Design Tricks for Busy Gardeners (Part 1)


Creator of his garden

In practice, most real gardeners and gardeners are in practice overloaded with gardening problems and worries beyond any measure, because in our harsh climate it is not so easy to get a significant harvest. As they say, not before ...

However, I still want beauty, so over time I began to look for options on how to create a beautiful corner in the garden, but at the minimum cost of my labor. I tried to make sure that even at the stage of creating landscape compositions, I did not overwork too much, and later did not spend too much time on maintaining the flower-decorative luxury created by my own hands in the appropriate form.

In such endeavors, colorful illustrations in numerous magazines and books on landscape design can help. However, few summer residents in reality manage to implement something like this on their own - it is too laborious, and on their shoulders there is still a garden-garden in combination with work, which also has not been canceled. In addition, the creation of beauty often involves the need for considerable financial investments. So I had to go my own way. Of course, I relied on a variety of landscape design techniques, but I used them taking into account my specific circumstances and financial capabilities.

Competent approach to the choice of plants

It is not a problem to get a variety of perennial flower and ornamental plants, as well as lianas and shrubs in garden centers today. I'm not even talking about annuals - my head is dizzy from the abundance of seeds. True, one should also take into account the possibility that seeds do not always sprout, and something that is not so colorfully depicted on the bag may grow out of them, but this is a separate topic. However, the acquisition of new specimens of plants should be treated with extreme caution. And here one should be guided not only by how real they can grow in the conditions of your particular garden (including taking into account the damping off, which many flower and ornamental crops are subject to), but also by the difficulties in caring for them. That is, you must stop your choice only on those crops, be it shrubs, vines or spectacular flower beds, which will not cause you much trouble in the future, and you can find a lot of such plants. Choosing them, it is better, of course, to be guided by certain requirements. All of them must have:

  • frost resistance, so as not to mess with difficult shelters for the winter;
  • resistance to podoprevanie, so that every spring the problem of restoring plantings does not arise;
  • endurance so that the plants do not particularly suffer from the weather conditions of our unpredictable and, alas, unfavorable spring and summer;
  • the need for minimal pruning and shaping of the crown, or did not require such an operation at all.

This means that if you are sowing or planting annuals or biennials, then these should be the most unpretentious and fast-growing plants, the seedlings of which can be obtained in a greenhouse or at least grown there by planting it in April from small bowls that occupy a minimum of space in the apartment. A similar safe variant of plants can be, for example, pansies, nasturtium, alissum, marigolds, simple petunia (it is better not to look at exotic petunias - you are tormented in full), cineraria, etc. Fiddle with such plants a little, but they look great.

There are many perennials that are even more convenient in terms of saving time and effort. They grow from year to year in the same place and may well be (although this is not necessary) very unpretentious and frost-resistant. Early flowering plants include bergamo, common primroses, blueweed, liverwort, hazel grouse, muscari, stonecrop, lilies of the valley, etc. And later, in the summer, peonies, aquilegia (or catchment), astilbe, dicentra (popularly known as "broken heart"), various daylilies, irises, rudbeckia, echinacea, decorative perennial onions and other plants bloom. All of them are really unpretentious and will require almost no effort from you, except for sufficient nutrition and watering. And at the same time, they can be very successfully combined with decorative deciduous plants and decorative grasses. The zest of cereals lies in spectacular leaves, and in their beauty and variety they are in no way inferior to beautifully flowering perennials, and these crops look attractive almost all season. Among ornamental deciduous plants, Brunner is particularly unpretentious (it has spectacular variegated forms), heuchera, cuff, tiarella, ornamental types of wormwood, hosta and others, and from ornamental cereals, in the first place, in my opinion, it is worth paying attention to variegated forms sedge, variegated moth, reed grass, various calamus, bulbous ryegrass and fluffy hare tails (the latter are annuals).

As for such traditional perennials as dahlias, gladioli and tulips, I honestly do not particularly favor them. Too much hassle due to the need to dig up tubers and bulbs annually, as well as the difficulties in storage and over-exposure of these flower crops to disease. Of the plants dug up for the winter, I prefer only begonias. But, of course, this is a matter of taste.

It is even easier to care for conifers, which are very beautiful from early spring to late autumn (I'm not talking about winter, since there are nuances here). They require minimal maintenance and work well with a wide variety of ornamental shrubs, as well as annuals and perennials. True, not all conifers are suitable for a harsh climate, however, choosing junipers, thuja and dwarf forms of spruce, you most likely cannot be mistaken, and these plants will delight you for many years.

