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Garden Design Basics

Garden Design Basics.  An informal rule of thirds makes for pleasing garden combinations states Ann Lovejoy from Organic Garden Design School.  For a garden to be pleasing to the eye and create a sense of balance and Feng shui a good garden plan will evoke the three necessary plant groups in their design.
Many gardens try to hide poor garden design with an overabundance of seasonal flowers but again some gardens are strong on structure but weak on seasonal plants refers to plant types.  Striking a balance between structure and short term seasonal plants should be one of the goals of a natural cottage garden.

I find the following rules of basic gardening a very good guide for beginning gardeners.

One third of your garden should have evergreens.
The first step in creating a year round interesting garden is to plant the bones of the garden which is the evergreens. Evergreens supply visual and artistic interest even in the barren winter months. They will always provide you some greenery in the garden I can’t imagine a good garden plan omitting evergreens.


Deciduous plants provide the second third of your garden
deciduous trees or bushes should be used for their ability to soften the stiff and unyielding evergreens. A small dogwood tree or weeping cherry lend height and width to landscape and in the spring delight with visually spectacular blossoms.  Deciduous shrubs such as potenillas, lilacs and tree peonies lack winter leaves but their woody structure holds interest and form in the winter and in the spring they excel.

The final third of the garden consists of flowering bulbs, perennials and annuals.
These plants are typically the flowering plants of spring and summer and a garden would not be a garden without them. They are considered the lifeblood of the garden border.  These seasonal plants come in an array of color and heights. When selecting these plants considerer their overall contribution to the garden in regards to duration of bloom, when they bloom and their sense of place in the garden.  If your aim is to have a naturalistic garden then varies the seasonal plants among the garden as to shape, height and foliage to give it a natural cottage garden appeal.

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