If you have sufficient place around your house then you can really let your fantasies run wild when it comes to picking your garden design. There are plenty of wonderful themes you could go with depending on what your exact preferences are and also on how you plan to use the area. Tropical garden design is one of the most popular themes for outdoor spaces these days since it gives the feeling of luxury and sensuousness. It is also a concept that is very easily personalized because there are so many different aspects to it.

One of the most defining features of tropical garden design is the abundant use of plants and flowers in a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours. Tropical foliage comes in many vibrant colours that include yellows, reds and purples in addition to many shades of green. These plants also tend to have dramatic looking flowers; frangipani, hibiscus and bougainvillea being some of them. You can have a great time picking and choosing these plants, adding jasmines as well because they are beautiful and fragrant. Bamboos and canna lilies are also popular because they give an instant tropical look to a garden.

Tropical garden design also includes the use of statues, lanterns, vases and other decorative containers, banners and colourful umbrellas. These articles are very easy to find these days and you do not have to travel to tropical destinations in order to pick up decorative elements for your garden. You could also include paths and water features.

Most garden design firms offer this particular concept in a contemporary manner. They will create a garden that has a Thai, Balinese or Polynesian look depending on your preference. Have a detailed discussion with the landscape designers you hire to find out how much the project will cost, including how much you will need to spend in order to maintain the garden. Your garden will need a lot of maintenance in order to remain looking attractive and you should only put in as many plants as you are comfortable looking after.

You will have a lovely time entertaining friends and family in your garden if you put in the right kind of infrastructure such as seating, lighting, a bar or a barbecue pit. Choose a landscape design firm that has a lot of experience in doing up tropical themed gardens. You can then be sure that your money will be spent effectively.

Lighting up your garden is not something that falls under a luxurious hobby that people only indulge in to impress the neighbors and friends. Garden lighting is basically a necessity more than a fashionable hobby or a passion.

Imagine how inconvenient and boring it can get to organize a graduation party that you need to wind up before the sun goes down, only because you garden is not properly lit. Forget about parties, can you even stroll in your garden in a breezy summer night without lighting, or sip on a strong espresso to enjoy winters in a dark garden? Without lighting, your garden can look dreary and instead of giving respite, it will scare you.

Garden lighting is immensely useful in a number of different ways. The first, being its use in allaying your fear to stroll in a dark, and gloomy garden. Then properly lit garden can encourage you to arrange different family and friends dinner parties and late-night get-togethers. This will eventually help you enjoy more with your near and dear ones and collect some memories along the way that you will love cherishing throughout your life. Other than this, the garden lighting can actually lease a new life to your dark and dreary garden, provided they are installed at the right locations. Creating a wonderful atmosphere in your garden does not imply that you need to install big bright bulbs all around. Bright and sharp lights can only serve to irritate your guests as well as neighbors, but will never provide a soothing atmosphere, a beautiful evening party demands.

There are a number of different types and designs of garden lights available in the market. Before going for shopping, see if there are separate portions in your garden for sitting and cooking, etc or not. If yes, then you may need to provide extra lighting to that area rather than using the same dim lights as in the rest of the garden area. Afterwards, you should know that the most usual type of garden lighting is the down lighting that can be used anywhere in the garden. Nevertheless, if you have a pond or fountain in your garden as well, you should always think about installing the underwater or spotlights. In addition, you need to highlight the walkways and sidewalks, as it gives further definition to your garden. However, whatever type of lights you use, make sure they are soft and low-voltage lights.

Prices of garden lighting vary widely; nevertheless, it is not expensive at all. To get an even more cheap deal, you can use solar lights. They are available in various attractive designs.

Do you have passion when it comes to gardening? There are so many people who have passion and are enjoying gardening. If you are one of those people, what are the things that you usually use to make your garden look beautiful and attractive? Do you use some decorations and other items? What type of garden decors do you use? If you want to use something that could help you save the use of energy, then try using solar outdoor garden decors. solar decors are decors that get the energy that they use from the sun. You don’t need to worry about using electricity to make them work. Like if you want to use lights in your garden to make it look more attractive during the night.

There are so many solar outdoor garden decors that you can choose from at the market. The decorations will depend on the type of garden that you also have. Make sure that the decors that you will use match the style of your garden as well. Matching the decorations is very important for it is the factor that determines the beauty of a garden. solar outdoor are only ideal and best to those garden that has big space like those backyard garden. Putting lights in your garden could really set a mood. It could also promote a relaxing mood. It depends on what mood you want to project in your garden. If you want to see your options with regards to solar garden decors, what you can do is do a little research online or visit the nearest garden store in your place and see what they have for you. This might require your time, effort and patience.

Few tips before you buy make sure that you have an idea what type of solar garden decors you want to use and have for your garden. Buy only those that you need and suits your budget. If you are not sure, try to ask people who have expertise in garden for ideas and tips. Using the right kind of solar garden décor could really help you save money for you don’t have to end up buying the wrong items.

The Park Seed Company’s trial gardens in Greenwood, South Carolina, are a delight for gardeners. The gardens showcase a great variety of new plants and old favorites. Thousands of visitors come to enjoy the lovely gardens each year and choose plants and seeds to try at home.

Since 1868 the Park Seed Company has provided gardeners with seeds, plants, and other gardening products. The company was founded in Libonia, Pennsylvania, by George W. Park, a teenager who first sold dried seeds to his neighbors. Park published his first small seed catalog in 1868. Over the years the company grew, and in 1902 it moved to a larger facility in La Park, Pennsylvania. The Parks moved to Florida in the early 1920s, but they found the weather there to be too hot and humid to properly store seeds. In 1924 Park moved the company headquarters to his wife’s hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina. Today the business is located on 500 acres of land. There are research facilities, processing areas, temperature controlled storage facilities, the mail order business, a garden center, and extensive trial gardens on the site.

