TYPES OF GARDENS FOR HOUSING ESTATES
Let us now consider the various types of garden which the ordinary amateur gardener may wish to make. They may occupy the whole garden, each being suitable for aplot such as that available on the average housing estate, or they may be merely sections of a larger garden. It is desirable for every garden-maker to have a theme underlying his plan. He probably always does so, since everyone has some idea at the back of his mind when approaching the problem, but it is as well to keep this theme in the forefront whenever the garden is being remodelled. For instance, a garden may be an old-world garden, possibly attached to a modern house built in the Elizabethan style. If this is so, almost every section of the garden, or at any rate, those sections which are near the house and seen from the house windows, should have a little of the old-world in their make-up: that is to say, plentiful use will be made of lavenders, and other old-fashioned plants. Crazy paving or random flagstones along the paths add to the old-world appearance. The edges of such paths should be softened by creeping plants such as cerastium, arabis and so on; and arbours, rustic seats, sundials and quaint old stone ornaments are acceptable in a garden of this type.
There should be a distinct theme behind every garden. For instance, if a cottage garden is being planned it is best to keep strictly to the idea of a cottage garden, and formal bedding should not be permitted. In some cases the existing features will establish the theme in the garden. If old woodland is being cut up into fair sized plots for building, and a considerable number of the old trees are left at the end of the plot farthest from the house, the garden-maker will instinctively reserve this portion as a semi-wild garden or shrubbery. If his tastes run to formality he will keep the formal portion near to the house and gradually lose formality towards the end of the plot. On the other hand, if the building area was formerly a fruit orchard, and old fruit trees still exist in the garden that is to be taken over, it may be very desirable to keep them as they are, especially if grass exists beneath the trees. In this case it might be satisfactory to restrict the garden development to the planting of flowering shrubs and perhaps one or two flower patches, and to make the major portion of the garden still an orchard garden where spring, summer and autumn bulbs come up annually in the grass under the trees. This type of layout, of course, is essentially a labour-saving one, particularly if the bulbs are restricted to a small area round the bole of each tree, so that the remainder of the grass can be conveniently cut during the summer and the parts where bulbs are growing left to their own devices.
Then again, if the house is built on a site where rock stone occurs, an easy and very satisfactory way of designing the garden would be to turn it into a Rock and Water Garden. If the slope is rather sudden, artificial cascades of water can be arranged to fall over stones into a series of pools. This is quite possible even in a small garden, as a trickling cascade of water needs only the installation of a tap at the highest level and the arrangement of a sump at the lowest level to take the surplus water.
Other special gardens include, of course, the Japanese, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and other foreign types, and though these are usually just made as a matter of personal preference, they are sometimes dictated by the furnishing of the interior of the house. For instance, should the Garden Room or loggia be furnished in Japanese style, it could quite happily lead to a small Japanese garden.