What are the Different Types of Gardens?
There are many different kinds of gardens each taylor made to the gardner
There are many different environments available to put gardens, so depending on the person and place, it is important to pick the type of garden that you will enjoy the most.
This is a type of botanical garden. An arboretum is a collection of trees. Related collections include a fruticetum (from the Latin frutex, meaning shrub), and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of primarily woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study. An arboretum specialising in growing conifers is known as a pinetum. [top]
Botanical gardens grow a wide variety of plants primarily categorized and documented for scientific purposes. Botanists and horticulturalists tend the flora and maintain the garden's library and herbarium of dried and documented plant material. Botanical gardens may also serve to entertain and educate the public, upon whom many depend for funding. However, not all botanical gardens are open to the public: for example the Chelsea Physic Garden. According to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, "Botanic gardens are institutions holding documented collections of living plants for the purposes of scientific research, conservation, display and education." [top]
Butterfly gardening is a growing school of gardening, specifically wildlife gardening, that is aimed at creating an environment that attracts butterflies, as well as certain moths, such as those in the Hemaris genus. Butterfly gardening is often aimed at inviting those butterflies and moths to lay eggs as well. Because some plants are not fed upon by adult butterflies, the caterpillar host should also be planted for a bigger population of butterflies. Butterflies typically feed on nectaring flowers, and there are literally hundreds of such plants that may be planted to attract them, depending on the location, time of year, and other factors. In addition to the planting of flowers that feed butterflies, other means of attracting them include constructing ¨butterfly houses¨, providing sand for puddling, water, and other resources or food items, including rotten fruit. [top]
A communal garden (often used in the plural as communal gardens) is a normally formal garden for shared use by a number of local residents. The term is especially used in the United Kingdom. The centre of many city squares and crescents (e.g., especially in London) are maintained as communal gardens.
Despite the name, and the fact that they typically look like a small public park, such gardens are normally privately by jointly owned, with sharing of maintenance costs. Access may be restricted by locked gates, with keys available for residents, or only unlocked during daytime. They are often surrounded by tall railings designed to keep people out. [top]
A community garden is a piece of land gardened by a group of people. Community gardens provide access to fresh produce and plants as well as access to satisfying labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community and connection to the environment. They are publicly functioning in terms of ownership, access and management, as well as typically owned in trust by local governments or nonprofits.
A city’s community gardens can be as diverse as its communities of gardeners. Some choose to solely grow flowers, others are nurtured communally and their bounty shared, some have individual plots for personal use, while others are equipped with raised beds for disabled gardeners.
Community gardens encourage an urban community’s food security, allowing citizens to grow their own food or for others to donate what they have grown. The gardens also combat two forms of alienation that plague modern urban life, by bringing urban gardeners closer in touch with the source of their food, and by breaking down isolation by creating a social community. It has also been found that active communities experience less crime and vandalism.
The term color garden has in popular use two contradictory interpretations. In the first sense, a color garden is a garden specially planted in order to display a wide variety of colors, often in a particular season (for example a fall color garden). In the second sense, a color garden may more accurately be labeled a single-color garden. Such a garden is planted so that it overwhelms the observer with a single color. While this may seem a rather bland approach at first, such gardens were made popular by the work of famous garden designers such as Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. Sackville-West, for example, created what may have been one of the most famous single-color gardens, the Sissinghurst Castle's all-white garden.
Container gardening is the practice of growing plants exclusively in containers or "pots", instead of planting them in the ground. In some cases, this method of growing is used for ornamental purposes. This method is also useful in areas where the soil is unsuitable for the plant or crop in question. Limited growing space can also make this option appealing to the gardener.
Many types of plants are suitable for the container, including decorative flowers, herbs, vegetables, and small trees. There are many advantages to growing plants in containers, namely:
- Less risk of soil-borne disease
- Virtually eliminate weed problems
- Mobile plants gives more control over moisture, sunlight & temperature
Containers range from simple plastic pots, teacups to complex automatic-watering irrigation systems. This flexibility in design is another reason container gardening is popular with growers. They can be found on porches, front steps, and in urban locations, on rooftops. [top]
Cottage gardens are English in origin and are typically profusely planted, and random and carefree in form. Their creation or revival in the 1870s followed a fashion for wild gardens and naturalistic plantings, as a relief from mid-century bedding-out schemes using massed colours of brilliant annuals raised in hothouses.
