Landscape Literacy

So You Want to Plant a Garden

Sustainability through community and residential gardening has grown in popularity over the past couple of years. Naturally, being landscapers, we love this movement and all of the potential opportunities it presents. People don’t always consider combining a landscape design with a functional garden, often because they assume the two will clash. For those of you with a green thumb (and those that would like to have a green thumb), fear not! Gardens can be a lovely addition to a landscape design, or even the key feature. Deciding what type of garden is the first priority, then other elements can be added to really enhance the beauty of the landscape. Consider these types of gardens:

Vegetable Garden: Vegetable gardens are very rewarding! Dunlevy Vegetable GardenIf your garden is well maintained, you will be able to harvest plenty of vegetables. The most common vegetables planted in a garden are tomatoes, carrots, summer squash and peppers. A few tips to have a successful vegetable garden are: make sure the garden has full sun exposure during the day, keep up with removing all weeds to prevent the spread of viruses and, and try not over water your plants. To ensure your produce has reached its prime flavor, harvest when the vegetables are bright in color.

Flower Garden: To have a lavish, beautiful flower garden, your plants will need to be placed where the sun will hit them for 6-8 hours a day with rich soil. The two basic kinds of flowers for a flower garden are annuals and perennials. Annual plants will need to be re-planted every year, which but provide full season color. D & A Dunlevy Flower GardenSome popular annuals are Vincas, Tulips, and Petunias. Perennials are plants in which the roots stay alive under ground for several years, sometimes decades. The part above the ground may go dormant and die in the winter season, but it will sprout again in the spring. Popular perennials are Catmint, Black-eyed Susan, and Hydrangeas.

Herb Garden: The key to a wealthy herb garden is to place your herbs where the sun is not hitting them all day. Most herbs do not like to rise above 90°. To make sure your herb garden will grow abundantly, plant your garden where the morning sun will hit and get afternoon shade. Herbs can be planted and grown in pots, however it may stunt their growth. Herbs will need roughly 1-4 feet in diameter for each plant. When picking your herbs, ideally you would want to harvest after the morning dew has dried, but before the afternoon sun hits (if you are unable to plant them in afternoon shade). The sun can potentially dry up the herbs’ oils. Some popular herbs to plant are basil, cilantro, mint and rosemary.

D & A Dunlevy Knot GardenKnot Garden: These gardens are the embodiment of combining a garden and a landscape design to produce wonderful results. Knot gardens are more formal and are carefully designed to resemble celtic knot work when viewed from above. Knot gardens also incorporate a pea gravel or stepping stone path for people to walk through and enjoy the garden. This type of garden requires more maintenance, but is very rewarding. They are typically outlined in an evergreen shrub, such as a boxwood, which functions as the main framework of the design. Massed plantings of annuals, perennials, herbs, and vegetables fill in to complete the garden with beauty and functionality.