be able to evolve a garden that is unified, functional, enduring, low maintenance and truly stunning.
Work with your garden layout to define large areas that work functionally for you, yet create a unified beauty that is consistent with your surroundings, with your lifestyle, and with your aesthetic preferences.
Take the time to draw out your ideas and get a sense of how things will work together before ever lifting a spade or buying a new plant (OK, maybe one or two is O.K.!)
Take the time to personalize your garden!
This can all be summed up in one phrase that I KNOW you are familiar with!
“Form follows function.”!
While we think of garden styles as a preference, it is as much about planning as it is style.
THAT is what you pay a landscaper for, and it is something YOU can do instead. Find your style through your planning and creative thought.
garden planning to create features that manipulate the eye into
believing your garden is larger than it is. A Contemporary Style
garden with enclosures and fencing can separate your space to make
you feel like there is much more to the garden.
Select a Country Garden full of trees and perennial grasses to
fill in larger areas that you don't want to maintain religiously, but
DO want to function by adding style and grace to your garden.
tickle all your senses by creating a Romantic Country Garden which
has plenty of nooks and crannies to carry your garden through winter
without a misstep.
See the sidebar above for lots of ideas about creating many different garden styles by incorporating specific plants, design elements, and hardscape into your garden plan!
All it takes is a little garden
know how, which you can get here, and you can create any garden style
with as much beauty as any landscaper, and inject much MORE of your
own personality into your garden!
Let's close with a quote that sums up the essence of the attitudes we need to adopt as a do it yourself landscaper. Us modern folks are not the only ones who knew how to do things themselves!
If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
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