Garden design is a component of landscape design that marries the beauty of nature with the artistry behind incorporating different elements such as grass, trees, hedges, florals, plants, and even water, to compose an aesthetic that ties into the home or structure that it accents. Gardens may take the form of visual artistry, such as rose gardens and ornamental plant accents, or they may be edible, such as herbs and plants for consumption (or a combination of both).
Garden design does not exist solely within its own realm – it affects the context of its space as well. Think of a home (or even a public space) with beautiful landscaping and gardening on its front lawn: it completely changes the appearance of the home. In addition, a home with a beautified garden in the backyard provides a tranquil respite, no matter how small or large it is.
It’s not just about making things looks pretty: garden design must incorporate the conditions of the environment and the soil (or lack thereof) available to the space to determine what will thrive with minimal maintenance.
We don’t all live on sprawling acres of land – in fact, some of us live in congested cities with limited space – but that does not mean we can’t enjoy the calming effects of gardens. Modern garden design has changed (quite literally) the landscape of city spaces with vertical gardens that combine botany with artistry, transforming urban spaces into green spaces.
In suburban areas where open space is more available, residential spaces with even minimal amounts of land to spare can host beautiful small gardens, from bright rose gardens to small nooks that incorporate pottery and rockery.
Garden design may utilize design pavers, specialized sand or mulch, pottery, and rockery to enhance its design. Rockery designs for small gardens can often serve a dual purpose: providing a visual enhancement in addition to uneven slopes in their yards. Gardens boasting rock beds are often especially easy to maintain – partitioning the space off with rocks allows you to tend to the garden within the space easily, while providing a clear barrier to outside elements, such as lawnmowers cutting the grass around the garden bed.
For the floral lovers, a rose garden is not out of reach – there exists an endless variety of roses that make it possible to find at least a few that will flourish in whatever space and soil you’re designing. Roses, like many other florals, can take the form of climbers, shrubs, and planted in containers, and can be combined with like-soiled perennials, self-sowing annuals, and even herbs as bedfellows that will not only enhance the soil around it but also provide beautiful accentuation without stealing the show.
If you can spare the space, and the time to maintain them, boxwoods encircling or accenting your rose garden are a beautiful, classical option that will add a luxurious aesthetic to the garden, regardless of its size.
A small garden space also provides an opportunity to grow your own herbs, and, when the soil and sun are right, vegetables, fruits, and/or berries. Being able to harvest your own edibles ensures that you know exactly the source they’re coming from (you!) and have complete control over what pesticides (if any) are used. In addition, certain herbs actually serve as excellent pest repellants (to other flowers as well as to us humans) – lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, and basil are just a few examples of pretty, edible, and functional herbs that can be added to your garden.
Featuring a small garden in your home does not need to break the bank – generally, plants that are easiest to maintain in your climate are more cost-effective (as they are more readily available within your geographic location), and if you are unfamiliar with gardening yourself, you can hire a garden or landscape designer to build out the garden for you so that you are able to maintain it yourself once planted and established.
The possibilities are endless: you may want an endless array of colors or just varying shades of green. You may want to use your garden as a division for space in your yard or to take over the whole landscape. Whether your small garden takes the form of a classic rose garden, a maze of herbs, sculpted shrubs, colorful perennials, or even a zen rock and sand garden with minimal florals, it will undoubtedly bring more visual value to your home.