33 Garden Designs for the home garden, Landscaping designs
Where to plant the flower garden.
A place may have flowers in abundance without any space being set aside for a garden. Vines, beds besides the house or terrace, planting along the boundary fence, flowering trees and shrubs can accomplish this. If, however, there is to be a a definite garden there are certain fundamentals to be considered. The very name garden comes from garth, meaning an enclosed place. Flowers, to be effective, need a background and the smaller the space the more vitally important it is to have every plant well chosen.
Proportions are important. If the area is rectangular its lines are usually pleasing when its length is about two and half times its width. The natural focal point is the far end, where there may be balanced plantings for the background. If there is a feature here, such as a pool, sundial or bench, it should not be set to close to the background, because any impression of overcrowding disturbs the feeling of peace and restfulness that is the underlying satisfaction of any garden or planting. In choosing features it should be remembered that spiky evergreens stepping stones of glaring materials, stodgy bolsters of shrubs, too many ornaments, are distracting and depressing.
A squarish area may be made into a circular garden or an octagon, or remain a square. The eye tends to look to the center, and any planting or feature in this center must be well chosen, and in proportion to the area. If it is to small it will give a feeling of inadequacy, if it is too large, it will create a sense of overcrowding.
Overcrowding may come from poor design or from too heavy or overgrown planting. It also comes from poorly chosen or wrongly placed garden features. Large formal gardens need large, important features, but small ones are seldom improved by the many items sold as "garden ornaments." Gazing globes, stone animals and metals birds are eye-catchers. They tend to be disturbing in a small garden and therefore inappropriate. Bird baths, pools of good proportions, chairs and benches have their place, but they should be placed where they add to the picture as a whole. Some gardens are made ore vibrant and attractive by brightly colored chairs and tables, but generally a quite green is better than a bright yellow or red that will dominate the whole scene.