Originally, the late nineteenth-century legend of origin has it, these gardens were created by the workers that lived in the cottages of the villages, to provide them with food and herbs, with flowers planted in for decoration. Fruit trees would have included an apple and a pear, for cider and perry, gooseberries and raspberries. The cottage garden is invariably an enclosed garden, perhaps with a rose-bowered gateway. The more common flowers to the cottage garden were supposed to include hollyhocks, pansies and delphinium, all three essentially nineteenth-century flowers, with the old-fashioned roses that bloomed once a year with rich scents, and simple flowers, like daisies, in addition to the flowering herbs. A well-tended topiary of traditional form, perhaps a cone-shape in tiers, or a conventionalised peacock, would be part of the repertory, to which the leisured creators of "cottage gardens" would add a sun-dial, crazy paving on paths with thyme in the interstices, and a rustic seat, generally missing in the genuine cottage garden. The method of planting closely packed plants was supposed to reduce the amount of weeding and watering required, but planted stone pathways or turf paths, and clipped hedges overgrown with wayward vines, are "cottage garden" features requiring well-timed maintenance.
Desert gardens are especially suited to dry and arid climates. They consist of a wide variety of drought-tolerant plants with adaptations such as fleshy pads and stems to store water and leaves reduced to spines.
A flower garden is a form of garden usually grown for decorative purposes, centering primarily on the kinds of flowers produced by the plants involved. Because flowers bloom at varying times of the year, and some plants are annual, dying each winter, the design of flower gardens can be sophisticated, taking such matters into consideration to keep blooms, even of specific color combinations, consistent or present through varying seasons.
Flower gardens combine plants of different heights, colors, textures, and fragances to create interest and delight the senses. Photo by Ashley Sheets, provided courtesy of Park Seed Company.
Flower gardens combine plants of different heights, colors, textures, and fragances to create interest and delight the senses. Photo by Ashley Sheets, provided courtesy of Park Seed Company.
These have grown in complexity over the years, and are sometimes tied in function to other kinds of gardens, like knot gardens or herb gardens, many herbs also having decorative function, and some decorative flowers being edible.
One simpler solution to flower garden design, growing in popularity, is the pre-planned "wildflower" seed mix. Assortments of seeds are created which will create a bed that contains flowers of various blooming seasons, so that some portion of them should always be in bloom. The best mixtures even include combinations of perennial and biennials, which may not bloom until the following year, and also annuals that are "self-seeding", so they will return, creating a permanent flowerbed.
Another, even more recent trend is the "flower garden in a box", where the entire design of a flower garden is pre-packaged, with separate packets of each kind of flower, and a careful layout to be followed to create the proposed pattern of color in the garden-to-be. [top]
If you find yourself in a situation where you don't have a lot of space, hanging gardens may be the way to go. Plants, herbs, veggies, all sorts of things can be grown from hanging baskets to compliment your living space. Don't have baskets? You can still go vertical with vines and other plantlife that can climb right up the structure of your building. Some of the most famous hanging gardens are the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. [top]
A Heirloom garden is a garden made up entirely from seeds that have not been modified genetically. Many of the seeds available in stores today are "Hyrid" seeds - they have been crafted for enhances production, resistance to disease, tolerance to drought and for other worthwhile traits. However, hybrid seeds are often mules...the seeds from the product they make are incapable to reproducing properly, and new seed stock must be purchased each year (read up on terminator genes to see why this is). Heirloom seeds on the other hand, grow into produce that have seeds you can reuse year after year. While they are more expensive, many gardeners insist these seeds are superior to the hybrid ones due to the seed saving option. [top]
Hydroponics (from the Greek words hydro (water) and ponos (labour)) is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions instead of soil. Terrestrial plants may be grown with their roots in the mineral nutrient solution only or in an inert medium, such as perlite, gravel or mineral wool. A variety of techniques exist.
Plant physiology researchers discovered in the 19th century that plants absorb essential mineral nutrients as inorganic ions in water. In natural conditions, soil acts as a mineral nutrient reservoir but the soil itself is not essential to plant growth. When the mineral nutrients in the soil dissolve in water, plant roots are able to absorb them. When the required mineral nutrients are introduced into a plant's water supply artificially, soil is no longer required for the plant to thrive. Almost any terrestrial plant will grow with hydroponics, but some will do better than others. It is also very easy to do; the activity is often undertaken by very young children with such plants as watercress. Hydroponics is also a standard technique in biology research and teaching and a popular hobby. [top]
Sometimes you just don't have the outside space available for a garden. In which case, indoor gardening may be the choice for you. With the proper lighting, soil, watering system, you will find indoor gardens can be just as productive and beautiful as a full sized outdoor garden. [top]
The traditional kitchen garden, also known as a potager, is a seasonally used space separate from the rest of the residential garden - the ornamental plants and lawn areas. Most vegetable gardens are still miniature versions of old family farm plots, but the kitchen garden is different not only in its history, but also its design.
