What makes a good Garden Landscape

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A good garden landscape not only requires a good garden but also a happy fulfilled gardener

Fine Garden Landscape Great Dixter

For me, gardening means actually being in it, I don’t mean being in the garden as such, I mean, being in the actual process of gardening, in all its forms. I can think of nothing more unfulfilled than creating or acquiring a garden that does not require continued involvement from the owner. Over the years I have found those that are in the gardening process are some of the happiest fulfilled people around.

Here are some of the views expressed by others when asked “What makes a good garden”

What makes a garden good? For me it can be summed up in three words “soothing and engaging”.
Soothing. In the garden that I love the sense of balance and the feeling of tranquillity gets absorbed from the garden almost directly into the soul. It’s like the garden has found a way to bypass the logical part of my mind and connect through all the senses straight into my soul.
The balance and tranquillity come from the blend and combination of colour, shapes, textures, smells and sounds. Yes sounds because the best gardens to me have unique and relaxing sounds that come from nature. It can be birdsong, it can be running water and it can be the way that the garden channels the wind.
A good garden to me also has a little bit of ruggedness to it. It is a true reflection of nature in its combination of colour, shapes and textures. Not too ordered and not too bold.
An hour in a good garden is like a week on vacation – relaxing, uplifting and reviving.

We have all seen beautiful gardens. For most people that love the outdoors and nature, a good garden is something they cherish and desire. So what makes a good garden? Maintenance is the first key to having that beautiful and well tended garden that will be the envy of many.
Maintenance and tending will involve a lot of dirt, pruning, picking blooms and deadheads. It is also very important to follow the weather conditions. If it is during the rainy season, then you would need to ignore watering your plants to avoid drowning them. Alternatively if it’s dry, then you would need to water them adequately to prevent them from drying up.

For people who love gardening, it is a way to express one’s love for nature. Individuality is designing the garden space to go well with your home’s architecture, this will be the key to a great garden.
Choosing plants will be the next step after settling on a layout. Plants should be chosen so that the texture, color and sizes all fit well together.
A good garden will tell you the owner’s individuality. It will welcome people in with warm hospitality. Collaborate your home with your garden creatively and where possible use the natural landscape that is available to you.

The design of a garden is totally a personal thing. It is also regarded as an expression of one’s personality. Things that a person likes might not be preferred by others. There are people who like tidy gardens whereas there are some who prefer thrill of windy paths. Generally, there are three different styles of garden. These are formal, semi-formal and informal. These can be further divided into several kinds of gardens depending on your choice.

If you want to make your garden impressive then you can follow few valuable tips mentioned in this short note. Experts suggest Mediterranean garden, English cottage, tree garden, tropical garden and formal gardens are most impressive.

  •  Mediterranean garden: it is a time consuming method in which you can do plantation of Bougainvillea, citrus trees, and olive trees.
  • English Cottage: in this category people can use roses, daisies, lavender, ivy types, daffodils, jasmine and other flowering plants.
  • Tree Garden: another time taking process but very attractive. Once the plantation is done properly there will be enough shades and greenery everywhere. Citrus trees are best in such type of gardens.
  • Formal Garden: this garden is best for residential and small areas. Plantation of fruit trees comes under this type.
  • Tropical Garden: many people love the tropical climate. Plants for dry or wet tropics are available in the market that can be used in this garden.

A good garden landscape should not only be for your viewing pleasure but should also be pleasant for others. Obviously it should be well designed and should contain some of your favorite flowers or trees, maybe even plants that you can relate to or can take you back to your childhood or happy memories. But a good garden is not just that. You need to feel connected to the nature and feel a sense of peace, quiet and connection. It needs to be a place where you love spending time, be it for reading, meditating or just contemplating. If you seek for relaxation, a great garden should give you that. You can put fountains or even other water features to enhance the sense of a natural landscape and give you that extra element that is best suited to bring you in a good mood. A walk in a good garden should make you come alive, feel peaceful and happy.

