The first steps to create a garden
Have we finally finished building or renovating the house of our dreams but the surrounding land, reduced to a mass of brushwood and building rubble, inspires us with great sadness? Let us be patient and in a while we will be able to admire from the windows a garden that fully reflects our personality and our needs and in which to relax.
Before creating a garden we need to inform ourselves about the type of plants best suited to our soil by having it examined by a landscape agronomist, who will be able to give us the best advice: for example, a garden designed for the area of the Po Valley will not contain the same plants as one built in Sicily, due to differences not only in terrain but also in climate. Furthermore, our garden must fit nicely into the surrounding landscape, considering that some trees will reach their optimal development only after about twenty years and must have all the space to develop on a regular basis.
Advice during the project phase
After listening to the advice of an expert, if we do not want to entrust the project in its entirety, we personally trace the miniature drawing of the garden of our dreams, also taking into consideration the external environment: if our neighbor has a beautiful tree It is good to see it also from our property, while chimney-like ugliness is hidden from view with large leafy trees. If a tree is already present in the ground and we do not like its current location, there are machines that can move large plants and put them back where we want them, but with quite high rental and consultancy costs.
In the design phase we take example from nature avoiding as much as possible edges and excessively regular shapes, since if we plant in a rectangular ground straight flowerbeds the gaze of the observer will tend to rest on the fence at the bottom of the garden, while the dynamism of a curved line will oblige the eye to follow it and then rest on the points towards which we want to attract attention, such as brightly colored areas or suggestive corners. We evaluate what we want to attract the eye of the observer both by looking at the entrance gate and by looking at the windows of our house, considering that the garden must be the natural continuation of the house and with it we must completely harmonize, choosing the flowering plants so as to have blooms in all months of the year.
We take into account how much time we can dedicate to garden care, without forgetting to evaluate our economic availability. If we don't engage with the demanding vegetable garden and orchard, a medium-sized garden will occupy about four hours a week in summer and much less in other seasons.
What we have to hide from the viewer's view
If the design of our garden also includes the presence of a vegetable garden or a shed for storing tools, these must be hidden from view by means of tall, thick hedges or pergolas covered with roses.
Fences should be refined with climbing plants, shrubs or hedges, but if the external landscape is pleasant, let's keep them low.
To hide a wall in the shade it is advisable to paint it white and then grow creepers that are supported with galvanized iron wires, the first one meter fixed from the ground and the next every thirty centimeters in height. As a support, painted wooden or plastic trusses four centimeters away from the wall are also suitable.
Even small fruit trees pruned to espaliers or palmettes can refine a high wall, while rock plants look good on dry stone walls.
As for any steps, they can be embellished with low plants and colors to match the stone of the staircase, keeping the growth as much as possible to the side so that they do not become intrusive.
Home garden: How to give our garden an added value
The garden must be the natural and harmonious continuation of the house and must be pleasant to live in: we should therefore plan corners in which to arrange a small living room or an outdoor dining room, better if paved.
Flowering vines that rise along the external walls of the house are nice, but we must prevent them from invading gutters and tiles or bringing annoying insects into the house.
Water always gives an added value to the garden. If the size of the land allows it, we build a beautiful pond in full sun and away from the trees, oval in shape if the garden is curvilinear, quadrangular but not angular if the garden is rectangular.
A bowl placed in a quiet corner where birds can bathe can also be nice, reminding us to supply you with fresh water every day and to crush the ice that would be formed there during the winter.
Other suggestive ornaments can be fountains, arches, statues and benches, with the foresight to always leave the central part of the lawn free.