MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN THE GARDEN

A point that might be noted here is that any garden design should be suited to the architecture of the house. Modern styles of architecture are severe in outline and “stream-lined.” A corresponding stream-line effect can be obtained in the garden—or at least in that part of it which is nearest to the house—by using broad flat stretches of grass, divided by straight or slightly curved paths, the grass being edged with a 4-in. Wall of cement. Formal clipped shrubs or pyramid conifers would be the best subjects to associate with the grass in this section.

PATH DESIGNING

Paths should be at least wide enough for two people to walk abreast along them, and in the small garden it is better to make the paths straight than winding, as sharp curves in a path tend to become irritating. Also, in the small garden, a long straight path can be utilized to create a pretty vista, either by making herbaceous borders along each side of the pathway, or by roofing the pathway with a series of arches or a light pergola, covered with climbing plants. In making screens between one portion of the garden and another, the importance of vistas should never be forgotten. It is possible to create the impression of long distance in a very small space by suitable placing of screens, arches and other features.

At this stage, in the larger garden, the making of an approach to the house must be thought out very carefully. If there is a garage, a drive must be laid from the roadway to the garage itself, and where there is room, it is also advisable to allow sufficient space for the car to be drawn up immediately in front of the entrance. It should also be possible for the car to be turned round, or reversed into the garage with ease. To allow for the turning of the car, a circular space of twenty yards across (minimum) is necessary.

A suggestion for making and placing a car drive will be seen in the specimen plans. Apart from the points already mentioned, the designer should remember that it is essential, for the garden upkeep, to be able to wheel a barrow easily to every part of the garden, and well-made service paths are therefore of prime importance. It should also be possible to store fertilizers and tools, and provision must be made for easy access to the shed in which these are stored, both from the house and from the main road.

With these points in mind the details of the garden design can be sketched on the plan.

On the artistic side, the points to remember are that simplicity in design is always more effective than fussiness, and that nothing can be really beautiful which appears inappropriate, or which is badly managed. By this last point is meant that if labour is short the garden should be so planned as to be easily managed by the members of the household in their spare time.

LABOUR-SAVING DESIGNS

Certain types of gardens require far more attention than others. For instance, grass needs constant cutting and rolling, and although this can be done with a minimum of labour by the use of efficient tools, it is nevertheless important that it should not be neglected at any time. If regular attention is not possible, therefore, the amount of lawn in the garden scheme should be a minimum, and features that could be substituted would be paved areas, or banks of shrubs, either of which only need a minimum of care. Of certain types need very careful and constant attention, while others (such as the boldly planned rock and water garden) can be left for long periods without attention.

A mixed flower and shrub border can be arranged that will need attention only perhaps four or five times during the year, while herbaceous or annual flower borders need weekly hoeing and weeding, staking and trimming, to keep them in condition.

As a guide to the novice, the various types of gardens may be roughly arranged in the following order, beginning with those that are most easy to manage. (1) Mixed shrub borders and paved paths, with shelters, formal pools and stone ornaments. (2) Lawn and shrub borders. (3) Wild gardens. (4) Rock and water gardens (not that include rare alpines). (5) Rose gardens. (6) Formal gardens with seasonal bedding (if bedding plants are always bought). (7) Fruit gardens. (8) Vegetable gardens. (9) Formal gardens with seasonal bedding, accompanied by green- house and frames, so that plants are raised from seed. (10) Alpine gardens (including an alpine glasshouse). (n) Mixed gardens—with herbaceous borders, seasonal beds, rockery, frames, etc.

MATERIALS FOR CONSTRUCTION

The various materials used in the construction of gardens are dealt with in detail under other headings, but a few general principles should be kept in mind even while the first sketch of the garden is being made.

Any stone or brickwork used in the small garden should be such as will harmonize with the existing materials of the house. This does not mean that exactly the same type of brick must be used for the paths as for the walls of the house, but only that the harmony of the whole must be kept in view whenever new materials are bought.

LINK THE SECTIONS

Then again, some effort should be made to keep to the use of similar material in every part of the small garden. For instance, if rectangular flagstones are used for a formal section near the house, the same material is best for the path that continues down the centre of the vegetable garden. This will look from the house as if it were an extension of the flower garden, adding apparent size and distance, and will be far more harmonious than if the flagged paths ceased with the formal garden, and gravel or soil were used for the continuation. Paths from the vegetable plot that are not seen from the flower garden can, of course, be of different material. The most important thing to remember is that each section of the garden should be successfully linked with the next.

In the same way if a pergola leads from the house door it will look best if the material harmonizes in some way with the material used for the house, or where this is not possible, the link may be made by planting similar climbers over the pergola to those over the house porch.

Should the house be surrounded by a paved portion, finished with a low terraced wall, the stone or brick used for the terraced wall should harmonize with that of the house, and any other stone work in the immediate vicinity of this terrace should be of similar material.

When all these points have been decided, the sketch plan should be completed to show the exact position of each feature, indicating the material to be used, and also the plants that will be required for the furnishing of beds and borders. As each garden will have its own particular problem, it is not possible to give the exact order in which the work should be undertaken, but the ideal method of planning a garden where there is a shortage of labour, and the garden cannot be made all at once, is to have a detailed sketch of the whole, and then to start on the most essential features first, dividing the work over a period of three or four seasons. For instance, where the gardener intends at some later period to specialize on roses and to lay down flagged or grass paths between small geometrical beds, he may not be able to complete this section hurriedly He may then, possibly, use the site of the intended rose garden during the first season for the cultivation of a crop of potatoes. This serves a double purpose. It frees the plot of weeds and also of pests such as wire-worms.

And breaks up the soil so that it is in good condition for easy working. Meanwhile, more time can be given to the development of the other parts of the garden in a permanent manner.

04. September 2013 by admin
Categories: Fruit Gardening, Kitchen Gardens, Uncategorized, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on MODERN ARCHITECTURE IN THE GARDEN

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