There are times when you walk into a garden and immediately feel right at home. On the other hand, there may also be instances when, no matter how neatly manicured and cared-for a garden is, there’s just something about it that doesn’t sit right with you.
Gardens have personalities, too. If you’re thinking about starting your own, it’s a good idea to learn which one matches your personality so that you can live in harmony with it for a long time. When you figure out particular moods and energy you want to convey, you can design a garden with relative ease.
The calm and serene soul
People who want to relax in their garden have no use for fussy, showy plants that distract with their leaves, branches, blooms, pungent aroma…or upkeep. If a plant makes you stare at it and notice its small imperfections and flaws (and your fingers immediately itch to trim or put things right with gardening tools), then that plant probably shouldn’t be in your garden. This means no exotics like Venus fly-traps, plants that are difficult to grow and maintain such as laboriously shaped hedges, blooms or fruit that give out strong scents, and plants sensitive to too much heat or cold.
The good news is that green in itself is a color that relaxes the eyes and encourages serenity. You can’t go wrong with perennials and evergreens because they’re dependable and hardy. Select plants that thrive in most seasons, do not require a lot of cleaning up and trimming, and will not give you grief as far as upkeep goes. Undemanding succulents, forest grass, most vines, and graceful lilies can become points of contemplation whenever you need to quiet your mind.
The creative collector
On the other hand, if you want to draw energy from your garden, you can fill it up with color, texture, scents, and shapes. If you have a collection of unique trinkets to complement your garden, even better! A nice pottery, jar, basket, or even wine bottle collection can bring out your plants’ natural beauty when artfully arranged in vignettes all over your garden. Intersperse pieces with bright blooms of peonies, cannas, or dahlia, and exotic scents of lilies and roses to truly pique the senses.
Lanterns can be beautifully showcased in a back yard, and would look especially romantic at night for outdoor dinner parties. The secret in showcasing your creativity and your collection lies in muted curation – both for keepsakes and plants. Select a common denominator among the pieces you want to display, and build your vignettes from there. For instance, an old teapot can be used as a container for small cacti or blooms, or a basket can become a pretty repository for freshly-cut herbs or flowers.
The whimsical individual
Gardens that inspire imagination typically include arches, trellises, gazebos, topiaries, a water feature, and sculptural elements or two. Got a set of garden gnomes or a flock of plastic pink flamingos? Bring them out and let them invade your garden for a true wonderland setting. You can go with a particular theme so you won’t end up overwhelming your garden with a hodgepodge of features. You can also choose to decorate by season, and let the colors of winter, spring, summer, and autumn guide you in your gardening design color and texture palette.
Sinewy topiaries and shaped hedges can become semi-permanent features of a whimsical garden. The same goes for garden trellises and gazebos – these take time, imagination, and devotion to accomplish a playful effect. A quaint garden may look effortless, but bear in mind that the most whimsical gardens are often products of professional gardening and laborious work to accomplish.