The Park Seed trial gardens draw visitors from all over the country. Gardeners are welcome to walk through the nine acres of demonstration gardens. A number of the company’s All American selections may be viewed. Plant lovers will be able to see the best new plant selections before they become available to the general public. Only the highest performing selections will eventually come on the market. Visitors may enjoy the rose garden, the water garden, the container garden, and a number of other theme gardens. Over 2,000 varieties of plants may be seen.

The Park Seed garden Center also welcomes visitors. The center is open during the spring and summer months on Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-6pm. More than 1,100 varieties of flower and vegetable seeds are available for purchase. All seeds are top quality untreated seeds. Certified organic seeds are also available. In addition bulbs and live plants are available for purchase.

Each year the Park Seed Company trial gardens are a featured venue at the South Carolina Festival of Flowers. The festival is one of Southeast Tourism’s Top 20 Events. Park Seed Flower Day is one of the most popular activities. The greenhouses are open to the public and horticulturists give guided tours of the trial gardens. The festival’s 2011 Flower Day is June 25 from 8am-4pm.

The Park Seed Company’s Garden Center and trial gardens are located on Highway 254 (Cokesbury Road) in Greenwood, South Carolina. There is no charge to stop and smell the flowers.

Having your own plot of land is a great way to find some harmony within yourself as you cultivate the land and make the nature your personal shrine of happiness and wonder. You can do this easily by planting an assortment of things and watching them bloom on your acreage, on your land, and it will give you a sense of triumph as well as a sense of joy at giving back to a world by making it more beautiful of your own hands' work. For the springtime, you can plant a garden of flowers. Initially, before starting, you need to cultivate the land and make it ready. Choosing a plot of land in your backyard, you must rake through the dirt, as a lot of times there are rocks and other debilitating factors that will cause a garden not to grow.

So, raking through that dirt, get rid of all of it and then replace it with something else, like cow or horse manure. This soft dirt is wonderfully fertile and will help your garden grow. Then, choosing your seeds, there are so many to pick from! You can choose poppies, sunflowers, roses, wisteria, daisies, daffodils, lilacs, peonies, bluebonnets, morning glories, lilies, lavender, or you can choose from a number of herbs, like sage, basil, mint, or you can choose from a variety of plants, such as peas, mushrooms, snow peas, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, spinach, potatoes, leeks, cauliflower, okra, peppers, chilies, and a number of other things that please you. No matter what you are growing, whether it be strawberries, onions, and any other number of things, you can find seeds and read the instructions on the back to figure out how to plant them. Then you plant them and enjoy the fruits of your labor, quite literally, as within a few weeks they will begin to grow and you will see the success of your labors.

Keeping your garden alive is often done naturally with sunlight and rain, but you must be sure to water it, as well, and keep an eye on your budding crop, too. Also keeping it safe from pestilence and harm is another important factor, so be sure you keep bug spray and pest repellent on hand, at all times, so that your garden doesn't get devoured by hungry bugs and rodents. This means you might have to set some traps otherwise the instant your lovely green begins to bloom, it will have bite marks all over the place.

If you don't want to wait all that time for green to sprout, you can get small potted plants and then un pot them to stick them into the dirt, that way you already have something to look at and don't have to stare at a plot of lifeless dirt for weeks before you see results. No matter which way you go, within a matter of weeks you will have a beautiful, flourishing garden, one that will rise and fall with the seasons and bring you a special kind of joy that is unparalleled by any other sport or hobby.

Even if you love do the gardening yourself, a professional garden designer is worth calling on. There are numerous reasons why these professionals are so valuable to your home's landscape and overall aesthetics. You may think you can handle it on your own. On the other hand, you want your landscaping to be the best in the entire neighborhood. Can you do it on your own? You may be able to do so, but when you call on a professional, you will have a guaranteed approach to improving the layout and beauty of your outdoor space.

Why a Professional Is Best

Why should you hire a garden designer instead of just doing it yourself? There are actually numerous reasons why these professionals can help you.

• A professional is able to create the space you want to do what you want. In other words, his or her skill can help you to get the function you want out of the landscaping. That is not the easiest thing to do on your own.

• What is the budget? If you do not want to spend a lot of money on the project, or you need to stay within a specific budget, it is best to turn to a professional to get the job done. You can often get more for less with these professionals.

• Do you have a specific idea in mind but don't know where to get the supplies you need? That is another reason to call on these professionals.

• Are you searching for the help you need to get your design off the ground? Perhaps you have no idea even where to start. This type of professional can help ensure the right design for your needs is put into place.

• It is a good idea to turn to a professional garden designer to ensure that your system is structurally sound. From hard and soft landscaping the installation and design needs to ensure water flows away from the home. It also needs to work to reduce water needs.

• With a professional, you get a garden that will grow and do wonderful things for you. Without that professional, you have to assume that your plants and lawn are getting the right nutrients necessary.

To ensure that your landscaping has the right tools to grow and do wonderful things, turn to a professional. A garden designer will work with you, hand in hand, to design the space that is right for you, based on what your likes and needs are. It is also a good idea to turn to a professional just for the experience. You will learn a great deal about what you can expect from your landscaping, how to maintain it and even how to add to it or change it down the line. Hiring this professional can help make your job easier to manage overall. It adds value to your home and can help your home to shine for years to come.

Bermuda lawns can be kept green all winter by sowing rye grass on top of the Bermuda. This custom is well-known in the southern states. The Bermuda will go dormant with cool weather but next spring will wake up again. Rye grass is low-priced and will keep your lawn green over the winter. For a complete renovating job, however, it is best to sow a high grade mixture which does not contain rye.

