A garden is an outdoor space, a great source of greenery and adds freshness to any home decor.Gardens can be used either for beautification or for displaying the variety of flora in the area. Residential gardens are one of the most common forms of gardens maintained today. People take pride in decorating and cultivating plants.
Maintaining the garden and its decor is a family activity in certain households. With the advancement in technology and growth in usage of mobile phones and televisions, everyone is glued to it. Remaining indoors is given more preference than outdoors. This has led to health issues for people of all ages. Even children are hooked onto mobile phones playing games.
Richard Louv in 2005 coined the term ‘nature deficit disorder’that has gripped children who have less exposure to outdoors. The problems caused by the disorder are lack of attention, the decline in usage of senses and mental or physical illnesses. With the growing concrete jungle, spaces for outdoor activities have also reduced tremendously. Hence the building construction plans also incorporate an area for gardens.
The schools are now realizing the need to introduce children with the nature around them. Schools gardens and play areas expose children to outdoors and also aid in nature camps, nutrition camps, and help children to be one with nature.
Home gardens also called as backyard gardens are an extension of our homes. Care needs to be taken towards a better and healthy garden. For planning your garden decor,firstly select a theme that would complement your decor and style.There are different themes of garden decor to choose from viz traditional, modern, casual or unique that is a great source of foliage to add colour to your decor.
Listing some importance of having a home garden:
1. Source of organic food
You have the freedom to grow your own food, free from all the pesticides and a lot healthier than the vegetables or fruits available at the market. These gardens are very manageable. You can decide which vegetables, fruits or flowers that you want to grow. The major advantage is having healthy and home grew food.
2. Supplements family budget
In many regions throughout the world, most of the expenditure is on food. Home gardens are useful as it helps to reduce the expenditure by almost 40%. In the Indian city Kerala, many people have home gardens and their only expenditure is for cooking oil and spices.
3. Year round availability
The home gardens can grow vegetables or fruits year round. Some varieties grow even in 6 weeks. So with the home garden, there will be continuous food supply year round.
4. Protects the Soil
Having home gardens is a good usage of outdoor space. The garden disperses freshness and oxygen daily. The purpose of home gardens reduces soil erosion and bush growth around the house drastically.
5. Family activity for the weekend
Gardens require a lot of care. They need to be watered on daily basis and require proper nourishment. Garden maintenance can be a family activity by involving the kids as well. They can be taught concepts like gardening, watering etc at a young age. They can also pluck their own vegetables or fruits grown by them in the garden. This will provide them immense satisfaction and be connected with nature. Gardening can also bring out the creativity in you. For kids keep fast growing plants in containers that do not take space and easy to observe.
Garden decor needs to be planned with care. There are certain principles that you need to follow while making sketches.
1. Law of significant enclosure
The garden should be planned to embrace nature. The law states that we feel enclosed when the vertical edge of the space is atleast on third of the horizontal space. The garden, whatever the size should convey the feeling of openness.
2. Proportionate designing
The regulating line is a concept of architectural design.The purpose of this imaginary line is to connect and proportionately assemble the design.It is also said that the regulating line separates the professional design from amateur design. The garden is made of “good bones” (as known in garden circles).
3. Get the proportions right
This rule refines the garden design. This golden rule has been used in the making of the Great Pyramids of Giza, providing a sense of stability and structure. The Golden rectangle rule divides the length into two parts consider[a] and [b] (not in proportion). The longer part [a] is divided into the shorter one [b] is equal to the shorter part [b] being divided by the original length [a+b].
The formula is:(a/b = b/a+b)
Numerically, the Golden Rectangle ratio is close to 1: 1.6 i.e. 1.618, a proportion regularly used to lay out terrace, gardens, and lawns. Rectangle soil beds are easy to maintain and looks good.
Having a big garden or small garden is dependent on the garden or lawn space. Incorporate small as well as big plants while planting for variety and to give a crowning touch to your garden. Add greenery by planting grass or shrubs on the corner of the pave way and doors. Add variation in colours as well.
5. Addition of garden furniture
Residential gardens are incomplete without garden furniture. If you are planning to add a table, you need to check the space for the accommodation chairs for every member of the family. The area should be comfortable for all and uncluttered. Another point to remember is to have enough space to walk around the garden furniture which takes up more space than imagined.Also, the patio should be on ground level making the task of carrying garden furniture or empty trays with ease. For shade, you can even add patio umbrellas.
6. Garden Boundaries
Garden boundaries are the biggest element of theview. When two gardens are together, they are separated by boundaries or fences. You can grow climbers on the boundaries. The boundaries or fences can be given a decorative gazing with different colours or typically whitewash them. During festivals, you can even add lights or handmade charts for the pave way.
The paving and colour provide a strong direction for the garden design. You can give your pavement a French look by using white and grey stones in anuneven pattern. The pavement can be of any colour to match your decor but using stones would give an aesthetic look to the garden. Using beige, buff or golden stone in therandom pattern can give a country English feel. You can also grow small bushes around the pavement for a better look. Coordinate your plants (flowers) with the pave way as below:
- Purple and white blooms can be elevated with grey or white stones
- Black and silver paving looks amazing with bright colourssuch as red, orange and yellow
- Golden stone pave way works well with flowers that have soft tones like pink or lavender
8. Focal point
The central point of the garden where you want to drive the most attention is called the focal point. Plan your garden according to the focal point of your choice. You can use multiple focal points as well but not as preferred. Many focal points tend to divert the focus away from the attraction.
