Choosing Garden Layouts:
Choosing among the many different garden styles can be a tedious process, with all the options that are out there. Starting a garden is not always as easy as it sounds. Some people just go to their local nursery and start buying plants that catch their eye, and then randomly dig holes to plant them in. The results are rarely what they expect. The best thing you can do is think the process through!
It is very easy to get excited about different garden layouts, and the urge to grab a shovel and some plants and just plop them in the ground is hard to fight. Resist the urge to charge right in before you have had time to think it through! Ambition is a great thing, but temper that energy with a plan. Putting a little thought into the many garden designs you could choose from will make the end result that much better. For most people, taking the first step is usually the hardest, so let’s explore some of the more popular gardens, and maybe one of those will spark an idea you can run with.
Annual & Perennial Garden Layouts:
Annual Gardens: Annual gardens tend to be some of the most dramatic gardens you will find anywhere, where blooms and colors abound. Unfortunately for a lot of people however, they also tend to be a lot of work. Since annuals generally will not survive the winter in most regions, the plants will need to be seeded or purchased again the following year. For some people this yearly maintenance proves to be too much and they opt for just a few annuals in their own gardens. Be honest with yourself about your expectations, and how much work you are willing to invest before choosing the wrong type of garden.
Perennial Gardens: Now unlike their short lived cousins, perennials will typically come back year after year, which makes them a dominant choice in most garden layouts. What you need to understand about starting a perennial garden is while you won’t have to start over with new plants every year, you will have to maintain the ones that come back each year.
Since the life cycle of a perennial usually lasts years, the plants can grow out of control very quickly if not thinned out and maintained. Many people will drop a lot of perennials in a small amount of space, and think they've saved themselves a lot of work. The reality is poorly planned gardens will end up causing you more work in the long run if you don’t consider the space requirements of the plants you are using.
Rock & Water Garden Layouts:
Rock Gardens: Rock gardens are starting to become more and more popular, especially in suburban developments where folks want their gardens to stand out from all the others on the block. Rock gardens are a great way to turn an infertile site into a work of art. Most towns have landscaping supply yards where you can buy pallets of stone and have it delivered right to your location.
The beauty of rock gardens is the maintenance is far less than most traditional garden layouts. Since rocks don’t need sunlight, food, or water, they make the ideal resource for a truly hands off garden design. If you have a section of your yard that you just can’t get anything to grow in, a rock garden might just be the perfect answer to that problem!
Water Gardens: Water gardens are extremely popular garden layouts that span virtually every age, skill, and cultural level among gardeners and home owners. You do not need to be rich either to turn your garden into a backyard oasis. Most big box stores these days sell supplies for water fountains and ponds, and there are endless resources available online that you can tap to put it all together. Many gardens incorporate water features not only for variety, but also because of the soothing and relaxing ambiance water brings to our environment. Few people can argue the sense of peace and serenity that a small fountain or a flowing waterfall can offer.
If you think adding a water garden to your home is difficult, think again! With the growing popularity that water features have, there are countless starter kits available on the market that you can add to any of your gardens. Most of them are also self-contained, which means you do not need to worry about a constant source of water. Just fill them up and check them every so often to make sure the water hasn’t evaporated out. It really couldn’t be easier.
Herb Garden Layouts:
Herb Gardens: Herb gardens are another one of those garden styles that are becoming more and more popular these days. Part of the reason is that herbs tend to be very easy to grow, which makes them an instant favorite of beginner and novice gardeners. Another reason is that an herb garden also serves a purpose beyond aesthetics, in that the plants themselves can be cultivated and used in every day cooking.
As a society we have become so conditioned to by pre-packaged foods put together on large assembly lines by machines that we sometimes forget that mankind used to actually prepare their own meals with food they grew and harvested from the earth. Herb gardens are a fantastic way to get "back to your roots", if you pardon the pun. You can start an herb garden with very limited space, in poor soil or on rooftops, or even indoors!
Small Garden Layouts:
Small Gardens: Some people think they need to have acres and acres of land to have beautiful or elegant garden layouts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some of the best gardens you'll find anywhere were built on or into sites that had very little space to work with at all. If you have a few basic hand tools, and the skills to use them, you can create a stunning garden just about anywhere.
If the ground you have available just can’t be worked, then consider taking your garden above ground! Build raised flower boxes that you can fill with fresh organic soil and start growing. You are only limited by your own imagination!
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