== How to Plan Your Own Home Garden
If your garden is small, even several dozen square yards, it is great fun to do one's own planning, and little can go wrong. Should the place be more pretentious, running to one-quarter, half or even one / two acres, it might be money in one's pocket to consult a landscape gardener, or an experienced nurseryman or designer.
== Garden Planning
The first considerations in the composition of a garden or the grounds about one's place are Privacy, Variety, Shelter, Balance.
The planning and arrangement of the features of a garden or of the grounds about the house should be as carefully considered as the
choice and placing of the furniture in one's home, or the choosing of a suit of clothes, or a dress to wear. The same idea holds, namely, the planning of a suitable, agreeable, comfortable composition. The garden has been called the outdoor drawing-room.
The arrangement of the drives and the grading of the lawns
, the drainage
when necessary, and the arrangement of the buildings and
outhouses should all be preconceived and settled in an orderly, economical manner. As far as possible there should be no mistake about the main, permanent features. The minor features may be changed quite a great deal in the coming years and almost surely will, as new ideas and points of view assert themselves. This changing of the minor features is a part of the recreation of gardening. Thus one may
considerably alter the contour of a shrubbery border
, or may indeed eliminate it altogether. The same holds good of flower beds and
borders, which are easily altered, removed or added to; but with large trees
or the heavier groups of shrubs
the expense of removal and
shifting prohibits this being done except out of dire necessity.
Where one has the choice of building one's house or choosing its location, the best aspect for it is where the front porch faces southeast. Another good position is facing due south. In any case, as everybody likes abundant sunshine or ought to, see to it that the windows and living rooms face in the direction of abundant light. Those places that are hidden beneath a dense canopy or half a forest of trees may suit, and do suit, some folks, but they are terribly depressing to the great majority of us, besides being, one should imagine not conducive to health. Light, air, freedom, are good watchwords for the builder and planner.
== Planning Garden Entrances
Character can be given to an entrance by simply having two ornamental pillars built there, with possibly an iron arch over them.
If this is planted with creeping vines and is supported at the sides with groups of evergreens, it adds wonderful dignity and seeming value to the property.
== Planning Garden Paths ==
While winding paths or drives are graceful, they should not ' be made meaninglessly, but are in order where the ground slopes a little or
dips, or where irregularity exists.
Certainly these can always be added or made in order to get the curved line. Even in small places, as plans show, the swinging line of
beauty can be had. Straight paths may, however, be more convenient, and can still be tasteful and harmonious. They are undoubtedly neat.
No one can tell the reader exactly what may be the best arrangement for his garden or property.
Every garden should have a character of its own, and generally does, unless in the case of the very smallest, where nearly all opportunity for variety is extinguished; yet it is remarkable what can be done on a quarter or an eighth of an acre.
We have often seen plots of 30 ft. x 100 ft. laid out with much variety and taste, and which were full of interest. In those towns and cities of our own country, and in the old countries where the inhabitants, almost to a man, appreciate the elegancies of gardening, the little places exhibit the utmost variety of character in their composition.
Some pains should be taken to have clean, well-made paths.
Take out 6 in. or 8 in. of soil
and fill with clinkers, rough ashes or stones, finishing off with smaller stones, bound or rolled in with a little soil. For a strong, permanent road, concrete
may be employed. If a cement
surface is objected to, gravel can be strewn over before the cement sets, and be rolled in. Grass
paths are comfortable and beautiful. Brick is also good. It is well also to have a tile or slate or wooden edging to the paths, as this makes for neatness and easy up-keep.
You will find that by walking around your district or other districts, your walks are as a book; at every turn you will gain some
experiences or suggestions that may be modified or adopted with profit on your own grounds.
== Garden Planning Discussion ==
It is all too true that thousands of gardens and grounds all around our American homes are bare to desolation. The democratic idea and
feeling against planting of hedges
and the lining off of one's property makes for deadly uniformity. The arguments that unhedged or unfenced grounds would be contrary to the best artistic conception and treatment of a city or suburb as a whole, ought not to be allowed to sway the property owner from making the most and the best of his own place.
There is a school of landscape gardeners and city planners who seem to set their face against this, encouraging the open community type of home grounds. The latter will never get us anywhere as a nation of garden lovers, and almost entirely precludes the practice of the finer gardening.
We plead rather to see places nicely hedged or railed off, so that stray dogs and unceremonious persons may be kept at a proper
distance, but most of all for the sake of the enjoyment and encouragement of that quiet privacy without which the true pleasures of gardennig cannot be attained.
Which is the best to have a big, bare lawn and a few trees, or an odd group of shrubs here and there, or the trimly hedged and fenced
grounds, with flower borders, specimen trees and shrubs, beds and belts of Roses
, arches of Roses and other climbers
, water basins, an arbor or Rose house where tea or ice-cream may be partaken in the sunny Summer days, or where in some shady corner we can enjoy a siesta or a book in the open air?
== Garden Planning for Privacy ==
The fact is we do not make half enough use of the grounds about our homes; they are left blank in most instances. We warmly urge the
planting of light screen belts of [[trees]] and [[hedges]] around the property, which need not be so dense as to prevent a neighbor or passer-by from enjoying glimpses of your garden.
Regel's Privet, California broad-leaved Privet, Golden Privet, [[Hemlock]], Arborvitre, Austrian Pine, White Pine, Norway [[Spruce]], Rambler Roses
, [[Ivy]], Ampelopsis, Plane
trees, Berberis Thunbergii, are among the easily grown subjects that are useful in such screen belts, .and most of which can be increased on one's own place at little expense if the suggestions given in another part of this book are carried out.
The initial expense of planting the outer parts and main features of the grounds or garden need not be large. By the exercise of a little
patience one can grow-on a good many things for future developments. Poplars should only be used sparingly. They grow fast, it is true, and for that reason are often employed, and in some places are elegant and pleasant enough, but generally they are "messy,"
losing their leaves early, and their roots often choke up drains. The almost constant rustling of their leaves and other aspects of the trees are disagreeable to many people.
== Lawn Planning
Make provision for a good space of [[lawn]], and treat the [[lawn]] well. For more see [[Lawn planning]]
== Planning Garden Furniture and Features ==
Water in motion, as in [[fountains]], is often desirable but is a secondary consideration, just as the number and amount of [[flower beds]] or [[flower borders]] is, as also the introduction of [[rock garden]]s, arbors and such like. The thing of prime importance is to have the main features properly planned at the outset the garage, the barn, the poultry run, the kitchen or vegetable garden
, and the other parts of the place such as have been already spoken of, also the grading and terracing (if any), are among the first matters that require attention. Minor undulations or changes of the surface can be left for a future day. It is not, we repeat, necessary to have a cut and dried plan' from the beginning;
It is far better let it grow with your knowledge of the place. What may be called the adventitious, luxurious or additional features will, practically speaking, take care of themselves. You will gradually come to find out the most appropriate spot for this or that. Do not be in a hurry; allow the place to grow up. It will suit your pocket better and furnish endless recreation and pleasure. It will keep your mind happy and active. You will be interested and learning all the while.
This is true gardening, and the meaning and the reward of gardening and garden making.
Lastly, there is no place so unpromising that it cannot, by dint of knowledge, skill, effort and some small financial expenditure, be made
a beautiful or trimly garden.
== Related Garden Planning Articles ==