A good garden must reflect something of you and have the ability to bring pleasure when spending time within it  A garden must be in balance with your house and climate especially when you want a beautiful garden all year round. A garden landscape with trees appears well rounded with a bench under it. A magnificent fountain significantly changes even the dullest garden when used as a focal point.
Bringing a bit of color into your garden strategically is a good option when you use consistency throughout. Often the simplicity of a garden landscape with one focal point especially when size and space is a problem is a good option. Your own preferences concerning lawn, paving or pebbled walkways are a matter of personal preference.
Your ultimate goal in creating a great garden is pleasing yourself and others who will spend time in the garden. Sitting in the shade on comfortable garden furniture, hearing the fountain dribbling over rocks, birds singing in a tree and the fresh fragrance of flowers in bloom, now that is a great garden.

What makes a good garden? In essence a good garden is a garden that will exhibit uniqueness in its formation. Well, gardening is more or less something one does to express him or herself through style, function and design. Therefore a good garden landscape should incorporate a number of architectural elements. It should be able to capture your vision as you move from one point to the other whereby you will find interesting things around every turn. A good garden will incorporate properly designed pathways,some signature plants that will give that garden its life and formation as well as enough space for you and the family to utilise.

A good garden is one which is not only welcoming and conducive in terms of space and pathways, but it should incorporate features such as sculptures and architecture which will make the garden an entertaining and attractive place. Are there opportunities to expose your garden to wildlife and nature? This will be the hallmark of you gardening, blending your garden with nature to give a perfect sensation of originality. However, it will be essential to keep order as it will be you that needs to maintain it.

To make a good garden landscape, the first important thing that you need to understand is the design of the garden. Remember, design of the garden is about managing the available space. By utilizing geometrical shapes, triangles, circles and triangles, you can attain a unified feeling to your garden. Therefore, you should spare some time in thinking about ground patterns as well as the movement in your garden.

photo credit: ukgardenphotos via photopin cc

The natural gardener brings gardens alive in natures garden

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natures gardenYour natural gardens do not necessarily need to be wild and unruly to be wildlife garden havens. They can be structured and organised in a way that enables you to use them as and when, whilst sharing all of the natural benefits with your wild garden friends.

Implementing all or any one of the suggestions below will give you a more natural wildlife garden and bring your gardens alive. Above all, the key is to reach a balance.

Natures Garden across the World – Gardening to Encourage Wildlife

We should all work towards making gardens more natural, include more plants and habitats aimed at encouraging and keeping wildlife in.
Bees most certainly do need all the help they can get at the moment. You can really make a difference. Single flowering species are the order of the day when selecting your trees, shrubs and border plants.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Climate Calm Garden RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012 by Karen Roe, on Flickr

This Climate Calm Garden is a response to the effects of climate change in the water-stressed South East. The garden reflects the cracks in the earth produced by prolonged dry weather and offers a dynamic method of irrigation, with rainwater collected in a water butt and upper pool. Natural hedging and trees add structure and shade to this otherwise wild garden, which acts as a haven for wildlife and has a minimal carbon footprint.
The planting is based on steppe planting in Eastern European plains; it is tough enough to tolerate temperatures which may become more typical in the UK.

Wherever you are in the world, when designing a garden, it is common to consider colour, aesthetics, and ease of maintenance. However, as our world becomes more urbanized, places for wildlife are becoming rarer and planting for wildlife becomes more important. Here are some general gardening tips for the natural gardener to help you make your natural garden a haven for those with wings or fur, whether you live in the middle of the woods or on a city rooftop.

Go Native

Wildlife go with what they know, especially birds. If looking to create a happy home for your feathered friends, consider trees and shrubs native to your area. The bonus? They usually require very little maintenance, as they thrive with exactly the same water availability and temperatures that the environment already provides.