If space is lacking in your garden for a wide planting of bulbs then grow them in pots. Several varieties are available and you will really gain much from this type of gardening. Buy your bulbs now while dealers still have a satisfactory assortment.

Watch soil moisture carefully. Natural rains during fall are not enough to keep plants going. Mulches of peat will tend to keep the soil moist for a fairly long period of time. To a certain extent this reduces your water bill.

All of your garden seed, whether it is for a flower garden or vegetable garden, is best if purchased from a very reliable source. You want the garden seed to give you the best crop possible and the prettiest flowers ever. Your seeds, needless to say, should be purchased from a company that has a good reputation and has been well established for many years.

Many vegetable seeds will grow well and give you a good crop if you can plant them straight into tilled soil in hills or rows. The supplies that you are going to need for a vegetable garden include a garden hose, garden rake, garden trowel, vegetable seeds, shovel, and a watering can. First be sure your outdoor temperatures will not be dropping to the freezing level; if the seeds freeze they will not survive. The vegetable seed packets will give you the information regarding when you can start planting in your area, how deep the seeds need to be place, how far apart the seeds should be and the best method for producing great results.

If you plan on planting the seeds in rows you need to make several channels with the use of a garden hoe. Each of the channels needs to be as deep as recommended by the seed packet for that vegetable. Generally speaking the larger the seed the deeper it gets planted in the soil. The small carrot seeds only need to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep while the larger seeds, such as beans, will need to be planted a good two inches deep. Place the seeds in the channel at the recommended distance apart, then cover loosely with the back of a rake or with your hands. Tamp that row of seeds with the back side of your rake enough so the wind will not blow the soil away. Water thoroughly but use a garden hose or watering can that is equipped with a fine-spray.

For hill planting gather your soil to form a mound to a 3 to 4" height and 12 to 18" width. Your seed packet will probably let you know high and wide the hills need to be for planting. You can use your finger or a stick to make a hole into the center of the mound as deep as recommended. Insert 2 or 3 seeds into the hole, cover them with the soil and press down just enough to make sure the soil contacts the seeds well. Thoroughly water the hills the same way as if you planted in rows.

Often times it can be better to plant varieties of flower seed indoors and then transplant them to the flower garden after the last frost. The time needed before transplanting outdoors depends on the flowers you choose. All this information can be found on the individual seed packet or in a seed catalog. Some packets tell you to plant indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Some seeds such as zinnias or cosmos can be planted directly outdoors but in order to get an early start you can plant them inside first to transplant later. Geraniums and licorice plants may need as long as twelve weeks before they start sprouting.

The main reason for starting seeds indoors is to help germination by use of heat and water and seed growth with the help of grow lights. You can help prevent "damping-off" with proper drainage and air circulation; this air circulation can be done with an electric fan blowing across the soil surface gently during the daytime. You want to start "hardening off" your tender seedlings a week to 10 days before planting outdoors. Stop fertilizing, cut watering down to half the amount, keep then in a cooler inside space, start letting them receive some direct sunlight and introduce them to outdoor temperatures. You can start by placing the trays outside for about an hour during mid day and increase gradually the time spent outdoors. You do not want them out when it is cold, in heavy rain, strong winds and bring them inside during the night.

Before you purchase any garden seeds pick up some garden seed catalogs and do some browsing to see the different varieties of flower seed and vegetable seed packets that might interest you. You may even want to try some that you have never heard of before and it might turn out to your liking. Just remember to use reliable sources when you purchase your garden seed.

Do you know how to make a garden? Well, these days most adults immediately response "Of course I know how to make a garden!" Yes, but do you know how to make a garden that actually grows the fruits, veggies, and flowering plants that you want? And, a garden that grows them in a healthy way?

Let's look at some of the keys to how to make a garden successfully.

1.Soil is all. Your have to have well-turned soil that is rich in nutrients and has the correct pH balance for what you plan on growing. Then you need to keep it well-watered,but also well-drained. You will have to fertilize it and provide it with compost or rich manure. Get your soil tested professionally or by using a home kit before you plant anything. You need to know in advance if you have to balance it out for more or less alkalinity or acidity.

2.Buying cheap plants is fine--if you know how to make a garden. If you don't know how to make a garden, the most expensive plants will fail.

3.Use organic methods to control pests and plant diseases. You can use heavily diluted bleach (diluted by water) as a "pesticide" spray. You can have Lady Bugs and other natural predators of aphids and such things in your garden. Spray "green" herbicides on weeds. Use these and other organic gardening methods.

4.Make your garden in 4x4 raised beds (four feet, that is). This gives you much more surface area in a more limited space in which to work. It keeps the soil richer.

5.If you don't have a lot of space for gardening, mix things together and maximize what space you do have. Why not use red cabbage for an edging, marigolds to keep out pests, and then have some herbs as your main "food crop"? You can also try container gardening if you lack acreage.

6.Water, water everywhere. The key to successful watering, besides knowing in advance what amount of water each one of your plants requires, is doing it consistently but never overdoing it. Too much water causes root-rot a and breeds fungi, while not enough obviously causes plants to wither.

7.Make a garden that is colorful and the form of which gives pleasure to the eye.

8.Use the seasons to make different gardens with appropriate plants, colors, and layouts. Do a little research to achieve this.

Are you for some authentic Italian food? Well, Olive garden is bringing the Italian cuisine closer to you wherever you are in the United States! With its famous chain of restaurants offering genuine Italian delicacies, you won't feel that far away from your beloved Italy. From the food offered to the ambience of the restaurant, you will feel at home in this fine dining place. So, what makes this restaurant different? What is its magic that it's able to attract a wide group of people? Well, there are many reasons.

