Create garden

Create garden

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The purpose of this page is to give joy and satisfaction to anyone who owns a piece of land, even a small one, to design their own garden.
A beautiful garden is not born by chance, it is the harmonious whole of many elements: from the hedges, the lawn, patches of trees and shrubs, to gates, fences, access roads, walls and stairs.
Creating a garden means putting it all together in a pleasing aesthetic way, in harmony with the place and with the style of the house, but above all practical and easy to maintain. In the design of a garden, it is primary to consider the environment in which the land is inserted. The climate, the landscape, the vegetal typologies present change a lot as we move along our peninsula, and the garden should integrate perfectly and harmoniously into them. We also know that the same will be influenced by the surrounding natural framework whether it is in the country or in the city.
Therefore, before setting out to design it, it is good to observe all the elements that make up the surrounding landscape: the native vegetation, the typical materials, the local traditions, the uses and also the other gardens. All this will serve to achieve the purpose of creating something harmonious.
It is obvious that a garden will have to reflect the tastes of the owner and his needs and integrate perfectly with the house, to avoid following the fashions of the moment and stereotyped projects but very distant to us.
Last but not least the budget; It is good to design according to one's own financial availability even a garden in which you think you are investing little can be beautiful, provided that it is designed and built with care. Everything has its place ... The relationship between garden and environment is very narrow: the climatic factors, the local vegetation etc, act in a decisive way on the appearance of the garden but above all they condition the choice of the elements that will compose it.
It is important to create something that blends perfectly with the spirit of the place so as not to give rise to "fractures" or the classic "punch in the eye".
It must be remembered that every place has its own style: for example, if you are in the countryside, you will have to observe the type of vegetation present, the course of the land, the colors of the houses and in addition the type of agricultural cultivation (if present) and external furnishings (dry stone walls, terracing etc.). The same places should suggest what to do and observing them should give us the right inspiration. The use of plants belonging to the local vegetation may be appropriate for the creation of hedges, to make the transition between landscape and garden less rough.
Nevertheless, if the garden is located in the city: in this case the style and time of construction of the house, the prevailing architectural features, the existence or otherwise of a typical garden in the area or if the garden itself is to be observed visible from the street, as the only gardens that give freedom to our artistic sense are only those completely closed and surrounded by walls, almost forming "secret gardens". The climate profoundly influences the characteristics of the places. The main climatic factors to be taken into account in the study of a garden are: the rigor and duration of winter, the intensity of the sun in summer, the strength and direction of the winds, and rainfall. It is important to know, not only how many are in winter, but also how long they last; when, and if, it is subject to frost and late frosts.
Do not underestimate the WIND, which increases the effect of the cold and dries the plants in the summer (increases transpiration): therefore, before making changes in a garden, it is necessary to consider whether the layout of the existing plants is not already in protection from prevailing winds.
The amount of rainfall and the seasonal pattern greatly influence the structure of the garden, even the infrastructures to be used (walkways, arcades, gazebos, pergolas), not to mention the plants: for example, never use water-loving plants in dry places. even if you have an excellent irrigation system, they would never grow at their best.
Snow must also be taken into consideration: if it is in places where it snows frequently, the use of persistent leaf plants should be limited. Important SUMMER temperatures: in hot climates it will be advisable to create a shady place.
Remember that the structure of the territory greatly influences the climate: a hill can shelter from the winds, the lake mitigates the rigor of winter, the city is warmer thanks to heating (if the temperature is higher the frosts will be less frequent). We must start from the assumption of what is good to see and what is better to hide; if a landscape is particularly beautiful it is necessary to organize the garden in such a way as to guide the eye on what is considered interesting. If you have a lawn, you will let it go towards the desired direction, while the bushes or shrubs will be planted in places where there is nothing to see; even the vases can serve the purpose, but you must be careful not to insert important objects in such a way as to capture the attention of the beholder. The view should not be underlined only when overlooking hills, lakes or the sea; even details can become important parts in an overview, for example a group of trees, a centenarian plant etc.
Even if a garden is in the city, it may have points of interest: for example, if you look at particular architectural elements (bell tower, a beautiful building, etc.), you can study it in order to enhance it and make it a center of interest. worth it if everything becomes a unique thing. If what we consider interesting is outside the garden, it is worth emphasizing it by creating a garden-landscape continuity, perhaps using native species to create a fence.
If the scene or the detail appears to be far away, then it should be framed with plants or pergolas so as to guide the eye towards that point (eg a beautiful cypress) foto1. Sometimes, however, we feel the need to hide something ugly: to achieve this goal we must not always resort to hedges or rows of plants, it may be sufficient to ensure that the attention remains within the garden itself (via particular objects).
Remember that when you want to hide something unpleasant, an object works better near the viewer than a distant one, and therefore it can also be smaller photo 2 Each garden is unique: it is appropriate to look at the elements and features that you want to change .
First you need to measure the size of the land, as you need to adapt the project to the space you have available. If the garden is small, we can make it look great simply by limiting the plants to the peripheral area and leaving a nice free lawn in the middle. If, on the other hand, the ground is rather large (for example, a country garden), it becomes quite difficult to keep it tidy, but we can act like this: delimit with a small hedge, a border or simply some vases, the surface we can take care of, considering the rest as part of the landscape. If the space is small, the association of two or more different styles is not recommended, while it is the right solution to move a large garden. It indicates the type of terrain (regular, irregular, bumpy position, etc.): the error is that of wanting at all costs to adopt situations in sharp contrast with the place.
A rigid and regular design on a lively surface is absurd as well as wanting to create irregularity on a completely flat surface. Instead, the particularities of the place can be exploited as a source of inspiration: important modifications must be made only if it is not possible to use the ground differently. For example, if it is very steep, you will have to build terraces. It is therefore preferable that the structure and style of a garden adapt to the slopes, to the reliefs and to the existing floors. So you can find alternative solutions for projects that are difficult to carry out: for example, on flat land you can alternate paved areas with interstices between them, where you can plant the same rock garden species. For example, you can accentuate certain characteristics of the terrain that you particularly like using plants, or if you want to mask a slope, you will plant at the base quite high species (photo 1) while if you want to enhance a hill, the tall species will be planted at summit (photo 2).

