the essentials in brief
- There is a large selection of garden styles: from city gardens to kitchen gardens to country house gardens or natural gardens
- Garden paths can be made of concrete, gravel, brick, or wood
- A garden should be well planned before creating it
Inventory: Determine the horticultural requirements
Surely you also have an idea of your ideal garden in your mind's eye. These dream images do not have to remain dreams, but can definitely find their way into reality - at least partially. However, before you start planning and implementing it, you should take a closer look at the area of the planned garden. The following aspects play a major role in the question of which ideas can actually be implemented and which are not:
- Terrain condition : is it a flat surface or a hillside garden? How steep are the slopes? Can terraces be created? What about the slope reinforcements?
- Soil quality : What is the prevailing soil type? Is the soil more sandy or loamy? How thick is the topsoil layer? What is the pH of the soil? Does a soil improvement or even a replacement of the soil have to be carried out? Has the previous owner buried (special) rubbish in the garden that first has to be disposed of?
- Existing area : How big is the garden area? Is it a small city garden or several hundred square meters of space?
- Location : Is the garden located in a city, in a residential area or possibly in an agricultural area, for example in a village? This also includes the answer to the question of how and with what you delimit your garden or what you are allowed to build in it.
- Light conditions : Which garden areas are in direct sun, which are more shady? The sunnier a garden location, the more suitable it is for planting.
- Climate : The climate in your region also decides which plants you can cultivate in your garden. For example, very different types of crops can be grown in wine-growing areas than on the coast or in the Eifel. The microclimate also plays a role: it is generally warmer in the city than in the village, which in turn influences the choice of plant species.
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Which garden suits me?
Anyone planning a garden first thinks about which plants should be in it and where the garden shed or the garbage cans should be. On the other hand, many people worry less about how all these wishes fit together harmoniously and thus result in a pleasing overall picture. There are basically two approaches to a garden style: the planned and the casual. In addition, kitchen gardens and ornamental gardens can be distinguished from one another.
Before you start working on your garden, you should therefore first think about the intended effect. Planned gardens are based on a central axis that runs at right angles and divides the garden. So they are symmetrical. Gardens without symmetry, on the other hand, have many curves and therefore appear more natural. When planning, keep in mind that the mixture of planned and irregular structures often looks messy and is therefore not a good idea.
In the following sections we will introduce you to some popular garden shapes, which are also based on their location and use.
City gardens can be found - how could it be otherwise - in small and large cities as well as in their periphery. Mainly these are very small gardens, such as those found in green courtyards, on terraced houses, etc. These surfaces are often rectangular or even square, which is why repetitive regular shapes are ideally suited as stylistic devices. It should be understandable that large trees and sprawling trees are not suitable for cultivation in a small garden.
By the way: A typical narrow city garden can be paved with concrete slabs. Along one side, you could cut the concrete into a generous curve that leaves room for a relatively deep flower bed. This means that you can cultivate two or three layers of plants at the widest point and thus achieve more height and diversity.
Country house gardens have long been one of the most popular forms of garden. This style is based on the classic cottage garden and represents its ideal form, so to speak. Typical features of a cottage garden are:
- well-structured garden spaces, separated from each other by hedges and paths
- Cut trees and ornamental beds shape the picture
- If possible, native plant species are planted
- Use of natural materials as possible
Also characteristic of country house gardens are (artificial) bodies of water such as a garden or swimming pond and a stream. Decorative elements such as fountains, water features, small arbors or statues are also not uncommon.
If you want to harvest vegetables yourself, you can create a separate garden just for useful plants. The entire area can be used for cultivation and the bed should primarily offer the vegetables optimal growth conditions. Decorative aspects are largely irrelevant, but a well-tended vegetable garden with mixed and subsequent crops looks very appealing. It has a natural geometry as the vegetables are grown in rows for practical reasons - after all, you want to be able to move comfortably between them.
You can find out how to plan and create a vegetable patch in this post:Youtube
However, you don't need a lot of space for a vegetable garden, because vegetable plants can also be grown on a small area or on the balcony. Vegetable plants can also be selected according to their colorful appearance or cultivated together with ornamental plants in a bed. Herbs in the flowerbed, for example, not only have a decorative effect, but often also have a practical use. They keep pests and pathogens away.
