Guide to The Styles of Gardens to Suit Your Landscaping Design

I have been struggling for years with working out what to do with the design of my Australian bush region garden.

I no longer have the rich soil and temperate climate of the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, where I had a healthy green thumb.

Nowadays, I struggle with barren and clay soil, heat waves, drought with resultant water restrictions, and workout out what plants best survive in this region.

So I have had to do some research over the years, and I can say that my garden is starting to show its potential... it is a little bit Country, and a little bit Rock and ... well ... whatever basically can survive up here - lol!

There are many styles and elements you can incorporate into your landscaping designs to achieve the look and feel you want.

You can create something completely unique or you can use some standard garden styles as your base.

This article will give you a general idea of the styles and elements in a Cottage garden, a Japanese garden and a Courtyard garden.

Knowing about different garden styles can definitely put you in the right direction when planning your own landscape design.

The Cottage Garden

The cottage garden originated in England and was brought to the New England settlement after America was formed.

It is often small, very crowded with blooming flowers, and somewhat unstructured.

The cottage garden will use lots of color, various heights in plantings with tall flowering shrubs in the backdrop.

These are mostly single color variations, like red or white, but can be mixed with a variety of colors.

Shorter, flowering plants will go in front of the backdrop. These are usually complimentary colored flowers that blend well with the shrubs in the background.

Often times a cottage garden will have a white picket fence involved, which adds to the charm of this type of garden.

Other elements in a cottage garden can be various climbing vegetables and plants. Many people even grow herbs in their cottage garden.

The cottage garden is most well known for being a loose, flowing garden that needs very little pruning.

I have used this as a basic design plan for my garden, so while there are some formal courtyard features, I'm trying to incorporate some natural blooming aspects of the cottage garden.

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese garden is more of a quiet sanctuary where you can meditate, practice yoga or just relax. It is generally an enclosed garden and is very simplified in design.

In fact, it will almost appear as if its design is random, but it is usually asymmetrical and its design is actually well thought out for a meditative type purpose.

The Japanese garden will contain only a few plantings and contain very little color.

The general atmosphere of this garden is its appeal instead of breathtaking beauty.

This is why this type of garden is very functional as a place to meditate and be alone with ones self.

One of the unique features of the Japanese garden is its incorporation of artifacts and structures.

These do not have to be true, expensive artifacts of the past, but you do want to go for an old, weathered look.

Other great features include the use of a full sized statue and a stone water basin.

Instead of going all out or using many miniature statues, the Japanese garden will often contain one piece that is quite large.

I find this style very challenging, but I have noticed that a lot of Australian bush gardens are starting to use the basic planning of the Japanese garden, by using drought resistant plants and grasses, in beds of light colored gravel and so on.

The Courtyard Garden

The Courtyard garden is very popular in places like California and Mexico. They create an oasis cut off from the desert landscape of those areas.

Most of them can be entered from different rooms of the home, almost as if going out onto a patio.

They are very popular with Spanish architecture and usually contain some type of water fountain or even a waterfall.

The Courtyard garden should be very lush, offer a lot of fragrance and an abundance of color.

Some designs contain tropical-like plants that can adapt themselves to the region, plus with the installation of a water system, these types of plants can do well or be planted next to a small water garden inside the courtyard.

Another great feature of the Courtyard garden is the use of colored tiles or paving stones set in natural patterns so they blend in well with the landscape.

Before you begin designing your own landscape, look at several pictures of these styles of garden to discover which best suits your needs, your taste and your style.

With good planning you may even be able to use elements from all three of these types of gardens.

I love the color impact and lushness of courtyard gardens, and I also try to include some of the more formal planning aspects of my garden planning... In fact, I probably have ended up using some of all the above!

Whatever you decide to do with your landscaping, remember it's a process that works best in stages and needs to be planned out as much as possible.

I have put some more gardening tips for beginners online here on my squid pages, and I'll also be publishing some really helpful gardening books soon - ENJOY!

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