Garden Style: What’s Yours?

garden style

If you have seen my own gardens (my backyard is pictured above) or happen to be a client of my gardening business, you know that I love the “wild, informal, blended together, some might say jungle” look. I am so happy this garden style is becoming more popular as gardeners are embracing native (plants indigenous to their area) plants and the less formal look.

Advantages of Greater Plant Density

This post was inspired by a Facebook article I read titled “Most Garden Problems can be Solved with More Plants.” This is an excerpt:

Many issues in a landscape bed can be addressed by increasing the number of plants in that bed. I see it time and again — a native plant garden filled with wood mulch and plants spaced far apart, like in a bed that mow and blow landscapers install. Or like sculptures in a museum.
I think we treat our plants with too much reverence. We need to let them get tangled up, struggle, and compete. And even fade away. This is how nature works, and we do the plants — and our goals of creating a sustainable ecosystem — a disservice when we space plants far apart and without layers. 

Monarch Gardens

Listed in the article are several advantages of this garden style including the following:

  • less room for weeds
  • less damage from animals thinking your garden is a salad bar
  • slower water evaporation
  • decreased soil erosion

What is Plant Layering?

This technique refers to the practice of locating taller plants in the center of a bed with shorter ones in front and shorter yet along the edges. If your bed is huge, it can be broken up with pathways creating multiple smaller sections with their own layers. It is also advised to strategically place plants based on their bloom time, colour, and texture so you have variety all season. That’s where an expert comes in handy.

This garden is an example of using sections with taller shrubs and plantings in the center of each. The stepping stones permit the client’s grandchildren (as well as mine and other kids in the neighbourhood) to hop through the garden without damaging any plants. They also make weeding easier.

This picture was snapped just after planting, (2020) so many specimens are not yet mature. The more mature shrubs were already in the garden, some were moved, others left in place and worked around. There are multiple varieties of edging plants closest to the stepping stones and the outer perimeter with layers of depth moving into the middle of each section. By this coming summer (2023) plants should be close to maturity, so less mulch and more plant will be visible, and the strategic layering more pronounced.

Have I convinced you yet? Are you too ready to embrace the trend? Now (winter) is the time to plan and dream!

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