• Its authentic Italian cuisine. When you visit this restaurant for some Italian dining experience, you won't be disappointed. It's nothing like other cheap restaurants out there doing some lousy imitation of Italian food. When you go for Olive garden, you are sure to get only first-class, original Italian taste that you will surely look forward to next time. And, this can be attributed to the next two points mentioned below.

• Its use of fresh ingredients. When you go for this restaurant, one of the first things that you will notice is the richness of its food. You can attribute that to the fact that the restaurant uses only the freshest ingredients available. From cheese to wine, all these are of the finest quality and they are used to enhance the taste.

• Its skilled chefs. The use of the finest ingredients is one thing; having professional and highly trained people prepare them is another. And the good thing is, you get both from Olive garden. Its chefs are trained from its very own Culinary Institute of Tuscany, so you can expect the best of both worlds.

• Its great selection. While you may think that Italian food revolves around pasta, you'll be amazed at the great selection offered by this restaurant. From its main menus (lunch and dinner) to its dessert and beverages, you will never run out of choices. It even caters to budget-conscious individuals with its garden Fare options, so it's really for everybody.

• It's easy on the pocket. Most fine dining restaurants often come at a high price, but you will be glad to know that you can still enjoy the food that this restaurant offers at a low price because there are coupons available. You can enjoy as much as 10% off on your favorite dish with these coupons.

So when it comes to Italian food, then Olive garden should always be on top of that list.

Olive garden is the way to go, and using Coupons Olive garden offers to lighten the load a little will make everything taste that much better.

If you want to learn how to plant a vegetable garden you are making terrific decision. Planting a year around vegetable garden will allow you to grow enough fresh vegetables for you and your family that you will soon have fresh and organic vegetables on your table daily. Whether it's to save money or to avoid genetically modified vegetables at your supermarket, planting a veggie garden provides countless benefits.

One of the first things you need to know when looking to learn how to plant a vegetable garden is making the most from your the space you have available. You will be surprised how many fresh vegetables you can grow even with limited space for a plot. If possible try and stay away from any trees which can steal nutrients away from your vegetables.

Vegetables need plenty of sunshine, look for an area that receives plenty of morning sun. Preparation is the key to learning how to plant a vegetable garden you can be proud of. One of the secrets to growing a great garden is soil preparation, it is critical.

With soil preparation you must remove all weeds, avoid any weed killers and remove them by hand. You must test the pH level of your soil, anything around a reading of 6.5 is ideal. If you are unable to test it yourself head over to your local gardening store for testing.

Having your soil pH either too high or two low will restrict nutrients to your vegetables. garden lime is commonly used to bring up low pH soil levels. Dig the soil over and look to get to depth of about 30cm (12").You should allow 4-5 weeks before you begin to plant any vegetables.

Now you might be asking what vegetables you can plant? This will be dependent on climate zone so speak to your gardening store about the ideal vegetables for your area. You can pick up seedling for a great price and begin planting after your soil preparation.

The key to learning how to plant a vegetable garden from scratch picking the right vegetables that you can rotate year around to help eliminate pests and disease problems.

Organic fertilizers such as animal manure and garden composts are fantastic for providing nutrients to your vegetables as well as improving soil conditions and structure. Organic fertilizers help retain moisture which is very important. Watering your garden is important but try to ensure it doesn't become waterlogged and allow for proper drainage.

Garden decor... when post people think of décor, they probably think of the decorations in their living room, or elsewhere in the house. Only a minority of people connect "décor" with gardens and yards.

Some people may say that the best way to decorate your garden is with flowers and beautiful plants. And yes, this may be true, but there is so much more that you can do! With the proper garden décor, you can turn your garden into your own personal oasis.

Great types of garden décor:

· garden Benches. What is the point of having a beautiful garden if you do not have a good vantage point to see it from? Setting a garden bench in the midst of your garden gives you the perfect place to sit, relax, and watch your garden grow. A garden bench is not only an inviting place to sit, it is also a beautiful visual addition to almost any garden.

· Bird Bath. There are many styles of birdbaths available these days. There are birdbaths that suit contemporary styles as well as birdbath that suit more traditional styles, and there are ones to suit any taste and style that falls in between. Not only do birdbaths themselves add beauty to your garden, but the birds that they attract add beauty, as well.

· Water Fountain or Pond. Water has many soothing qualities -- even the look and sound of water can be soothing. Placing a fountain or a pond in your garden will transform your garden into a mini oasis. You will love coming home from a hard and stressful day of work and sitting near the peaceful sounds and sights of your garden water feature.

· garden Statues. garden statues come in many different varieties. You can find garden statues that add humor, elegance, sophistication, or whimsy to your garden. Indeed, you can find a garden statue to suit any gardener's taste, whether you want to place and hide bunny sculptures throughout your garden, or whether you want a funny garden gnome.

· Lights. There are many different ways to light up your garden at night. And why shouldn't your garden be lit up at night? There is no reason that you should not be able to enjoy the beauty of your garden at any time of day or night.

These are just a few types of garden décor that you should consider adding to your garden. Adding garden décor to your garden is like adding a beautiful frame to a painting - it enhances it. Sure, your flowers and other plants are still the main event, but the right garden décor can really make your garden unique and beautiful.

Garden design is a very personal thing and is often an expression of your personality. What I like you, you may not and vise versa. Some people like neat and tidy gardens where there are no surprises, others love the thrill of windy paths, lots of different plant material and not knowing what is around the corner. There are three main styles of gardens formal, semi formal and informal. They can then be divided into many types of gardens and that depends on what you would like. garden design can be intimately tidied to the style of your house as in example of the grand french chateaux where the geometric patterns of the garden mimic the geometric construction of the house or it can have no connection to your house at all.

