Garden style reflects the personality of the gardener, but what if you don’t know what your style is? Winter is a great time to explore this idea and it is fun to do, too.
While you are looking at beautiful pictures of gardens, you are probably not thinking about the wind and snow that are swirling outside your windows. The more gardens you look at, the easier it will become to identify your own garden style.
Some pictures you will immediately connect to and you’ll find yourself studying every detail. Start a log or better yet a scrapbook to document everything you like. If you are using magazines, cut them up and paste all your favorite pictures in your notebook.
This is a valuable activity whether you’re going to design your garden yourself or have it professionally done. You know that saying: “A picture is worth a thousand words”? That’s why hair dressers always ask you to bring pictures. If you are an amateur, you may not have the right vocabulary to put your vision into reality, but a picture can do it for you.
Which gardens do nothing for you (formal gardens, eclectic gardens, cottage gardens)? Make note of it. Discovering what you don’t like is as important as finding out what you do.
Do you live in a suburban neighborhood, or the city, or do you have wide open spaces surrounding you? The answer to this question will help you to further hone in on your personal style.
I doubt if you randomly chose a neighborhood to live in. What are elements of your neighborhood that caused you to live here in the first place? Do you want to repeat some of those elements in your garden? (brick sidewalks, wrought iron fences, or something more rustic).
Or maybe you truly, hate where you are planted? To use another quote: “Bloom where you are planted”! Do you need a privacy fence or a way to block out undesired vistas? A garden can do that for you. So can a pergola.
Do you crave peace and quiet, or want a place that children feel welcome in? The answers to this question and the ones that follow will help you choose a garden style will meet all your needs.
Do you love water? Maybe you should look into designing a water garden or create a source of moving water through your garden.
Is your greatest love seeing wildlife and birds outside your windows? Cottage gardens or naturalized gardens might be the answer for you.
Do you appreciate symmetry and perfectly trimmed bushes? Perhaps a formal garden is your style. Or do you have or want a beautiful garden sculpture. Your whole garden could be designed around one piece of art.
What about the paths that give you pleasure, are they made of pebbles, or mulch, paving stones, or a mowed path perhaps? Do you love fences, gates, or arbors? Make sure to include one then in your own garden design.
Do you have a funky sense of humor, or like surprises? Use it to your advantage. Hide surprises around corners of your garden, or fill something unexpected with flowers or plants.
Last year in Clarence, NY my sister took some pictures of bicycle gardens. It might have been done by the garden club, but everywhere you went there was an old bicycle leaning next to a fence post or a tree full of annual flowers. this is the kind of garden whimsy that makes a garden your personal space.
Gnomes are not everyone's style. Neither are funky looking birdhouses or weathered tools, but if it's what you love and enjoy looking at then it has a place in your garden.
What colors do you like? Don’t just look for plants in these colors. Paint your garden furniture in your favorite hues. Make sure when you’re buying new patio furniture that it truly is something you love. Before you buy it, sit in it. Close your eyes. Can you picture it in your garden? Will it add to the effect you’re trying to evoke?
If not, move on. The chair of your dreams might be behind the next corner. You may not have to pay a fortune for it either. Do you have something already that could be refurbished to meet your needs?
We are all creative. Maybe your creative juices are a little blocked, but they can be revived with a little work, and you’ll be the one that benefits from the effort.
Hopefully gardening with Julie will help you to discover your own garden style and when you do, I hope you will share it with us. I’d love to see your personal garden style. Below are pictures to help get you started dreaming about your own garden.
If your garden style includes roses visit
Growing Roses With Rose Works
Growing Roses in your own Garden...complete instructions, help and guidance on all things to do with growing roses successfully, including “how to” newsletter and free books to download.
Gardening for Children
Sharons Cottage Garden
The Park Street Inn Garden
Gardening for Nature
Cutting Flower Garden
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