Among climbing plants, you can also find spectacular and unpretentious species (many of them do not require special care, if only there is something to curl around) - take, for example, maiden grapes, honeysuckle honeysuckle (namely honeysuckle, other climbing honeysuckle are less winter-hardy and cannot grow everywhere ) or hops - and no worries. True, speaking of hops, I was cheating a little - in our conditions it is strongly affected by powdery mildew, and the vines have to be sprayed with Topaz, which, however, is not very troublesome, since I usually spray hops with gooseberries (speech, of course, it is about the second spraying, which is done immediately after flowering).

There are also varieties of clematis, which are also picky and winter well even in the Middle Urals without much shelter (I only cover mine with spruce branches - and there are no problems). In addition, the vines of Schisandra and actinidia kolomikta look spectacular - these plants also do not require much trouble, it is enough to initially prepare fertile soil for them and further maintain the required level of watering and dressing. True, in our harsh conditions they can only be planted from the south side of the house, where protection from the winds is provided, and the sun warms up better.

Layout tricks

Perhaps someone likes strict geometric patterns and even, as if planted in a straight line, borders on flower beds, but this, alas, is not in our case, when there is very little time and effort for landscape delights. All these ideal shapes require constant and painstaking care, which you will hardly find time for. Therefore, plant the plants not according to the rules, but in arbitrary romantic groups, combining flowering plants together with decorative deciduous and cereals in the composition. Then they will look spectacular in a variety of options. The main thing here is to achieve successful combinations of plants with each other. For example, red-leaved forms can be planted in a company with silvery ones, and yellow-leaved ones look great against the background of plants with green leaves. As for specific options, it all depends on your imagination and personal tastes. Place annuals and biennials with bright, informal curtains. For example, you can plant part of a flower bed with them or fill in the gaps between perennials. Make compositions of conifers with perennials with spectacular leaves, for example, with hosta, etc. Add color accents with plants with silvery leaves (ornamental wormwood, cineraria silvery, silvery stonecrops), as well as plants with red-burgundy foliage (for example, Heucher).

Interesting variations are also provided by the arrangement based on the contrast of shapes, when, for example, plants with narrow belt-like leaves (daylilies, irises, ornamental grasses) are planted next to plants with decorative foliage, such as heuchera, tiarella or hosta. In particular, the combination of daylilies with hosts is considered simply ideal in landscape design. Low-growing varieties and types of plants with narrow leaves, for example, small-flowered daylilies, in turn, look great next to stones.

When choosing plants for compositions, do not forget about the need to take into account their individual characteristics. Only plants with similar needs for providing them with moisture and light are planted nearby. Of course, the flowering time of various cultures is also taken into account - the compositions being compiled should ideally look good from spring to autumn, which means that the presence of plants with decorative foliage in plantings, in my opinion, is mandatory. And beautifully flowering plants should be selected so that in none of the periods there is no dissonance from the excessive oversaturation of the composition with bright colors inharmonious with each other. In addition, it is often necessary to take into account the different levels of planting, when tall plants are planted in the background so that they do not cover the shorter ones.

And, finally, do not try to immediately decorate the entire area with flower beds - this is not easy. It is better to decorate it with small new flower beds as free time appears, and over time you will already have several areas that will delight your eyes. And most importantly, create without fear of making mistakes, because the main thing is not the recognition of your design talent by professionals in this field, but that the created compositions are liked by you, because first of all you and your loved ones will be the main connoisseurs of all this beauty.

The ending follows

Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg
Photo by the author



"Border" method of landscape design

All garden areas should have boundaries. Dense screens and screens are not always needed. The "borderline" method of landscape design dictates the following rules: in small areas, solid partitions look heavy, and openwork, light ones are much better suited - after all, you just need to mark the border. You can even mark the beginning of a new zone with a separate large decorative object or even a huge boulder. An unusual tree or shrub often acts as a "border guard".

Any boundaries must be correctly located - in the places of transition from one zone of the site to another, in the places of their "docking". But there can be many such places, and in order to choose a "strategic" point, check a few points. First, this place should be readable from different parts of the garden. Secondly, it must satisfy practical requirements: the partition should stand where its presence creates coziness and forms a good microclimate, which means that its location depends on how the resting place is planned in this area, what objects and plantings it is filled with. Thirdly, the partition should not obscure the beautiful view that opens from the territory of a specific zone of the garden. If you are using a container as a zoning medium, it is best to make it in the same color as the flowers of the plant growing in it.


