Country garden: what is your style?
We believe that your garden really mirrors you.
Spring and Summer are such beautiful times of the year: the air is warming, trees and flowers are budding and you are no doubt forming your summer holiday plans as well. Such a time of year drives us outside to shake off the winter blues and enjoy the sunshine and the garden!
We believe that your garden really mirrors you! It is of course the first impression to friends and family, but more importantly, it is for you to enjoy! After all, your garden is your own place to relax, your own private sanctuary, the place where you can unwind and take time out.
So, what style of garden suits you? Do you crave the quiet serenity of well-trimmed hedges, manicured lawns, stone walls and graceful arches and fountains? This is what we call a ‘formal’ country garden. Such a garden has its origins in the English manor of the 19th century. It is traditional yet sophisticated, mostly symmetrical and focusing heavily on greenery, with most plants being perennial. Hedges lining driveways, paths and other garden features set visual boundaries, while creating a definite air of grandeur and class.
The formal style tends to follow the home’s lines and appearance and there is usually a central focal feature from which everything else takes its cue – an example may be hedges and paths all leading to and surrounding a beautiful old tree, garden pond or bench seat. Go all the way with this style by incorporating geometrical patterns, defined by hedges and block plantings. But remember, when developing this style every line should have a central axis with a balanced arrangement of elements on either side.
This is the style of garden that has no rules or regulations and works easily with three winning design elements: suspense, mystery and surprise. Such a garden is, in its own way, a hive of activity, where each and every area has its own secrets and special meaning. Shrubs and plants are no longer in straight lines and well-ordered shapes, but are allowed to grow where they are most happy, jostling about each other to spill out over paths, walls and terraces. Old brick and stone-edged beds are home to an abundance of colour – the adept gardener will contrive to have flowers blooming all year round, attracting birds and butterflies to the garden. It is here that we may well find a rustic wooden gate through which we pass to enter the orchard or vegetable and herb garden. The possibilities are endless, with the only boundary being the extent of your own creativity.
Do you lean towards a more contemporary and minimalistic style of garden? Such a garden has neat tidy spaces, manicured lawns, concreted paths and often features materials and objects for effect rather than abundant planting schemes. This style is ideal if you lead a busy lifestyle and have other commitments and interests more demanding than the garden. Water, wood, metal and glass often feature in modern gardens, with pebbles or crushed stone as the filler in garden beds and architectural outdoor entertaining areas. Such modern style is easy to maintain, with plants often featuring grasses, flax and conifers. It is easy to create such a garden, especially if your space is at a premium and you want maximum usability.
There are many other garden styles, both formal and informal, from which you can take endless inspiration. Maybe you fancy the Mediterranean style with its terracotta pots and pavers, or the classical nostalgia of the rambling country estate? Whatever your choice, you are never wrong in what you design or plant. It is altogether your choice. Today our lives are so busy, so much time is spent following procedures and mission statements and waiting on phone-calls that it is important not to carry these annoyances into your country garden. It is your space. Relax, enjoy.
To help you with the first step on your journey to finding the ‘ideal country garden for you’, make yourself a cup of coffee and spend some time viewing these links we have found useful.
Here are links to 3 ‘ideabooks’ we have created to help you get started:
This site is fantastic for gardening tips and ideas, including videos, an iPhone app for the garden lover and even a ‘virtual garden’ creator! Have a go!:
Main site: https://www.yates.com.au/
Virtual Garden: https://www.yates.com.au/garden-club/virtual-garden
iPhone or iPad app: https://www.yates.com.au/feature/yates-iphone-problem-solver-app
Also, take time to visit local botanic and public gardens for inspiration and information about what plants will grow well in your area. A little local knowledge is invaluable. Private gardens are also valuable places to visit. Take lots of photos, sketch your ideas and talk to your local nursery about what you want your garden to be. Generally speaking, garden owners are only too willing to share their experience and knowledge with you – just remember that like you, they had to make a start somewhere.