The kitchen garden may be a landscape feature that can be the central feature of an ornamental, all-season landscape, but can be little more than a humble vegetable plot. It is a source of herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers, but it is also a structured garden space, a design based on repetitive geometric patterns.
The kitchen garden has year-round visual appeal and can incorporate permanent perennials or woody plantings around (or among) the annual plants. [top]
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. As far as possible, organic farmers rely on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests. Organic farming is often contrasted with conventional chemical farming. Organic agriculture can be considered a subset of sustainable agriculture, the difference being that organic implies certification in accordance with legal standards. Organic methods are studied in the field of agroecology.
Since 1990 the market for organic products has grown at a rapid pace, averaging 20-25 percent per year, and this has driven a similar increase in organically managed farmland. Approximately 306,000 square kilometres (30.6 million hectares) worldwide are now farmed organically. In addition, as of 2005 organic wild products are farmed on approximately 62 million hectares (IFOAM 2007:10).
Organic agricultural methods are internationally regulated and legally enforced by many nations, based in large part on the standards set by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, an international umbrella organization for organic organizations established in 1972. [top]
The Paradise garden is a form of garden, originally just paradise, a word derived from the Median language, or Old Persian. Its original meaning was a walled-in compound or garden; from pairi (around) and daeza or diz (wall, brick, or shape). The name has come to be commonly used in English and other European languages as an alternative for heaven. Because of the additional meanings for the word, the enclosed garden of the original concept is now often referred to as a paradise garden.
The paradise garden takes some of its character from its original arid or semi-arid homeland. The most basic feature is the enclosure of the cultivated area. This excludes the wildness of nature, and includes the tended, watered greenery of the garden. The commonest and easiest layout for the perimeter walls is that of a rectangle, and this forms one of the prime features of this kind of garden. Another common theme is the elaborate use of water, often in canals, ponds or rills, sometimes in fountains, less often in waterfalls of various kinds.
The rectangular or rectilinear theme of the garden is often extended to the water features, which may be used to quarter the garden. This layout is echoed in the four rivers of the Garden of Eden, and much of the use and symbolism of the paradise garden is derived from this connection. The contrast between a formal garden layout with the informality of free-growing plants provides a recurring theme to many paradise gardens. [top]
Rock (Alpine) garden:
A rock garden, also known as a rockery or an alpine garden, is a type of garden that features extensive use of rocks or stones, along with plants native to rocky or alpine environments.
Rock garden plants tend to be small, both because many of the species are naturally small, and so as not to cover up the rocks. They may be grown in troughs (containers), or in the ground. The plants will usually be types that prefer well-drained soil and less water.
The usual form of a rock garden is a pile of rocks, large and small, esthetically arranged, and with small gaps between, where the plants will be rooted. Some rock gardens incorporate bonsai.
Some rock gardens are designed and built to look like natural outcrops of bedrock. Stones are aligned to suggest a bedding plane and plants are often used to conceal the joints between the stones. This type of rockery was popular in Victorian times, often designed and built by professional landscape architects. The same approach is sometimes used in modern campus or commercial landscaping, but can also be applied in smaller private gardens.
The Japanese rock garden, in the west often referred to as Zen garden, is a special kind of rock garden with hardly any plants. [top]
Shade gardens are gardens planted and grown in areas with little or no direct sunlight during the day, either under trees or on the shady sides of buildings. Shade gardening presents certain challenges, in part because only certain plants are able to grow in shady conditions. Very few edible plants grow well in shady conditions, so shade gardens are usually ornamental gardens.
Aside from the lack of light, shade gardens under large trees also tend to have very dry soils, because the trees use much of the available water.
Designing a shade garden doesn't have to be boring. Plant colors may not be as bold as in a sunny location, but gardeners can create interest by selecting plants with varying form, texture, height and color. A good key to remember is to plant "cool" colors in the shade- purples and blues will be much bolder and striking than "warm" colors such as reds and oranges, which are more dramatically placed in sunny locations. [top]
A sculpture garden is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture, usually several permanently-sited works in durable materials in landscaped surroundings.
A sculpture garden may be private, owned by a museum and accessible freely or for a fee, or public and accessible to all. Some cities own large numbers of public sculptures, some of which they may present together in city parks.
