There is something endearing and calming about gardens. Aside from contributing to a greener earth, a small patch of garden brings you in tune with nature. A home garden can take on any size, shape or form. Tight-living spaces need not be “green-less” as a group of potted plants accented by a stand-alone water fountain efficiently located in a corner yard is a garden. A pot or two of bonsai arrangements by the window adds a point of interest. Those who are into vertical living have found great opportunities to maximize roof tops for grassless gardens.
A garden need not be professionally done to be called a “garden”. There is no need to buy expensive and exotic plants for a flower garden. There is no need to spend endless hours of labor sprucing up a garden as there is a great variety of low-maintenance plants that require minimal care.
To the avid gardener, landscaping would probably mean picking a spot in the yard to cultivate, planting flowers and shrubs, installing water structures such as wall or center fountain and adding light fixtures. For a bona fide landscape architect, landscaping is more than that. It is not necessary to go deep into the fundamentals of landscaping but there is a need to learn the basics so as to create a soothing and aesthetically-pleasing garden.
Landscape elements such as plants and flowers, cast or carved stone fountains, garden set and other garden accessories must complement each other. Even an immaculately kept garden will not be as restful to look at if one or two components are out of sync. For example, if the garden is a rose garden, a beautiful wall fountain or wooden trellis would blend well. However, incorporating a Japanese-style koi pond will not bode well with a predominantly Victorian rose garden. Some gardens are a hodgepodge of styles but transition from one style to the next should be evident. It is best to choose a theme for the garden and start from there.
A garden is either symmetrical or asymmetrical. Symmetrical balance is easier to achieve for it is merely dividing an area into two equal parts and designing them exactly the same way. This type of design is evident in classical designs. Asymmetrical is more interesting but harder to achieve. It involves balancing different-sized areas with varied landscape elements and garden accessories. An imbalanced garden will not be able to exude peace, tranquility and beauty.
An explosion of color is not always a good thing in a garden such as in a Zen-like garden. Loud and bright colors have the tendency to make the view come forward while cool and light colors make the view recede or move back. A good mix of colors is good for the garden.
Each and every component in the garden must be in direct proportion with the rest of the landscape elements. A rather large water feature has no place in a tight garden area. A smallish wall fountain could be more feasible. A small courtyard is no place to set a large statue or stone pool or a grouping of tall trees. Planting a row of low shrubs in a large area is not viable too. It is best to consider the actual mature heights of plants when planning a garden. Each element in a garden should be linked with each other in terms of its size, texture and type.
A line pertains to the walkways and pathways in a garden. These paths make the flow from one area of the garden to the other flawless, seamless and effortless. A garden should be easily accessible. This means that the path should be clear from any obstruction or structure unless it’s the end of the path. If a garden has a outdoor water fountain, it is best to make you garden around it.
The end goal of knowing all these elements is to create a harmonious garden.