A natural gardener, a gardener that gardens in a more naturalistic way making gardens come alive with nature.

Think Food – What are you trying to attract?

Feeders are an obvious draw for luring animals to your backyard, but planting fruit, nut trees and shrubs can also bring enjoyment to a large number of animals. Deer love apples, birds love berries and seed producing plants (like sunflowers or thistles) and all sorts of animals would love pecans, walnuts, hickory nuts, acorns, hazel nuts or whatever grows well in your particular climate.

Be Colourful – Want to attract hummingbirds and butterflies?

Go bright with your flowers, particularly tubular ones, they are a great nectar source for hummingbirds and if you have some nice shrubbery nearby for them to build nests, you may have a summer long treat. Butterflies prefer nectar bearing flowers. Buddleja, or Buddleia is the plant that is associated with Butterflies.

For those who enjoy both gardening and birdwatching, it is fortunate that there’s such a plenitude of plants for attracting hummingbirds from which to choose.

Creating a Butterfly Garden involves planning your garden to attract, retain, and encourage butterfly populations to visit. You should select a variety of nectar-producing plants (butterfly food plants) with the goal of providing flowers in bloom throughout the season.

Add Water

For any creature to make your yard or garden a permanent home they need a constant source of water. If you want to think small, a birdbath should be sufficient. If you want a water feature, you should consider a few things.

  • First, chlorine is not a good idea. 
  • To avoid stagnation and mosquitoes, try a running water component, either a waterfall or fountain. 
  • Barley balls are a nice addition to help avoid mosquito larvae as well. 
  • If you want to promote frog and fish habitat, make sure you have some aquatic vegetation or overhanging ledges for them to hide.

Pestival believes insects are critical to human life on Earth. They are by far the most diverse group of animals on Earth, with over a million species documented. And yet insects are frequently misunderstood, reviled or, at best, ignored by the majority of the human population.


Do You Ever Wonder About Your Garden Plants ?

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Dr Monica Gagliano

Image source

Do you ever wonder about your garden plants, think or speculate curiously, find yourself filled with admiration, amazement or awe.

Talk to your Garden Plants!

I’ve long believed that all living things have something to say, if we only knew how to listen. Humans have talked to their garden plants and anthropomorphized them in folklore and mythology for centuries, but recent science has demonstrated, we are led to believe, that plants do talk, and even hear, albeit in their own secret ways.

They can sense, and then relay, changes and threats to their environments, and even assist and protect specific ‘family members’
In a 2012 study, Monica Gagliano, picture left, of the University of Western Australia, found that corn seedlings submerged underwater grow toward sound, and that their roots communicate with one another with clicking noises. A different study published in February 2013 found that sagebrush emits a chemical warning to nearby kin when an individual plant is attacked. Clones of the original plant, the nearby kin, then suffered less damage and were more likely to survive.

Plant communication also has applications in companion planting, the concept of planting certain vegetables, herbs, and flowers together for protection and improved growth or flavour  In the ‘three sisters’ method, for example, you would plant beans at the base of corn, so the bean plants climb the stalks, then plant squash beneath the beans, the squash vine inhibits weed growth.
Dr. Gagliano conducted another study in which chilli seeds were planted separated from neighbouring basil with a barrier blocking light and chemical signals. Seeds planted without basil or other chilli plants nearby, or with fennel in the vicinity, were slow to germinate; but the seeds near but separated from the basil germinated as usual. It is believed that the plants influenced the seeds through acoustic signals, ‘talking’ to the seeds, encouraging them grow under the most suitable conditions.

Your garden plants may speak in their own languages, but as we learn more about their peculiar communications, the more we can hear and understand, and better meet their needs as well as our own. Whether you play Beethoven for your Boston fern or talk to your tomatoes, know that they’re likely hearing you on some level and may reward you for the attention. Just make sure to plant some friends and family too.