Some people are lucky and have this innate gift of knowing how to design space, making it a pleasing place to be in. Others don't have this gene and find it very difficult to visualise how the space will work. To create a good design it is important you understand that design is about managing space and people moving around it. The core of good garden design centres round patterns and the space within these patterns. By using geometrical shapes, circles, triangles, rectangles etc. you can achieve a unified feel to your garden. So you need to think about ground patterns and movement around your garden. Where would you like people to go? Ground patterns can be achieved with the use of bricks, paving and plant material such as cut grass etc.

Formal gardens are symmetrical and geometrical and are strict in terms of repeating patterns and plant materials on either side. It is very controlled, plants are clipped, shaped, manipulated regularly and today is often suitable for small gardens like court yards. Urns, balustrades, stone, gravel paths, parterres, formal pools and framed views are all part of the formal garden. There are no surprises, you know what to expect.

Informal designs are asymmetrical and not as regimented. Plant material is allowed to spill over the structural elements such as walls, steps and paths. Plant material is allowed to self-seed and wander around the garden. Informal garden design is softer, full of surprises thus you don't know what to expect.

And semi formal is the combination of the above two. Usually it is the built structures such as retaining walls, paths and steps that are formal and the informal element is the plant material which is allowed to spill over them, softening their hard outlines.

Within these three types, there are many different styles of gardens to choose from such as contemporary, Japanese, Mediterranean, cottage, courtyard, kitchen garden or secret garden.

Contemporary is a modern style that likes to reflect the surrounding but also use a wide range of plant material. Form and texture of foliage are as important as flowers. Hard landscaping is woven into geometrical shaped buildings; all of which flow into the wider landscape. Plants are used as focal points to highlight the architectural forms.

Cottage was a late nineteenth-century ideal to return to the simple cottages of the country. They were planted with hardy bulbs, flowers, fruit bushes and herbs and vegetables. They were geometric, colours were harmonised and luxurious as plants grew well as they were heavily manured regularly.

Mediterranean is not limited to one particular area but are defined according to hot summers and low rainfall. They encompass entertaining areas, shade, good views and dramatic shadows. Hot colourful plants are used and lots of lush green foliage plants to create a cool atmosphere. Plants need to be drought tolerant. Evergreen plants are popular because they cast shade on hot days. Walls are white washed to reflect the sun, pergolas built to create shade and use terracotta pots. There is often a water feature and water provides cooling vibes.

Japanese gardens encompasses religion and Japan's cultural history. Japanese gardens are very symbolic often the symbols relate to nature. Plants are 'tamed' and there is an emphasis on evergreen trees and shrubs. They are very controlled and often minimalist. True Japanese gardens are contemplative a place of meditation and great calm.


If you feel overwhelmed and don't know where to start when designing your garden, I suggest you break it up into areas called rooms thus dividing one big space into several smaller spaces. For example: there is the front garden, the side garden and the back garden. Once you have decided where they begin and end you can then divide each of those areas up again. For example in the back garden you could have the entertaining area, the grass/children's area, the utilities area (includes the compost heap and shed), the pool area and the vegetable/orchard area. Once you have defined the areas/rooms you can tackle one at a time, thus making a huge project into several smaller projects.

The Three Planning Stages

To create an interesting and exciting garden there are 3 sets of plans (may be four if you need an engineer's structural plans) you need to devise:- Site Analysis Plan, Concept Plan and Planting Plan, usually all drawn to scale.

The First Steps

To design a garden that works there are several things you need to do before buying plants and planting them. If you follow these steps you are more likely to have a successful garden.

Site Analysis

It is important to make an inventory of the area you are designing. Things to include are:

Levels - steep/flat
Aspect - North/south
Sun Summer/Winter
Existing trees and buildings
Views - good and bad
Soil conditions
Entrances - Front/back doors
Power lines
Underground cables and pipes
Clothes line
Sheds and garages
Paved and unpaved areas
Drainage - runoff of storm watered

Once you have noted the above, it is time to draw up the space. You can draw it roughly (not to scale) but eventually you will have to draw it to scale. Start by measuring the area you are designing, draw it to scale ie. 1:100 and put all the above points onto your drawn plan. All these influences need to be drawn on paper, so that you can gauge any trends. For example there might be a paved path from the back door to the garage, but everyone takes a short cut across the lawn, creating a desire line. No - one uses the paved path. So perhaps pave the desire line and make it the official path.

The next step is the concept plan and this is the plan where you put down you ideas. It can be as wild and as adventurous as you like. Forget cost, enjoy your creativity. This is the stage where you put down your dreams of what you have always wanted. Later on, you hip pocket will decide for you whether you can have them. Anything is possible, so don't be shy, dream away. Again this can be roughly drawn or to scale, it is up to you.

The third and final plan is the planting plan and it is preferable that it is drawn to scale as this allows you to know exactly how many plants you will need. It incorporates all the ideas you have decided upon and shows you how the finished garden is going to look. It is the road map which will guide you to building your new garden.

There may be a fourth plan if your site is steep or you are having major elements built, as you may need the advice of an engineer.

Points to Consider

Think about your soil conditions, is it heavy clay or light and sandy? What plants will grow in these conditions? Are some areas boggy and some always dry?

Sun conditions

The sun is higher in the sky during spring and summer and shadows are shorter. Whereas in winter, the sun is lower in the sky and casts longer shadows. So a plant might be in full sun in summer and complete shade in winter. Can it tolerate this? Also think about the conditions the plants require. Are they full sun plants like roses or shade loving plants like azaleas?


You also need to think about wind direction. Which way does the prevailing wind come from? Screens and hedges are one way of managing this problem but what problems are they going to cause? Making the block feel narrow, casting shadows etc? It is important to know because some plants don't like wind and it is no good putting the BBQ/entertainment area in an uncomfortable spot.


Views out your window or from your garden are very important. Some are intrusive while others are desired. If you wish to block out flats/neighbours etc. you may need to put in a higher fence or a hedging screen of some kind. Or you may want to design your garden to enhance the view of the mountain, ocean etc.

