Friday, January 9, 2015

Garden styles

The smaller the garden - the more it needs a distinctive 'theme’ to link the various plants and design elements. When you are deciding on a style, think about the way you want to use the garden and the amount of work involved in maintenance so you pick one that’s right for you.
Cottage garden
A cottage garden is a good style for an enthusiast who wants to shoe-horn lots of different plants into the space.
Use a mixture of traditional perennials, old-fashioned hardy annuals or roses and wild flowers, with fruit and vegetables, and native species of trees and shrubs.
You don’t need a quaint 'olde worlde' cottage as this style of garden suits most traditional houses.
Five plants for a cottage garden
Shrub rose, Rosa 'Fantin Latour'
Meadow cranesbill, Geranium pratenses 'Mrs Kendall Clarke'
Verbena, Verbena bonariensis
Japanese anemone, Anemone x hybrida 'Whirlwind'
Lavender, Lavandula 'Sawyers'
Contemporary garden
Contemporary gardens tend to be minimalist, so you don’t need a lot of plants.
Strong shapes and textures are essential. Grasses are great.
This style suits 'un-fussy' modern houses, roof gardens and trendy batchelor pads.
Five plants for a contemporary garden
Black bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra
Lily turf, Ophiopogon planiscapis 'Nigrescens'
Blue fescue, Festuca glauca
Mountain Flax, Phormium cookianum subsp. hookeri 'Cream Delight'
Wormwood, Artemisia 'Powis Castle'
Formal garden
Formal gardens have a classic look with lots of straight lines or geometrical shapes.
Choose traditional flowers with tasteful colours.
This style is often seen at heritage homes, but you can slip a formal 'garden room’ into all sorts of gardens.
Five plants for a formal garden
Bear's breeches, Acanthus mollis
Ornamental onion, Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation'
Coral flower, Heuchera micrantha var. diversifolia 'Palace Purple'
Regal lily, Lilium regale
Lady's mantle, Alchemilla mollis
Formal Garden
Informal garden
This is an easy-going style that makes a good family garden, providing something for everyone.
Go for easily grown, low maintenance and child- friendly plants such as shrubs, ground cover and a specimen tree for the lawn.
A real go-anywhere garden, ideal for the suburbs and estates.
Five plants for an informal garden
Crab apple, Malus x zumi var. calocarpa 'Golden Hornet'
Weeping birch, Betula pendula 'Youngii'
Hebe, Hebe pinguifolia 'Pagei'
Viburnum, Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Anne Russell'
Box, Buxus sempervirens
informal garden
Gravel garden
A gravel garden is the stylish solution to a hot, sunny site with stony ground, but it also makes a good, low-maintenance garden.
Choose naturally drought-tolerant plants, including aromatic evergreen Mediterranean types.
This type of garden works well in a small, enclosed space like a courtyard, or as part of a patio garden.
Five plants for a gravel garden
Felt leaf ceanothus, Ceanothus arboreus 'Trewithan Blue'
Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis
Cotton lavender, Santolina chamaecyparissus 'Lemon Queen'
Variegated thyme, Thymus vulgaris 'Silver Posie'
Euphorbia, Euphorbia characias subsp wulfenii
Water garden
Waterside plants make a good backdrop to a pond, or you can turn a 'difficult’ damp patch into a bog garden.
A water garden is great for bog plants and moisture-loving perennials. It will make a sensational feature for a natural garden, or at the bottom of a traditional or family garden.
Five plants for a water garden
Giant rhubarb, Gunnera manicata
Ligularia, Ligularia przewalskii
Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia
Kingcup, Caltha palustris
Plantain lily, Hosta 'Frances Williams'
Natural/wild garden
A natural garden is like your own personal slice of countryside outside the backdoor.
Use native plant species for a wild garden look, or butterfly and bee plants to encourage wildlife. Alternatively mix suitable flowers with grasses for a fashionable prairie garden or wildflower meadow.
This garden style makes a trendy feature within a larger garden, or for an entire small garden and suits any style of house.
Five plants for a natural/wild garden
Purple filbert, Corylus maximas 'Purpurea'
Wild cherry, Prunus avium 'Plena'
Globe thistle, Echinops bannaticus 'Taplow Blue'
Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea
Foxglove, Digitalis purpurea
Tropical garden
Tropical planting makes use of popular exotic plants. It is fashionable and ideal for a small, enclosed town garden or a 'secret’ garden.
Five plants for a tropical garden
Honey bush, Melianthus major
African blue lily, Agapanthus africanus
Blue marguerite, Felicia amelloides 'Santa Anita'
Chusan palm, Trachycarpus fortunei
Trachelospermum, Trachelospermum asiaticum