When a South African botanist Lyall Watson claimed in 1973 that plants had emotions that could be recorded on a lie detector test, he was dismissed by many in the scientific community.

Read more at http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/10247/20120611/plants-communication-survival.htm

My years of gardening experience have convinced me that plants communicate with each other. I suspect that the presence of the younger plant has inspired my old one, reminding it of how much fun it is to bloom and thrive.

Read more at http://www.seattlegardenideas.com/2013/05/do-houseplants-get-lonely.html

Sound is so fundamental to life that some scientists now think there’s a kernel of truth to folklore that holds humans can commune with plants. And plants may use sound to communicate with one another.

Read more at http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/can-plants-actually-talk-and-hear

Finding those Garden Design Ideas

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Photos of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Cape Town CentralFinding those inspirational garden design ideas is often no more challenging than booking a holiday or researching a holiday location

Today, more than ever before with the help of the Internet it is ridiculously simple to search out others recommendations for any given area of interest, in any given location, whether it be alpine gardens or a grand courtyard garden incorporating architecture and planting design ideas.

The photo above of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is courtesy of TripAdvisor

But do not think for one minute that you actually need to book a holiday, once again with the Internet at your disposal you can take a virtual garden tour and glean some very useful gardening tips and great small garden design ideas also.

For instance, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town situated on the slopes of Table Mountain is one place on my ‘must do’ list. Youtube and Trip adviser with over 1600 reviews and 480+ images gave me all the info I needed to confirm, I must do this soon.

Even the thought of spring in Paris can elicit a sigh. The combination of great architecture, history and outrageously good food makes Paris one of the most alluring destinations in the world, and garden lovers who visit the “City of Light” in spring can enjoy grand displays in the city’s numerous parks and public gardens.[…]

Hay Fever in the garden

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Hay fever in the garden good plants to haveIs this a British in the garden thing? – The UK has 15 million hay fever sufferers!

I did suffer in the past but not any more. My miraculous cure, from not only Hay Fever but Asthma as well (according to my UK doctor and my symptoms) came when I moved out of the UK.

Drastic I know but most certainly effective. OK, the move away was not brought on by the ailments but the move away did make my ailments disappear.
This is why I ask, is this a British in the garden thing?

I was told, at the age of 50 that I did have asthma and was prescribed the various inhalers that I needed to use regularly. I already knew that Hay Fever was an issue for me as working in Horticulture it had become apparent, early on. If I did not start taking the tablets in early April I knew that runny nose, itchy eyes and that horrible wretched feeling that goes with Hay Fever would follow and would continue for most of the Summer months. Not good for someone making a living from growing plants.

Birch trees, wind pollinated plants, ornamental grasses, ferns, lavender and lilies are the plants to avoid in the garden if you have hay fever and pollens, mould, spores, dust and strong scents will not help if you suffer from asthma according to the article below by David Wilkes in the Daily Mail.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, I went to China – The land of dust, strong scents and plenty of wind pollinated plants.
From the day I arrived and still now nearly 7 years on I have never needed a Hay fever tablet or asthma inhaler – Leaving the UK cured me, overnight – It’s a funny old gardeners world…

And one other thing, my hay fever suffering and asthma got far worse when I lived in East Anglia, UK, the land of oil seed rape and mustard…

Rapeseed pollen contains known allergens. Whether rape pollen causes hay fever has not been well established, because rape is an insect-pollinated (entomophilous) crop, whereas hay fever is usually caused by wind-pollinated plants. The inhalation of oilseed rape dust may cause asthma in agricultural workers.



The fields of the UK seem to have a lot of oilseed rape in them this year (2012). Why?


By David Wilkes PUBLISHED: 17:22 EST, 22 May 2012 | UPDATED: 04:17 EST, 23 May 2012 Both of these gardens look trendy and lush, but there is one important difference. One is a hotbed for hay fever while the other will leave allergy sufferers pleasingly sneeze-free. The trick is […]