Utilities and Service Lines

You also need to be aware where your services and utilities are; things like clothesline, overhead power lines etc. If you damage the gas, telephone or electricity lines, you are liable to pay for their repair.

Principles of garden design

To create a well designed garden, it is important to put the right plant in the right position. This means considering the cultural requirements of the plant. For example putting a full sun plant such as rose into a shady position isn't going to work, because the rose won't be receiving the right amount of sunlight for it to grow. The idea of good garden design is to follow this philosophy, using the placement of plants to create mystery, tension and surprise by using tricks of the eye, colours and textures.

Tension, mystery and surprise make a garden interesting. One way to create these is to use hedges, low walls, screens, paths, steps to make individual 'garden rooms' with tension points that captures your attention on the way. For example a narrow oblong garden can be made more interesting if you can't see the back fence - that there is a feature (plant or statue etc.) that obscures the fence. It also becomes more interesting if the path way is narrow then opens up into another room. A winding path adds mystery to the garden if you can't see what is around the corner. Surprise comes when you go around the corner and discover a focal point.

A focal point is something like a seat/statue/water feature that leads your eye directly to it. For example - a pergola that has a statue at the end of it. The statue is the feature and is the reason why you look/walk to see it. Another example of a focal point is a pathway leading through a door that is open and shows a vista of the wider landscape.

The success of the focal point can depend on the how successfully the ground patterns lead you there. If the paving encourages you along this path thus creating some tension and mystery, you are more likely to follow the path to see what's there because you have become inquisitive. Narrow paths encourage you to walk quickly and not to dilly dally along the way, where as wide paths say stroll, take you time, look at the surrounding vegetation. A gentle curve can be negotiated at speed, but a tight curve can't be so people slow down as there is risk involved. Paving is used as a directional tool says don't walk that way, but walk this way. Edging bricks say don't step over this - this is a boundary. Paving can also be used to reflect the ground plane of the house or other shapes in the garden.

Long narrow gardens have a strong directional emphasis that needs to be broken up. Square plots are static. To solve these problems the space's shape needs to be changed. A circular design distracts the eye from the straight lines of the boundary fence. You could also use a series of rectangles using the boundaries as part of the design.

Another method is to turn the garden onto a 45 degree angle. A long diagonal line will immediately create a feeling of space. The paving near the house could be done on an angle and high light the diagonal line of the entire garden.

gardens with a dog-leg in them can utilise the bend by using tension, mystery and surprise to lead you around the corner to a focal point of some kind.

Unified space is created by controlling the movement around the garden. It is the way areas are linked together by paths, bridges, pergolas, steps and terraces that determine whether a garden is successful. Careless placing can ruin the flow of the garden. If you wish to direct someone's attention to a particular point then there must be a clear reason in the design for following this pathway.

Ground levels are very important when designing a garden. If a slope is too steep to walk down safely, steps may be needed and if the entire block is on a slope, the whole area may need to be terraced. What material you use is also important. Steps should not be of slippery materials and gravel may wash away. The surfaces need to be flat otherwise they could be dangerous and people will not want to walk along them and instead they may create a desire lines.

Levels help to create interest and 'rooms' in a garden because you move from one place to another by steps/paths/etc. Allow your levels to gently flow into one another and keep them simple. Don't over decorate them. A slope up from the house will appear foreshortened whereas a slope down from the house will appear larger.

Choosing Plant Materials

There are 3 types of gardens:- the plants man, the garden designer and the gardener's (mix of the first two). The plants man gardens consist of lots of singular plantings, unconnected and often rare and difficult to source. The garden designer's garden consists of plants that are tried and tested - they use plants that they know and how they perform. The gardener's garden has learned that their favourite plants can be more effective if planted in a scheme.

When choosing plants you must consider what the conditions are of your garden. There is no point putting alkaline tolerant plants in acid soil or vise versa. It won't work! You need to think about what your plants you have chosen require moist soils, dry soils, shade, sun, well drained, boggy soils. If you do your research correctly and place your plants in the right position, you are well on the way to a successful garden.

The height and spread of your plants also needs to be considered. Tall growing plants are placed at the back of the garden bed, graduating down to the low plants. Remember some plants send up flower spikes that may be much larger than the plant itself, so they need to be positioned according to their flower spike height. Some plants are bushy so don't forget to leave sufficient room for them to spread. They may need annual pruning to keep them in check.


Another trick in the designing tool bag is using colour. Colour is the sensation of illumination which is light. The way colours inter-react with each other depends on their position in colour wheel. Manipulating colour is great fun and can create all sorts of illusions. Colours are divided into 2 groups primary red, yellow, blue and secondary green, violet, orange. Secondary colours are made of combining two primary such as mixing blue and yellow together to create green. You can make a space look cold or create distance by using pale and brown colours. You can also make a space looker bigger than it really is by using warm colours such as oranges, reds or yellows. If you want to make a space look closer to you, again use warm colours. As reds, oranges or yellow are very busy colours to the eye, it is a good idea to intersperse white flowers or grey foliage plants to calm the visual scene down. White and grey also intensify blue and pale colours.

One thing to remember about the Australia sun is that the best time to look at our gardens is in the late afternoon when the sunlight is not as strong. Our hot sun tends to fade our flowers colours and the glare at mid-day tends to wash the colour out.

If you are feeling overwhelmed about designing your garden, divide your space up and take it slowly, completing one section at a time. Don't start another part until you have finished the section you are working on and very soon you will have a beautiful garden. Remember gardens are ephemeral, it is a process that is for ever evolving. You never really finish.

As one travels the path of life, one begins with externalities as their reality. As the passage of time reveals that internality is the path homeward, and they discover if they venture into it, one finds the beauty and grace of the internal world.