However, vegetables are always in competition with ornamental plants when it comes to food, light and water. So never put too many plants in one area. Ideally, you should see the ornamental plants as an addition to the vegetables and not, conversely, place useful plants in the ornamental bed: this is the only way to give the vegetables optimal growth conditions.
Ornamental gardens are pleasing to the eye and create a pleasant balance to the stressful everyday life. Such a garden is ideal for small garden areas or front gardens, whereby ornamental areas can also mix with useful areas. If you'd rather plant flowers than vegetables, you can choose from these gardening styles, for example:
|Shape of the ornamental garden||Typical characteristics||Examples of planting|
|Alpinum||imitates high alpine landscape with typical planting, rock garden requiring intensive care||Dwarf yarrow, stone purse, dwarf lady's mantle, ornamental onion, stone herb, man's shield, (mountain) columbine, mountain master, ice plant, tufted bell|
|English garden||diversely designed garden spaces with lawns, trees and ponds, often hilly and need space||Begonias, petunias, dahlias, delphinium, jasmine|
|Formal garden||straight and precisely laid out paths and beds, typically bordered with low box hedges||Boxwood and other topiary trees, ground cover|
|Japanese garden||few flowers, but trees and water, gravel and stones||Bamboo, maple, cherry, chamomile, moss|
|rose Garden||romantically landscaped garden||Roses and matching perennials, e.g. B. Lavender|
|Perennial garden||individually laid out garden with colorful or monochrome perennial beds||different flowering perennials|
|Rock garden||Area made of gravel and stones for drought-resistant plants||Carnation, gentian, woolly ziest, blue fescue, blue pillow, thyme, gentian, dwarf pine|
Garden close to nature
In such a garden you create ideal conditions for the native flora and fauna and ensure that birds and other animal species urgently need a habitat. Ideally, such a garden should have a wooded area, a wildflower meadow, and a pond. Make the most of the conditions that prevail in your garden. For example, poor soils are ideal for a wildflower meadow, while many forest plants thrive in a damp and shady area. Other good habitats are a pond and a dry stone wall or a pile of logs. They can be populated with plants that provide pollen, nectar, berries and seeds.
Roof gardens - greening house roofs and designing them with plantsMore and more people are interested in roof gardens, as these give city dwellers a feeling of closeness to nature. In addition, planted or green roofs have very practical effects on the regional climate, which is why so many cities or municipalities support their facility. When planning, however, keep in mind that the load-bearing capacity of most roofs is limited. You will either have to reinforce the structure or grow pots and plants on the edge, near the house walls that support the roof.
Planning a garden - what you need to pay attention to
If all the questions discussed above have been clarified, you can now start planning your garden. Do not forget to think about your roommates in addition to using the garden beforehand: Children, for example, need space to play, and poisonous plants should be taboo in a family garden. The same is true if you have pets such as cats or dogs.
How to draw a garden plan
The best way to plan a garden is to put your ideas on paper and make a concrete sketch. For this you need:
- Graph paper or squared paper with small boxes
- freshly sharpened pencils
- the same crayons or fiber pens
- a compass
- possibly templates (e.g. circle templates)
Put the materials in front of you on the table and first draw the garden area true to scale on the paper. It continues as follows:
- First draw in the large, fixed elements.
- This includes, for example, the house as well as walls, fences and the gazebo.
- Determine the places for the greenhouse, for the compost and for the garbage cans.
- Now insert existing plantings (e.g. trees and bushes).
- Mark paths and planned beds.
- What are the lighting conditions or the nature of the soil in the beds?
- Draw in the plants.
At first, only draw with a pencil so that you can make corrections if necessary. If you like, you can also use special planning software instead of pen and paper.
What do I have to pay attention to if I want to create a family garden or a garden for children?It has already been mentioned that poisonous plants have no place in a garden that is also used by children. This is especially true for potentially deadly poisonous plants such as yew, monkshood, lily of the valley, daphne or Christmas rose. Instead, you should plant fruit trees, the fruits of which the little ones can safely nibble directly from the bush. Water areas in the family garden have to be secured or not created at all: every year, small children drown in garden ponds. Playground equipment should be TÜV-tested and secured with fall protection coverings. Bark mulch, wood chips or sand are suitable for this.
Creating a garden - step by step
"First of all, God Almighty created a garden." (Francis Bacon)
Now you've finally made it: the time-consuming phase of planning is finally over. The future garden looks very promising on paper and you are looking forward to finally working in the beds? Then you can go to work, starting with the rough work and gradually working your way up to the finer work. In fact, planting the garden is one of the last steps - before that, your manual skills are required.
