Garden-Design Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Irish people have always been proud of their gardens. More than in other parts of Europe, private gardening has long been a passion of so many city and town dwellers. Not for nothing is the English/Irish garden famous around the world for its variety and beauty. In North America, the gradual movement to the suburbs since the 1950s has given the space to spark the trend over there. Learn about garden design.

Gardening is ideally something you come to with an interest and some “green fingers”. If you don’t possess these qualities, don’t worry – there’s so, so much to learn about this great old hobby from a good course. This writer has been blessed with a garden-mad mother so the following guidance is practised as well as preached. It’s meant to give you an idea of just how much you may not know but could get to know about gardening. Now – forks and rakes at the ready !

A good garden, any half-connoisseur will tell you, needs to be well arranged. The trees, flowers, and shrub should work together to create an effect of diversity while at the same time keeping an overall theme. Such gardens typically include a space to grow fruits and vegetables. Trees, shrubs, and other plants are then chosen and placed to make the garden look as attractive as possible throughout the growing season. City dwellers, with less space, are hard pressed and must confine their gardening to tiny backyard plots, flower boxes, terraces, or even rooftops. A building may even have trees growing on the roof.

The starting point of garden design is to get inside the space and create from within – a bit like being inside a piece of sculpture. The developing space needs to evolve to accommodate the use, comfort and pleasure of its creator. The design elements are employed to determine the way space will be perceived. All artists, photographers, painters, weavers, sculptors and yes, garden-makers use these same principles to create something magical.

Line, as in architecture and art, is essential to good gardening and landscaping. In garden design, the form of a line creates a sense of direction and of movement – like the edge of a walkway, the curve of a flower-bed, or the outline of plant materials. Plant shapes, whether pyramidal or round, divide and define the spaces in the garden.

Texture in the garden creates sensual and visual excitement. It is generally read as the mass and void of foliage, bark, or flowers and changes with the light during the day and also with the seasons.

Scent in a garden is often neglected. Introducing a variety of fragrances will bring an extra dimension to the garden. Colour is often a confusing and puzzling design element for many gardeners. On the other hand it seems to be the one and only element some gardeners consider when planning a garden. Yes, it’s a key element in the design of a garden, but many lean on it too much when they’re putting their dream garden together.

A smaller garden will be more dramatic if the colour scheme is kept as simple as possible. And that’s my gardening mother talking And remember what you should have learned in your biology classes – the emotional responses that specific colours typically generate are fascinating; bright reds, yellows, and oranges excite people, while softer blues, pinks, greens, and violets produce a calming, tranquil effect. Gardeners should thus employ an awareness of colour responses when planning garden spaces.

To create a garden space satisfying to your senses and unified with the surrounding environment, gardeners must learn the basic principles of design mentioned above. With these general principles in mind, applied together with the elements of line, form, texture, scent, and colour, a simple garden space can become a work of art.

Coming home to a private garden is a great way for people to rejuvenate after a stressful day at work. Yes, create a place of sanctuary for you if you want to get away from the hectic life in the city!

Create a focal point; place potted plants or planter boxes to draw attention – think ahead on different options, such as evergreen shrubs, to maintain their look year round or seasonal flower plants to update the look once every season. Utilize lighting – use shades to create a mood. Add coloured flowers or plants to enhance the mood.

Display a water feature – water is known to have a psychological effect and helps to renew and heal your mind. Bring nature into your home – incorporate rocks, wood, or other natural elements to create the habitat for you.

Frank Bolger

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