As we begin our life journey, we tend to think that everything we see outside with our senses are real and anything else we don't see as an illusion. For this reason, since time began as we evolve, we have been told of this wonderful place called the ' Garden of Eden', the place where everything began, this place is heaven. As it is, we seek outside for this heaven, this Garden of Eden. We go to the furthest reaches of the world in search for this Garden, but we fail over and over again to finding such a paradise called the Garden of Eden.


We go outwards, just as we venture from our home only to return later in the night.

We seek for this Garden of Eden outside, but actually it is inside, at home, all the time.

We have been looking at the wrong place, it is always with us, it never left us, only that we were too blind to see and not know, because our perceptions overwhelms us to believe the external world is the only one there is.

There are two worlds for this discussion.

A world inside us that is constantly creating and a world outside of us that is the result of our creating inside, the world of the created.

A world inside and a world outside.

Everything that is created in our world, our reality is from our 'mind', inside. Other then nature to which was created before we, the humanity came into being. Other than what nature is, everything else is 'human made', human created.

The world within is a world of creating!

The world without is a world of created!

The world within IS the Garden of Eden!

The world without IS the world of the Fallen!

Lets put it this way...

The world was created perfect, called the Garden of Eden.

Then as the outer world was created, the Garden of Eden was surrounded by, in the world outside became, hence it was subject to the world outside's influence, the environmental factors like wind, insects, birds, water etc.

The wind blew, the seeds of weeds was blown into the Garden of Eden. The seeds gets hold and began to grow, the weeds. Soon the Garden no longer looks like the perfection it was, it was hidden in weeds, the Garden still exist, only hidden from view!

Someone begin to ponder and look outside but fails to find, because the weed were so long they no longer see the big picture, the Garden to which it all began, then someone decided to remove the weeds in the world outside to slowly reveal the Garden. Slowly but surely the weeds are removed and soon it was revealed and the more excited the person became, the more passionate the discovery began and soon the weeds are all gone, the Garden revealed itself and the person took rest to enjoy the Garden.

Many people stop there, to enjoy.

The journey continues, the weeds were 'pulled' out, soon, the Garden because of the rest, begin to grow again, the weeds fill the Garden again, the Gardener is left un-aware of the weed growing because the Gardener has taken holiday, only to find when the Gardener returns, the Garden of Eden was once again gone.

Because the Gardener knows where it is now, the Gardener sets to work on clearing and revealing the Garden once more, pulling out the weeds, this time more effective, shorter time required to clear the weeds to disclose the Garden of Eden... Only one thing, every time the Gardener cleans it, pulled away the weeds, the weed will grow back in a shortest time. Even though the Gardener was more effective at pulling the weed away, it still comes back. The Gardener is confused and wonder, wonder the Gardener did. The Garden wonders away from the Garden of Eden in search of a solution of the growing weed, the Gardener wants to remove the weeds once and for all without having to repeat, routinely remove the weeds and allow the Garden of Eden to remain the Garden of Eden, absence of weeds.

Confusion sets in to wonder how to clear the weeds once and for all, the weeds grow taller and taller until the Gardener can no longer find its way out of the Garden, the Gardener is totally lost and confused, frustrated at the same time. One Gardener would slash out at the weed only to grow tired and fall asleep, another would sit quietly among the weeds to wonder about the solution of the growing weeds.

One would soon return to the Garden of Eden when the Gardener awakes, the weeds were miraculously cleared and gone, it is again at the Garden of Eden, again with the passage of time, the weed began to grow away and the situation repeats itself, only that every time the Gardener awakes, he also forgets about the past, the tending to the Garden was forgotten, the Garden of Eden process is repeated over and over again...

The other Gardener who sit quietly to ponder and wonder, finally realizes that the Garden of Eden is right here all the time, the weeds grow because the 'cause' is still there, the 'seeds' of the weeds exist below the soil, blown in from the world without (external world). To solve the weed issues once and for all, all the Gardener need to do was to 'pull the weed out and remove the seed', this way, the weed will end its reign and the weed stop populating the Garden of Eden.

This was a realization that the Gardener needed, now the Gardener sets out to clear the weeds at the cause. Slowly but surely the weeds was cleared and never to return again. The Gardener now lives in the Garden of Eden, free from the weeds of the external world. The interesting thing was this, the Gardener realizes, when the Garden of Eden is maintained, the world outside changes also, it begins to mimic the Garden of Eden and soon, the world external, our reality becomes the world within, the Garden of Eden.

The Gardener realizes that, in order to change the world outside, it must first begin from the world within, from the Garden of Eden, by slowly removing all the weeds from the world within, at its cause, then and only then will have the time to appreciate all its work to live in the beautiful Garden of Eden from which it began its journey called life!

Maintaining a Garden takes time and effort.

It is your Garden of Eden, if you treasure your Garden, maintain it.

Sure there will be weeds here and there, slowly discover the roots, pull it out and 'remove' the seed below and it will slowly be cleared.

It is your Garden, you are the Gardener, tend to it, maintain it, slowly but surely, thy work be done, thy Garden of Eden be revealed with your insistence of seeing and living in your Garden of Eden. Sooner or later, with the maintenance, you will have the paradise reflected in the world without, soon heaven be here in the world without and you are in heaven, for you have found your Garden of Eden to which you live in now!

Now you know, begin to tend to your Garden of Eden today!

By the way, the Garden of Eden in 'external world' terminology, it is called 'mind'.

Tend to your mind, weed out what you don't want slowly, one at a time, remove the causes and all is revealed. How to remove it? That's another story!

Happy clearing the weeds from your Garden of Eden.

