The Plant Professionals
16886 Turner Street
Lansing, MI 48906
Fax: (517) 327-0299
8 a.m.- 5 p.m. M-F
Also by Appointment
What Is Your Landscape Style?
Winter is great time to plan your garden style, so you are ready for action when the planting season begins. You can pick one style for your entire landscape, or mix styles for different areas of the yard. My house has large cottage gardens in the front, and I am working on a Japanese garden in the back of my home.
Cottage-style gardens are informal and profusely planted. They have a seemingly random and carefree form. Cottage gardens often make me think of a Thomas Kinkade painting. This style of gardening originated in England, with workers that lived in the village cottages. The gardens provided food, herbs, and flowers.
Formal gardens are highly organized. This type of garden is characterized by straight lines, geometric forms, symmetry, and a central axis, usually leading to the house. This style of garden is inspired by Roman architecture. Formal gardens have a strong sense of structure, often delineated with hedges, walls, and paths.
Informal gardens are designed with curving, instead of straight lines. The idea is to mimic nature. The curving lines should serve to soothe the eye with loose, flowing forms, but if you put too many curves into the garden the design may become busy. Rhythm and flow is created by repeating plants and shapes. A rule of thumb is to group plants in clumps of three or more. This is the most common style of garden in mid-Michigan
Japanese gardens are becoming more popular, although they can be harder to create. These gardens provide an oasis of serenity in what seems a chaotic world. Japanese garden are meant to be both a visual and spiritual experience. The main elements of Japanese gardens are trees, shrubs, water, and stone. Traditionally Japanese gardens have a small structure at the heart of the garden which looks out over the rest of the garden.
These are just a few of the many examples of the many garden styles.
When I meet with a client for their design consultation, one of the most important steps is to find what style that best suits their needs. I would not suggest a formal garden for a client that wants low maintenance, nor would I suggest a cottage garden for a arts and crafts home. I love helping each person define and develop their own personal design style. With the amazing selection of plants to choose from, the fun and challenge is working out a design and plant list that looks beautiful and grows well in your space. We can help you create your own personal paradise this spring.
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