Landscaping. Stone mulching master class

Let's see what is the order of work with decorative stone mulching in landscape design.

First, remove 5 cm of soil by picking out the roots. Please note that our original site is located on a slope.

We set the garden profile in accordance with the contours of the flower beds, leveling the soil level at each level (this is how we got four mini terraces at each level). At the same stage, it is good to add 1-2 cm of enriched soil to the flower garden, which will be food for plants for many years.

Pour sand into the flower beds and tamp it. This is done in order not to accidentally damage the agrofibre, which we will lay on top of the sand.

We line the agrofiber, making cuts in it for planting. For large plants, make an incision from the edge to the center, then form a hole. We press the film to the ground with metal staples (you can make it yourself in the form of a U from a metal rod).

Let's dwell a little on the color of the film - it will depend on your climate. About 7 main types of film are used in landscape design, we will focus on white and black.

White good for hot climates, because reflects sunlight well and prevents combustion due to overheating of the soil. For colder climates, such a film is not suitable, because under it the soil is not warming up enough. In addition, it requires additional mulching from above, because yet it does not completely eliminate the access of sunlight to the soil, which does not protect against weeds.

Black film effectively stops the growth of weeds, because completely absorbs light. On the other hand, it warms up quickly enough in the sun to 70 degrees, which can be the reason for the burning of plants.

The best option in the middle - black and white mulching combines all the advantages of the previous two methods and has no disadvantages.

We fill the prepared flower beds with a stone 5 cm thick. Leave 7-8 cm from the base of the plant to the stone mulch. We cover the lawn.

We water the flower garden as usual and enjoy our new landscaping project.


Making a decorative garden at their summer cottage (with photo)

The garden in the garden, the design of which is made in the form of a geometric pattern, is elegant and pleasing to the eye. Of course, funds will be required to create it, but digging in the ridges - boxes is practically not needed, the yield in them is always higher, and the vegetables are more beautiful and ripen earlier.

Neat beds look especially decorative if marigolds, nasturtium, marigolds or even low roses, ground cover or miniature, are planted in them next to vegetables, for example, along the perimeter.

When decorating a garden design, you can play with the color in which the boards are painted, brown, orange are good, I especially like blue.

Look at the photo: you can decorate a decorative garden with blue bottles of Moselle wine - it turns out quite nicely:

Painted boards to limit the ridges are most often used in Russian gardens, you can also use vertically placed tiles and braids. The latter option is very beautiful, but such "boundaries" will need to be updated every two years.

In the design of a decorative garden, low hedges with a height of 20-30 cm can be planted as borders for the beds, of course, creating and caring for them is quite expensive and takes time, but the decorative effect is worth it.

They can be made from Schmidt's alpine currant, privet, Thunberg barberry.

As you can see in the photo, when decorating a garden, you can use annuals for such borders - marigolds, marigolds, nasturtium or sheared kochia, curly parsley, Swiss chard, beautiful foliage of carrots and ordinary beets are also good for this purpose.

If space permits, allocate space for decorating a plot in the garden for a fragrant herb garden that combines benefits and beauty. Their wonderful aroma heals the body and soul, it is good when they grow in a recreation area, where you can not only pick them off, but also stroke them with your hand.

Another idea for decorating a vegetable garden is to grow herbs in ceramic pots and any other containers, for example, plastic flowerpots, wicker baskets, even wooden boxes with a pre-lined film from the inside or bright large jars of olive oil.

In a sufficiently large container or in several medium-sized ones, you can organize a mini-vegetable garden. From the point of view of productivity, a vegetable garden in a container is pampering, but so cute and cute.

Not only spicy herbs (parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary, mint, lemon balm, etc.) feel good in pots, but also chives, salads, cherry tomatoes, ornamental peppers, and strawberries.

For greater decorativeness, add there "garden" useful flowers such as nasturtium, calendula and marigolds. When decorating a garden with your own hands, place such containers near a barbecue or barbecue - the delight of your guests is guaranteed.

For the winter, rosemary in a pot will move to a window sill or a glazed loggia, and dig strawberries with thyme into the ground on the site.

