Designing a garden can be lots of fun, but it can also be overwhelming. Not only do our personal preferences come into play, but unlike our interiors, we have to think about the fact that mother nature may have different ideas. We may want lush rose bushes in the front of our house, but if it’s mostly shaded, it ain’t gonna happen.
Just as we all have preferences with our choices for the inside of the home, the outside can and should reflect our personal style as well. Our color choices are virtually unlimited, but just because they are doesn’t mean we should go crazy and end up with a chaotic space that just doesn’t feel cohesive. Cohesive doesn’t have to mean overly manicured or planned down to every square inch. It does mean that maybe we should limit our color palette choices to a few select hues, and then maybe add in some unexpected touches so the space doesn’t feel contrived.
There are a few styles of gardens and I’ve taken the liberty of categorizing them; dramatic, zen like, playful and romantic. But just as in decorating your home, there is plenty of opportunity for eclectic spaces that combine two or even three styles. Here are a few examples along with some palette, plant and accessory suggestions to help you on your way to planning your dream space.
This first garden is a good example of romantic, but it also has a definite zen like vibe with the beautiful lily pond feature.
This jaw dropping, dramatic pergola definitely puts this space over the top (no pun intended), but the water feature and lush flowers create a romantic atmosphere.
These next two gardens are wonderful examples of dramatic styles. Contrasting, bold colors and impeccably maintained plantings are hallmarks of this style.
This zen like space is also dramatic. While it doesn’t have much color, interest is definitely present with beautiful trees and foliage.
I don’t know about you, but I’m expecting a Hollywood star to come walking into this garden any minute. Looks very ‘Muholland Drive’ to me.
Now here are a couple of spaces that are actually attainable for us average folks! Very simple, low maintenance and serene.
Guess I don’t have to tell you what style these are? I’m gonna anyway. Playful, whimsical and a bit of romantic come into play here.
I think this is my favorite! Maybe it’s the cute little barn I’m drawn to, but I find this garden to be a combination of all of the above…well planned, colorful, whimsical and a teensy bit dramatic.
Now I want you to figure out which of the above is your favorite, and then check out some of the suggestions for the kinds of color palettes you may want to consider and appropriate plantings.
If you’re drawn to the dramatic garden style, you’re a gal who loves to hang out on her chaise lounge, sipping martinis and wouldn’t be caught dead without her sunglasses.
Dramatic Palettte: Red, deep purple, hot pink
Plants to consider: Red roses, giant leaf coleus, bird of paradise, calla lily, hollyhocks
Accessories: Mirrors, candles, chaise lounges
Love to daydream, stroll through your garden arm in arm with your Prince Charming? Romantic styles suit you best.
Romantic Palette: Greens, pale pink, white
Plants to consider: Ivy, ferns, peonies, hydrangeas, white azaleas, rhododendrons, narcissus, lemon trees
Accessories: Urns, statuary, fountains, stone walls
Do you enjoy meditating and sleeping in late? Want something uncluttered and simple? Zen is for you.
Zen Palette: Green, gray, white, plum
Plants to consider: Juniper, bamboo, cypress, japanese maple, waterlillies, hostas, sage, fountain grass
Accessories: Small bubbling fountains, boulders, sand garden, spiritually inspired statuary, stone bench
Your world is your playground, and that includes your garden. You’re a social butterfly, and your garden reflects that.
Playful/Whimsical: Orange, yellow, lime green, hot pink
Plants to consider: Nasturtium, black-eyed Susan, Dahlias (orange/hot pink), sunflowers, poppies, coneflower
Accessories: Mobile, wind chimes, birdhouse, hammock brightly colored umbrellas and chairs
I would love to know which style is your favorite! And remember, it’s a perfect time to start planning for next year’s garden!