The approach will be different depending on whether the garden is old (and neglected) or new. In the first case you will have to exploit what already exists, perhaps embellishing it and improving it, in the second case you will instead have to decide how to set it. It is always advisable to keep existing trees in the garden, if in good condition, and especially if they are secular specimens, enhancing them and making them stand out. Often, the reason for which they were planted does not appear immediately, but they can protect against cold winds, hide unpleasant views or noisy roads. Moreover it must be considered that it takes many years to have an adult tree !!!
Many shrubs can be made "reborn" if subjected to a wise pruning: in these cases it is important to rely on experts.
If the plant is old and suffering then also dangerous, it is good not to be taken by too many scruples and to provide to cut them as soon as possible.
Many others can be the elements present in a garden that can be enhanced in order to restore charm to the garden itself. If instead the garden is of new creation it is important to observe the ground: often, being part of a newly built house, it can consist for the most part of construction debris. It would be good to remove them immediately and replace them with a layer of 30-40 cm of "good" earth, so as to ensure that the garden immediately takes hold and immediately doing so does not affect the costs and the mechanical means would not cause great damage. By microclimate we mean the set of climatic conditions of a small area of ​​land. This can be the same even in two adjacent gardens. The neighboring buildings, a group of trees, a hill, depending on their position can protect from the wind or create a shadow that can significantly change the temperature. An orientation to the south and on a slope will be more sunny than a flat one; if on top of a hill it will be warmer than one located at the foot of the same as, as we know, the cold air tends to go down. Moreover, the prevailing winds can be mitigated by a hedge, while made stronger by walls. In fact, when the wind encounters a fixed obstacle (eg a wall) (fig.3) it creates very strong turbulences which generally damage the plants; a hedge is therefore preferable (fig.4). The plants themselves create a microclimate: some, for example, prevent the formation of frost.

The important thing is, therefore, when we design our garden, consider whether it has a particular microclimate (for good or bad), as it will preserve us from any disappointments.

Fig 3
Fig 4
Often the same garden is not exposed in the same way and therefore the needs are very different. Let's look at them in detail:
· NORTH: it is not as tragic as we think because the garden does not undergo abrupt temperature variations or sudden frosts, as it heats up and cools very slowly;
· SOUTH: it is always exposed to the sun, so it is the best in cold areas, in hot areas it is good to provide some shelter;
· EAST: receives sun from morning until early afternoon. The defect is that it heats up quickly, but it cools down just as quickly. It is subject to late frosts and is not suitable for plants with early blooms and fruit trees;
· WEST: the garden is very hot in summer, but cold in winter; it adapts to plants that love the sun but better if rustic.
These differences may, however, not be so marked. Well, this aspect will have to be considered, since the garden will have to be fenced in the best way and delicate and rare plants will not be planted in places habitually frequented by animals.

How many $ do we have available?

And now we have to deal with the budget! These accounts are good to do at the beginning, so as not to leave the jobs in the middle. It is therefore important to get serious quotes from equally serious companies, setting the amount you want to spend a priori.
It is important to note that the garden is an investment that increases the value of the house, so it is worthwhile to make it pleasant for a future interest. Even if we have a landscaped garden with rare plants etc., it will never be completely successful if it is in sharp contrast to the style of the house. There should always be a very close link between the style of the garden, the plants, the house in order to create a homogeneous environment. The plants near the house should enhance and be valued in turn. For example, if a house has dark-colored walls, they should be cheered up by plants with light and bright foliage, whereas if the walls are light, plants with deep green foliage are better. If the house is long, it can be enhanced by planting tall trees on one side, and shrubs on the other. If the house has its own location in a precise era, the garden must adapt to the style in vogue at that time.
On the practical side, since the garden must also be lived, it is good to create paths and resting places, made of the same material with which the house was built. Often we let ourselves be enthused by the garden seen in a magazine or during a walk and we want to recreate it exactly like that. At this point we learn to ask ourselves some fundamental questions:

1. WHO WILL USE THE GARDEN? Depending on whether it is a young couple with many friends or a couple with children, or an elderly couple, the needs are very different;

2. IS IT A MAIN OR SECONDARY HOUSE? If it is principal, the garden will have to be taken care of all the time of the year, looking for plants that bloom in every season (winter included). If it is secondary, do you go only at weekends or in summer? In this case it is good to concentrate the blooms in the period in which you go and you must discard all the elements that would remain unused (pergolas in places where you go in winter etc.);

3. HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU HAVE? That is how much time you are willing to devote to the care and maintenance of the garden, reasoning without getting caught up in enthusiasm. The best result, however, remains that which uses the species suited to the climate, to exposure, to the terrain in which they must grow.



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