What is better, do it yourself or hire a specialist company to create the garden?The answer to this question depends to a large extent on what work is specifically planned in the new garden, how you are set up yourself, whether you have expert help and how extensive the existing budget is. The use of specialists has several advantages: landscape gardeners not only provide the required expertise, but also the necessary machines, tools and plants. If something goes wrong, the company is responsible for it within the framework of the statutory warranty. If, on the other hand, you want to take action yourself, you have to identify and procure the plants and other necessary materials yourself. Any machines that may be required, such as a mini excavator, can also be rented from hardware stores or specialized rental services.
Earthworks and major construction projects
First and foremost, you do the necessary earthworks, which include these activities:
- Filling up the future garden (e.g. with mother earth)
- Fixing slopes and embankments
- Creation of terraces (flat planting areas in sloping gardens)
- Installation of underground water pipes and drainage
- Creating a garden pond
In addition, now is the time to build larger garden buildings such as a shed, arbor or greenhouse. This will be difficult at a later point in time, as you will then always have to consider existing plantings and beds. Also remember that you first drive the construction machinery and then fill the bed areas with soil so that this valuable layer is not unnecessarily compacted.
Create hard surfaces
Hard floor surfaces such as driveways or terraces are created in a second step. In addition to being a striking visual feature, they are also an important practical element in the garden. Which material you choose for a path or a driveway essentially depends on the main function. Also keep in mind that many of these areas require a stable substructure. If this is missing, the terrace or the much-used paved path quickly sags into the soft ground. The choice of material also depends very much on the function of the hard surface, as the following table shows:
|brick||House bricks are not suitable for paving, laying attractive patterns||Cheap||porous, not very durable, cannot withstand stress for long|
|Cobblestones||special bricks for paving surfaces||easy to lay, very durable||often available in low quality, especially with second-hand material|
|clinker||weather-resistant well suited for paving||denser and more impermeable than brick||are slippery when wet, so pay attention to weather resistance|
|Natural stone (slabs)||very attractive, many possible uses||very durable, natural material||expensive|
|Concrete block||Versatile in both cast and plate form||cheap alternative to natural stone, sometimes based on this, very durable||can quickly appear dull and boring|
|Cobblestones||can be laid loosely, poured into concrete or embedded in mortar||goes well with old houses and for decorative applications||Not suitable for much used areas, as walking on it is uncomfortable due to the rounded surface|
|Wood and bark||Wooden discs that have been sawn off and soaked with preservative make a sturdy plaster, fill gaps with bark or sand||organic and robust||must be renewed every few years|
|gravel||Can be used for many purposes, the bottom layer of coarse gravel makes sense||cheap and affordable, for large and small areas||no|
Create paved paths
Garden paths are always exposed to heavy use. Not only do they have to withstand pedestrians, but also wheelbarrows, bicycles or prams. It is also important that the planned path is sufficiently wide for the purpose it is intended to fulfill. Two people should be able to walk next to each other on main routes without feeling constricted. Side roads can of course be narrower. When it comes to materials, you choose materials that suit your environment and meet the technical requirements. We present some of the most popular materials for main and secondary paths in the garden in the following sections.
Washed gravel is an attractive and inexpensive covering material. The perfect stone size is around two centimeters in diameter, since with this size there is little risk of stones being brought into the house under your shoes. And this is how you build a gravel path:
- Carefully prepare the terrain for the gravel path.
- An edge that keeps the gravel on the way makes sense. Bricks set upright in concrete are very popular as edge material.
- Now roll the packing layer thoroughly for the way.
- Then cover it with a layer of coarse gravel about five centimeters thick.
- Then put a layer of clayey gravel sand over it (clay binder).
- Hand it out to fill in any gaps.
- Roll it tight.
- Finally, pour a layer of washed gravel an inch or two on top.
- Roll these down too.
This video clearly shows how to build a solid gravel path with slabs in your garden:Youtube
Brick paths are especially attractive if you choose bricks that match the house. In this way you create a strong and at the same time inconspicuous connection between house and garden. Bricks can be laid in different patterns, for example straight or herringbone, in a braided pattern or in a runner shape. Be sure to use designated paving or no house tiles. This is how you lay a brick path:
- Brick paths need a stable substructure.