9. Plan your planting
You should plan your plants to use the space efficiently.
- Keep space for your organic food plants different.
- You can plant flowers even in pots to hang in the portico or on the kitchen window.
- The plants should be spaced out so as to not damage them by walking etc.
- If you are planting creepers, you should provide support so that they do not damage other plants.
- Plants that grow fast should be planted near the pavement, for easy uprooting and re-planting new seeds.
- Consider the season and climate while planting. For colour and beauty throughout the year, plant more of flowering plants.
10. Don’t throw out sketches
If you are a beginner in garden planning the best option is to not throw out the previous sketches. Be open to change and incorporate old ideas into a better garden. Also, start small. Divide the whole space into small areas and plan accordingly. Study the sun and wind patterns for placing the patio.
The garden sketch comes handy because all the plans are on paper and in front of you. You need to visualise your garden and break it down into small areas. If you are a beginner and need help you can also consult a landscape designer or garden designer. It helps to visualize all the possibilities for the garden design considering space, size, and plant to be grown and much more. The basic idea is to get a 3D view through a 3D drawing. This can be done through concepts like vanishing point and perspective lines that are explained further below.
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There are certain stepsgiven by a landscape designer that a garden design beginner can follow while designing your own garden:
1. Click a photo
Click the clearest and widest picture of your garden or backyard by your phone. Include nearby structures like the house, trees, swimming pool etc. The view should not be restricted by plants.
2. Take a print
Upload the photo to your computer and take a print. The printed photo should be bright and contrast of the photo should be reduced, which will make it easy to draw on.
3. Draw on the photo
Start by making a perspective line as discussed earlier. The perspective line should be drawn from the edge of either the lawn or house. Draw perspective lines from both sides and join it at a point. The point where the two lines meet is an abstract point used for a3D drawing called the vanishing pointor direction point, and from here all future lines will originate. The Horizon (horizontal) line passes through the vanishing point.
4. Landscape drawing
Draw on the lawn after you have deduced the vanishing point. Here you decide the areas for planting variety of plants and flowers. If there is any other natural object like a tree present in the way, draw around it.
5. Draw the basic shapes of plants
Draw the basic shape of plants on the printed photo according to your perspective. Here you can plan to add new trees or bushes. Always start by planning from the largest plants to the smallest plants or flowers. Make the foundation base strong and clear. Allocate a shape to small plants like a circle or oval for easy representation. Let your creativity flow and let the plan be messy. Get all the basic ideas drawn on the printed photo.
Use a tracing paper to trace the draft sketch. The draft needs to berefined. Firstly, start by sketching the small plants or bushes and then with the other tall plants.Give proper shapes for plants like bushes etc. for a better view.
7. Add colour
After the draft sketch is complete, you can now add colour. The colouring will help you to highlight the area. Use your creativity and add colour as per your preferences that you want for your garden. It should complement your decor. Try not to colour outside the lines. You can also let the colours chose the plants or flowers for the backyard. A tip to remember is to fill one colour at any time for a particular type or plant.
There are certain themes for Garden design as well as an English garden, Japanese Garden and Mediterranean Garden.
English Garden: Add an extra panache to your garden with English garden theme. This theme has become very popular as it replaces the formal and symmetrical style. It is effortless to create and maintain. English garden consists of flowers like red roses that require utmost care. Other flowers that can be used in this garden are daisies, dandelions, daffodils etc.
Japanese Garden: Japanese Garden themes are not very easy to create but arechic, elegant, simple, and very eye catching. This theme usually uses quaint designs which embody bamboo, lanterns and moss as per Japanese traditions. Furthermore, you can add Japanese outdoor decor for an authentic and complete look.
Mediterranean Garden: This garden theme is great for planting tomatoes, chillies, herbs etc. It adds a lot of bold colours to the garden and is very beautiful. You can use outdoor decor like colourful pottery, garden statue, benches, stones, pebbles etc.
To make your garden look even more elegant you can add lights. Outdoor lights can instantly transform your garden into a usable space during the night. For lighting purposes, you can also foray into installing solar lights if you receive sun throughout the day. Have a budget in mind before planning.
In a nutshell, draw a sketch before planning your own garden design. You can even consult a garden design expert for inputs. There are many online videos to view on making the sketch or use the GardenSketch App available on Android and iOSphones for planning and easy to use. Having a garden will keep you healthy and always connected with nature. Gardens require care and daily maintenance. The garden is like an extended room that can be fully explored.
The finished view may not exactly resemble the sketch. The discarded or non-used sketches can be incorporated next time for the garden. It will also help you to understand the areas which can be focused during the next development. Even small spaces between the door and the garden or backyard and garage can be decorated for a better view of the house. Hope these pointers help to plan your garden efficiently.