Exhibits range from individual, traditional sculptures to large site-specific installations. [top]
Square foot garden:
The original square-foot-gardening method used an open-bottomed box to contain a finite amount of soil, which was divided with a grid into sections. To encourage variety of different crops over time, each square would be planted with a different kind of plant, the number of plants per square depending on an individual plant's size. A single tomato plant might take a full square, as might herbs such as oregano, basil or mint, while most strawberry plants could be planted four per square, with up to sixteen radishes per square. Tall or climbing plants such as maize or pole beans might be planted in a northern row (south in the southern hemisphere) so as not to shade other plants, and supported with lattice or netting.
The logic behind using smaller beds is that they are easily adapted, and the gardener can easily reach the entire area, without stepping on and compacting the soil. In the second edition, Bartholomew suggests using a "weed barrier" beneath the box, and filling it completely with "Mel's mix," a combination by volume of one third of decayed Sphagnum "peat moss", one-third expanded vermiculite and one-third blended compost. For accessibility, raised boxes may have bottoms to sit like tables at a convenient height, with approximately 6" (15cm) of manufactured soil per square foot. [top]
A tropical garden features tropical plants and requires good rainfall or a decent irrigation or sprinkler system for watering. These gardens typically need fertilizer and heavy mulching.
Tropical gardens are no longer exclusive to tropical areas. Many gardeners in colder climates are adopting the tropical garden design, which is possible through careful choice of plants and flowers. Main features include plants with very large leaves, vegetation that builds in height towards the back of the garden, creating a dense garden. Large plants and small trees hang over the garden, leaving sunlight to hit the ground directly.
A tropical garden is one of the most difficult gardens to build, or maintain, it becomes more difficult the more your local climate differs from the natural habitat of your plants. Key to a healthy tropical garden are lots of light and lots of water. The large leaves that feature in tropical plants require the soil to be humid at all times, so irrigation might be a must-have for some gardens. Over-watering can kill your plants as well, as it will cause the roots to rot.
If you find a tropical plant that will not survive the colder seasons in your garden, you may consider taking the plant in your house, and returning it to the garden during the summer months. [top]
A vegetable garden (also known as a vegetable patch or vegetable plot) is a garden that exists to grow vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption, in contrast to a flower garden that exists for aesthetic purposes. It is a small-scale form of vegetable growing. A vegetable garden typically includes a compost heap, and several plots or divided areas of land, intended to grow one or two types of plant in each plot. It is usually located to the rear of a property in the back garden. Many families have home kitchen and vegetable gardens that they use to make food. In World War II, people had gardens called a 'victory garden' which provided food to families and thus freed up resources for the war effort.
With the increased interest in organic and sustainable living, many people are turning to vegetable gardening as a supplement to their family's diet. Food grown in your own backyard, uses up little if any fuel for shipping, and the grower can be sure of what exactly was used to grow it. Organic horticulture, or organic gardening, has become increasingly popular for the modern home gardener. [top]
Usually referring to a man-made feature, these gardens typically combine a pool with aquatic plants and often ornamental fish. Fixed items such as rocks, fountains, statuary, waterfalls and watercourses can be combined with the pool to add visual interest and integration with the local landscape and environment. [top]
Wildlife gardening is a school of gardening that is aimed at creating an environment that is attractive to various forms of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, mammals and so on. A wildlife garden (or wild garden) will usually contain a variety of habitats that have either been deliberately created by the gardener (eg, ponds to attract frogs, newts, toads, dragonflies; nesting boxes for birds and solitary bees, hedgehogs or certain insects; log piles to provide shelter for lizards and slow worms; planting beneficial insect attractant plants including wildflower meadows, etc), or allowed to self-establish by minimising maintenance and intervention.
Many organic gardeners are sympathetic to the philosophy of wildlife gardening, and will usually try to incorporate some aspects of the wild garden into their own plots in order to both act as a means of biological pest control, as well as for its value in promoting biodiversity and generally benefitting the wider environment.
Although some exotics may also be included, the wild garden will usually predominantly feature a variety of native species. Generally these will be a part of the pre-existing natural ecology of an area, but managed in a way that is enhanced rather than damaged by the process of cultivation.
As in other forms of gardening, aesthetics plays a central role in deciding what is 'right', but constraints regarding issues such as seed provenance also apply. Wild gardens are by definition examples of water-wise gardening, as the natural species of any ecoregion or micro-climate are those optimal for local water supplies.
There are a few super-beneficial plants that bloom for a long time, and yield abundant nectar and pollen. These plants, such as the Joe-Pye weed at right, support a whole community of beneficial insects and small vertebrates. Goldenrod is another example. [top]