Modern Belgian and Dutch gardeners grow plants in bags that look like "shuttle" bags, simply by buying the desired varieties of the desired vegetables, herbs and strawberries in the garden center in containers with handles, which remain to be brought to the garden, put in a sunny place and watered regularly.

There are requirements that are mandatory for any garden, regardless of its size and shape of the beds, a sunny place is allocated for growing vegetables, protected from northern winds, here you need to arrange a compost heap, organize easy access to water for irrigation, fill the beds with loose fertile soil, ensure timely watering and feeding , observe the crop rotation.

Here you can see a photo of the design of the country garden and choose the options you like:


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Tricks for a small garden

Our reader asks:

Garden design specialist Victoria Roy answers the question:

Sure, small plot has its own specifics, which must be taken into account so that the kindergarten does not turn into a haphazard collection of plants, has corners for work and rest and is easy to care for. The versatility of individual garden elements and careful selection of species, and especially varieties of planted plants. Here everything is in plain sight, everything is viewed from a close distance, and therefore needs a more thorough study of details.

But let's discuss in order:

Second. It is possible and necessary to combine flower beds and a vegetable garden in the so-called "decorative vegetable garden". The French and Italians, by the way, even in luxurious villas grow colorful tomatoes and varieties of salads and cabbage of various shapes and colors right in the flower beds. What can we say about spicy and medicinal herbs! Here you even get confused, what is more in them - beauty or benefit. These are the well-known thyme, lavender, sage, hyssop, basil with green and purple leaves, etc. But many of our traditional flower plants in other countries are used for food in salads and for cooking (for example, nasturtium, viola, chrysanthemum, calendula). This is where fantasies can roam!

In addition, you can give the garden the shape of a classic regular flower beds, make it round, hex, separate a hedge of low shrubs (for example, varieties of Japanese spirea or Bumald) or perennial aster curb.

The entrance to the garden can be decorated with an arch braided flowering vines... What if the vegetable garden is located by the fence, you can place trellises for fruit grapes on it. Then it will be impossible to look away from your garden!

Third. You need to carefully approach selection of an assortment of plants... Before buying a tree that now looks like a thin, defenseless twig in the nursery, be sure to ask about the final dimensions of this variety. So that the seedling that has grown with your careful care does not turn into a monster that covers the entire area with a crown. Reputable nurseries offer your favorite varieties of fruit trees on dwarf and dwarf rootstocks. The same goes for all other plants.

As a rule, if the variety is dwarf, its name may contain the terms "compacta", "nana", "compressa", etc. In addition, using special pruning and shaping, it is possible to grow fruit trees that will not take much space. , and the harvest will be excellent. And if you form an apple or pear in the form arches, pergolas or palmette, then the benefits of the tree will be multiple, plus more - beauty, shading, division into zones and cover from prying eyes. All this is not as difficult as it seems at first glance, but very exciting and effective!

Well, and finally. Thinking through the plan, do not try to "embrace the immensity." Start with the optimal minimum, limit the number of buildings and the variety of plants. Here, as nowhere else, the golden rule applies: "lless is more. "


And again about small areas ...

Dear owners of small plots!
Problem planning small garden turned out to be very relevant. We have already spoken about the methods of composition and the possibilities of combining a small garden and a vegetable garden “in one bottle” in the answer to the question “Tricks for a small garden". Alternatively, we suggest that you use the plan (the author of the composition is landscape designer N. Titova), where the elements are very interestingly combined vegetable garden and garden.

1 – slab paving
2 - cherry (or other stone fruits with the same crown diameter)
3 - apple tree
4 - apple trees on trellises
5 - currant
6 – flowering shrubs
7 - raspberries
8 - vegetables (planted taking into account correct crop rotation)
9 - pumpkin (squash)
10 - garden strawberries
11 - beets (chard)
12 - decorative border of low marigolds (calendula)
13 – bench
14 - supports for climbing shrubs (for example, clematis)
15 – lawn
16 – compost

This example shows how you can place a small garden and vegetable garden on the territory of 120 sq. meters. For a larger plot, you can proportionally enlarge the proposed design by adding a couple more fruit trees and some berry bushes. About placing vegetables among flowers (decorative vegetable garden) we talk about in a separate article.


Watch the video: WETLAND FILTER LAYOUT AND INSTALLATION Part 1. Water Feature Design Series 8


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