Elements of garden design
Elements of garden design include the layout of hard landscape, such as paths, walls, water features, sitting areas and decking; as well as the plants themselves, with consideration for their horticultural requirements, their season-to-season appearance, life span, growth habit, size, speed of growth, and combinations with other plants and landscape features. Consideration is also given to the maintenance needs of the garden, including the time or funds available for regular maintenance, which can affect the choices of plants regarding speed of growth, spreading or self-seeding of the plants, whether annual or perennial, and bloom-time, and many other characteristics.
The most important consideration in garden design is how the garden will be used, followed closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other structures in the surrounding areas. All of these considerations are subject to the limitations of the budgetary concerns for the particular project and time. Budget limitations can be addressed by a simpler more basic garden style with fewer plants and less costly landscape materials, seeds rather than turf for lawns, and plants that grow quickly; alternatively, garden owners may choose to create their garden over time, area by area, putting more into each section than could be handled all at once.
A garden's location has a substantial influence on the garden design. Many of the great gardens of history and today possess a location that is topographically significant and has a suitable microclimate for plants, a well-designed connection to water, and rich soil. However, a good garden design, one that is well-planned and constructed, can increase the value of the garden more than its location.
The look of the garden can be influenced strongly by the boundary impinges. Planting can be used to modify the boundary line or a line between an area of rough grass and smooth, depending on the size of the plot. Introducing internal boundaries, perhaps in the form of hedges or group of shrubs, can help break up a garden.
Hedges vary their colours throughout the seasons dramatically. Hedges, being strong features in a garden, are often used to divide sections of the garden. However, since they use the moisture and nutrient from the garden soil to grow as well as other plants, they may not be a good choice and may bring a negative effect to the other plants.
Besides the boundaries that are made up of plants like the hedges, walls made up of various materials can be built between regions. There are broadly three types of walling material: stone, either random or coursed, brick, and concrete in its various forms. It is good to determine what colour, size, and texture will be most appropriate for the garden before actually building the wall.
Fencing can offer an alternative solution, if the walls are too solid for the region of the garden. There are several numbers of fence types that can be used for a garden: animal-proof fence for country situations, peep-proof fences for the suburbs, and urban fences that provide shelter from the winds in exposed roof-top gardens and create internal barriers.
Usually, a smooth expanse of lawn is often considered essential to a garden. However, a textured surface “made up of loose gravel, small pebbles, or wood chips is much more satisfactory visually” than a smooth surface. Creating a relaxed feel to a garden is often done by loose surfacing made up of bark chips, pebbles, gravels; also, the various textures, shapes, sizes, colours, and materials of many different paving elements can contribute to making a garden plan pattern and texture, if they are mixed successfully.