Landscape gardening has often been likened to the painting of a photo. Your art-work teacher has doubtless informed you that a great photo ought to have a point of chief interest, and the rest of the points merely go to make more beautiful the central idea, or to form a great setting for it. So in landscape gardening there should remain in the gardener’s mind an image of what he desires the whole to be when he completes his work.
From this study we shall have the ability to exercise a little theory of landscape gardening.
Let us go to the lawn. A great extent of open lawn area is constantly beautiful. It is peaceful. It includes a sensation of space to even little grounds. So we might generalize and say that it is well to keep open lawn areas. If one covers his yard area with lots of trees, with little flower beds here and there, the basic impact is choppy and picky. It is a bit like an over-dressed individual. One’s grounds lose all individuality therefore dealt with. A single tree or a small group is not a bad arrangement on the yard. Do not centre the tree or trees. Let them drop a bit into the background. Make a pleasing side feature of them. In selecting trees one should bear in mind a number of things. You must not choose an overwhelming tree; the tree ought to be one of excellent shape, with something intriguing about its bark, leaves, flowers or fruit. While the poplar is a quick grower, it sheds its leaves early and so remains standing, bare and ugly, before the fall is old. Mind you, there are places where a row or double row of Lombardy poplars is really reliable. But I believe you’ll agree with me that a person only poplar is not. The catalpa is quite lovely by itself. Its leaves are broad, its flowers attractive, the seed pods which stick to the tree until away into the winter season, include a little bit of picture squeness. The bright berries of the ash, the brilliant foliage of the sugar maple, the blooms of the tulip tree, the bark of the white birch, and the leaves of the copper beech all these are beauty points to think about.
Location makes a difference in the selection of a tree. Suppose the lower part of the premises is a bit low and damp, then the area is ideal for a willow. Do not group trees together which look uncomfortable. A long-looking poplar does not go with a great rather rounded little tulip tree. A juniper, so neat and prim, would look ridiculous beside a dispersing chestnut. One need to keep proportion and viability in mind.
I ‘d never recommend the planting of a group of evergreens near a house, and in the front yard. The effect is very dismal indeed. Homes thus surrounded are overcapped by such trees and are not only dismal to reside in, however genuinely unhealthful. The chief requisite inside a house is sunshine and lots of it.
As trees are picked because of particular great points, so shrubs ought to be. In a clump I should want some which bloomed early, some which flowered late, some for the appeal of their fall foliage, some for the colour of their bark and others for the fruit. Some spireas and the forsythia blossom early. The red bark of the dogwood makes a little bit of colour all winter, and the red berries of the barberry hold on to the shrub well into the winter season.
Particular shrubs are good to utilize for hedge functions. A hedge is rather prettier typically than a fence. The Californian privet is excellent for this purpose. Osage orange, Japan barberry, buckthorn, Japan quince, and Van Houtte’s spirea are other shrubs that make excellent hedges.
I forgot to say that in tree and shrub selection it is generally better to pick those of the locality one resides in. Uncommon and foreign plants do less well, and often balance but badly with their new setting.
Landscape gardening may follow along very formal lines or along casual lines. The first would have straight courses, straight rows in stiff beds, whatever, as the name tells, perfectly formal. The other approach is, of course, the precise opposite. There are threat points in each.
The official arrangement is most likely to look too stiff; the informal, too fussy, too wiggly. As far as courses go, keep this in mind, that a path ought to constantly lead someplace. That is its service to direct one to a guaranteed place. Now, straight, even courses are not unpleasing if the result is to be that of an official garden. The risk in the curved path is an abrupt curve, a whirligig result. It is far much better for you to stick to straight paths unless you can make an actually gorgeous curve. No one can inform you how to do this.
Garden courses might be of gravel, of dirt, or of lawn. One sees grass paths in some very charming gardens. I question, nevertheless, if they would serve as well in your little gardens. Your garden areas are so restricted that they must be re-spaded each season, and the grass paths are a terrific bother in this work. Obviously, a gravel course makes a great look, however again you might not have gravel at your command. It is possible for any of you to remove the course for 2 feet. Then put in 6 inches of stone or clinker. Over this, pack in the dirt, rounding it slightly towards the centre of the course. There need to never be depressions through the main part of courses, since these kind hassle-free locations for water to stand. The under layer of stone makes a natural drain system.
A building typically requires the assistance of vines or flowers or both to tie it to the grounds in such a method as to form an unified whole. Vines provide themselves well to this work. It is much better to plant a seasonal vine, and so let it form a long-term part of your landscape scheme. The Virginia creeper, wistaria, honeysuckle, a climbing rose, the clematis and trumpet vine are all most acceptable.
close your eyes and image a home of natural colour, that mellow gray of the weathered shingles. Now add to this old house a purple wistaria. Can you see the charm of it? I will not forget soon a rather awful corner of my childhood house, where the dining space and cooking area satisfied. Simply there climbing over, and falling over a trellis was a trumpet vine. It made lovely an awkward angle, an unsightly little bit of carpenter work.
Naturally, the morning-glory is a yearly vine, as is the moon-vine and wild cucumber. Now, these have their special function. For frequently, it is necessary to cover an ugly thing for just a time, up until the much better things and much better times come. The annual is ‘the chap’ for this work.
Along an old fence a hop vine is a thing of appeal. One might try to measure up to the woods’ landscape work. For often one sees festooned from one rotted tree to another the ampelopsis vine.
Flowers may well go along the side of the building, or surrounding a walk. In basic, though, keep the front yard space open and unbroken by beds. What lovelier in early spring than a bed of daffodils near the house? Hyacinths and tulips, too, form a blaze of magnificence. These are little or no trouble, and begin the spring aright. One may make from some bulbs an exception to the guideline of unbroken front yard. Snowdrops and crocuses planted through the lawn are stunning. They do not disrupt the general impact, however just blend with the entire. One professional bulb gardener states to take a basketful of bulbs in the fall, perambulate your grounds, and simply drop bulbs out here and there. Wherever the bulbs drop, plant them. Such little bulbs as those we plant in lawns need to remain in groups of 4 to 6. Daffodils may be hence planted, too. You all remember the grape hyacinths that grow all through Katharine’s side backyard.
The place for a flower garden is typically at the side or back of your house. The yard garden is a lovely concept, is it not? Who wants to leave a stunning looking front lawn, turn the corner of a house, and find a dump load? Not I. The flower garden might be set out officially in cool little beds, or it might be more of a negligent, hit-or-miss sort. Both have their assets. Excellent masses of bloom are appealing.
You should want some notion of the blending of colour. Nature appears not to consider this at all, and still gets fascinating effects. This is due to the fact that of the tremendous quantity of her best background of green, and the limitlessness of her area, while we are restricted at the finest to relatively small areas. So we must endeavour not to blind people’s eyes with clashes of colours which do not at close variety blend well. In order to break up extremes of colours you can constantly utilize masses of white flowers, or something like mignonette, which is in impact green.
Finally, let us sum up our landscape lesson. The grounds are a setting for your house or buildings. Open, totally free lawn areas, a tree or an appropriate group well placed, flowers which do not clutter up the front lawn, groups of shrubbery these are points to be remembered. The courses need to lead somewhere, and be either straight or well curved. If one begins with a formal garden, one should not mix the casual with it before the work is done.