Tag : Garden,Eden

Classical Chinese gardens and fountains are more than collections of beautiful plants, trees and water. They are representations of nature, providing insight into the philosophical and spiritual mind of past Chinese artisans and high-ranking citizens.

The principles of classical Chinese gardening can be useful and insightful to garden lovers living anywhere in the world. Chinese design objectives can inspire American home gardeners to try something new such as a garden fountain and encourage the expression of culture and philosophy through gardening.

In the 2,000 years since the imperial family first set aside natural areas for hunting, traditional gardens in China have developed into an art form equal in rank to painting, calligraphy and poetry. Several of the finest gardens, built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912), have survived the ravages of time and politics.

Suzhou, about 50 miles west of Shanghai, is known as "the city of gardens." For generations, rich officials, merchants, landowners, scholars, garden designers and garden crafters settled in Suzhou to enhance its fame. The principles of classical Chinese gardens were well represented in their gardens. Visitors come to learn their secrets and experience their magic.

These gardens provide insight into the traditional Chinese view of nature, which includes the role human's play in the natural order. The gardens hold clues to the ancient Chinese mind through the winding paths, the use of symbolism and the selection of plants. In the traditional Chinese view of nature, humans were equals with everything in the natural world. As the philosopher Lao Tsu wrote in the Tao Te Ching, "Man follows the earth. Earth follows heaven. Heaven follows the Tao. Tao follows what is natural." Traditionally, Chinese people assisted in the expression of nature but did not impose their will upon it.

Chinese gardens were originally designed to symbolize a living entity: rocks formed the skeleton, water and fountains functioned as the blood, while plants provided the clothing. To portray the influence of human beings in nature, architectural constructions (bridges, pavilions, halls, courtyards, gateways, windows, doors and pavings) were integrated into a garden's design. Their purpose was to illustrate the ideal interaction of humans with nature. Together, these elements made up all that is natural on Earth: vegetation, mountains, and bodies of water with gently flowing Chinese fountains as well as human influence. The way they were integrated into the garden expressed the relationships they have in nature.

Gardeners in the West may be unable to mimic the grandeur with which the ancient Chinese gardeners represented nature, but they can include parts of each element. The goal is to create a sense of wholeness within the limitations of the site and to consider all these elements as integral parts of the garden.

Just as a garden's main elements are symbolic of the parts of a living whole, symbols that make up the culture's beliefs are scattered throughout Chinese gardens and integrated in their design. For example, bad spirits were believed to travel in straight lines so pathways were seldom designed straight or flat. It was believed that the many changes in levels and directions made it difficult for these spirits to infect the people enjoying the garden. Dragons, symbols of strength, change and goodness, frequently adorn Chinese fountain walls and roofs of garden structures.

Suitability -- The most appropriate location for every feature of a garden must be found. Seasonal changes in weather and plants as well as the physical requirements of the garden site are considered. In addition to finding the most suitable site for each garden element (plants, rocks, water fountains and architectural constructions), details such as the size, shape, color and placement of railings, windows and doors in a building, for example, are also considered to ensure complete harmony of the surroundings.

Taking Advantage - The Chinese garden designer attempts to use the garden's surroundings, whether near or distant, to the best advantage. Sights, sounds, movement and stillness, the subtle and the obvious, are used as part of the scenes created within the garden. Many of the private gardens in China were small in size -- no larger than the typical garden sites of single family homes in the United States. It is the challenge, then, of the garden designer to create the illusion of spaciousness by incorporating far-off sights and sounds into the garden's ambiance.

Refinement - To define what is refined in the garden design is a judgment rooted in culture. In Chinese gardens, this refinement has meant incorporating a tranquility, gracefulness, elegance, neatness and distinctness that is in accordance with nature. The expression of these characteristics is judged in China against culturally accepted historical standards. Outside of China, gardeners can define what is considered refined according to their own standards.

Simplicity - To Ji Cheng, being simple means not being extravagant. Resources that are on site or nearby are considered the best materials to use in designing the garden. Rare or unusual objects and plants are considered extravagant.

Changeability - This objective is prominent in traditional Chinese gardens because it expresses the natural law of constant change. A garden design can create a sense of change and unexpectedness with scene changes in every turn of a path, an unexpected or different view from each window and aesthetic changes with each season. Designs can include changes caused by clouds, sun, wind, rain, snow, insects, birds, plants and water.
A garden's plants provide a link among all its elements, symbolizing harmony in nature. Plants are the garden's dynamic, living component.

In accordance with the Chinese view of gardens as representations of nature, the trees, shrubs and flowers of a garden are chosen to reflect the unique features of the garden's region. Most traditional Chinese gardeners select native plants, or plants with special meaning in Chinese culture. Bamboo, for example, is common in Chinese gardens because of the many lessons it teaches. Bamboo is strong and resilient. Staying green throughout the winter, it teaches that one can flourish despite harsh conditions. Bamboo grows in clumps, modeling life in the family. Its fast growth illustrates self-development.

The plants are situated in ways that show off an individual plant's unique features. Their arrangements in the design demonstrate their interrelationships with other species as they occur in their natural habitats. The purpose of plants in Chinese gardens is to reflect the inherent order of nature. More than a collection of plants or even an expression of beauty in the purely visual sense, the classical Chinese garden is a physical representation of Chinese philosophy and culture. These gardens embody the best of traditional Chinese thought and culture, which sees humanity functioning as part of a greater natural order.

Today, home gardeners can apply their plant growing talents in the spirit of these old Chinese gardens by expressing their own culture and philosophy toward nature in their garden designs and by applying Ji Cheng's design objectives. The result will be a garden that unites aesthetics, plant cultivation, philosophy and culture.

Tag : garden,chinese garden,fountains,chinese

Home Garden - Designer: Douglas Bowman | Dimodifikasi oleh Abdul Munir Original Posting Rounders 3 Column