- Lay it on a 7.5 cm thick and compact packing layer.
- This should be covered with a two-inch layer of sand.
- Support the bricks with a permanent edge, such as a row of bricks that has been pushed deep into the concrete.
- Lay the bricks well with fine sand and water.
- Make sure that the sand sits firmly between the bricks.
- This way, fill in all the grout.
Concrete has long been a popular option as a paving for paths. It is quite cheap and at the same time very durable. Concrete is only wear-resistant when used correctly. Careful planning is therefore advisable before preparing the path. It is best to lay concrete slabs as follows:
- Create a firm, level packing layer that is covered with sand.
- A slight slope is also useful so that water can drain off the surface.
- Place the plates carefully and correctly on the packing sheet.
- Pound them well.
- After a few days, paint the panels with mortar.
Draw boundaries and install privacy screens
When the rough work is done, you can now add a border to your property or separate the individual garden areas from each other. Boundaries are an important aspect of garden planning. They not only mark the boundaries of your property, but also offer the opportunity to filter out noises and unsightly aspects and create more security. Basically, the gardener differentiates between living and dead borders, as the following table shows.
|Type of limitation||Examples|
|Dead border||Wall, fence|
|Living border||Hedges, trees, shrubs, dead borders planted with climbing or climbing plants|
How high a border can be and where it can run is often regulated by neighborhood law in your state or in your municipality. In addition, specific requirements are laid down in many development plans, also with regard to the type and form of the boundary.
Create and plant beds
Only now is the time to create and plant plant beds. First of all, it's all about choosing the right shape.
- Vegetable beds are classically rectangular or square in shape.
- They shouldn't be wider than 140 centimeters so that you can easily reach all areas.
- Ornamental beds can also take on other shapes and thus create interesting aspects in the garden.
- In English gardens, the beds traditionally run along the garden border.
- This creates a clearly structured garden area.
- However, you can also choose other geometric shapes or add sweeping lines.
- So-called island beds, which are mostly in the middle of a lawn or paved area, are also interesting.
Before planting, carefully prepare the soil by adding sand or humus, if necessary, digging it up thoroughly and loosening the soil well. The bed border can be designed with stones or a low hedge (e.g. made of box or herbs). Plan the selection of plants so that the ornamental bed is an attractive sight all year round. To do this, choose plants that bloom staggered - and not all at the same time. Some ornamental foliage plants or grasses loosen up the overall picture. Depending on the type of plant, planting is usually done in spring or autumn.
Sow or lay out the lawn
As soon as the rough work is done and the beds have been planted, you can lawn the remaining areas. sow. There are different weed mixtures for different needs. Some lawns have to withstand bicycles and ball games, some grow well in light shade and some are beautiful to look at, but not particularly tough. Incidentally, a lawn does not necessarily have to consist of grasses: Plants such as chamomile or thyme are also very suitable. However, these species are not as hardy as grass, so you shouldn't step on them too often.
Laying the irrigation system
Irrigation systems make sense to ensure that your plants are supplied with sufficient water during the hot summer months. Various drip systems or sprinkler systems are available for this purpose (these are particularly suitable for larger lawns), which are usually installed above ground. Include the irrigation when planning the garden so that you can attach the necessary water connections and lay pipes underground for the rough work at the beginning.
frequently asked Questions
What do you have to consider if you want to create a garden in a new development area?
Soils in new building areas are often heavily compacted through the use of heavy construction machinery and must therefore be thoroughly loosened before each garden. If necessary, a new layer of topsoil must be applied.
How can you create a particularly easy-care garden?
If you don't feel like pulling weeds, then lay weed protection mats before you transplant the beds. Ground-covering creepers also keep weeds out and look attractive even without great care. In general, a lawn planted with various trees and shrubs is very easy to maintain.
What costs do I have to expect when creating the garden?
It is not possible to precisely quantify the costs you have to expect for a newly laid out garden. After all, the question of costs depends on many factors, such as the question of which works and buildings should be created and which type of planting you choose. Furthermore, the costs between do-it-yourself and a specialist company differ greatly. It is best to estimate which materials you will probably need in which quantities and how much they will cost when planning.
The type and location of trees and other permanent, larger plants should also be carefully considered when planning the garden. Such plants get bigger and more expansive with age, so you should plan enough space right from the start - even if the still young mini-tree still looks a bit lost,