Plan an Extraordinary
By Jeanette Joy Fisher
Now that spring is officially (on the calendar, at
least), it's time to think about how to turn your garden
from ordinary to extraordinary.
One way to do that is to think in terms of xeriscaping.
The term means to use waterwise plants, which is
especially useful in dry climates. Xeric species make
gardening easier because they're drought resistant, and
friendlier to the environment, because they use less water
to provide lushness in both flowers and foliage. Most
xeric plants are also perennials, so they will continue to
flourish for years without having to be replanted every
There are many types of gardens that can also create
spectacular effects. For instance, formal gardens are
meant to convey a sense of power over the environment
through the use of carefully trimmed hedges and
symmetrical layouts. This type of garden was especially
popular during Elizabethan times. They require
considerably more work, but the overall effort can be very
A woodland garden can also be beautiful, using a
combination of plants that can tolerate shade and partial
sunlight. The idea is to mimic the randomness of the
forest floor, and augment that with the use of stone and
wood to create a warm and inviting feeling. Water elements
are often used, as well as stone bridges and walkways. The
idea is to work with the space and make it feel as if
everything belongs there within a naturalistic setting.
If your space is truly limited, you can still create
spectacular effects by creating a container garden. These
are particularly effective in an urban setting, especially
in a courtyard or on a patio. By using varying sizes and
shapes of containers and mixing various textures and
colors together, you can create stunning effects without
having to have a large amount of space.
Another garden that can create a wonderfully organic
effect is the wildflower garden. As the name suggests, the
aim is to recreate the randomness you'd find in an open meadow.
The overall effect can be quite breathtaking, and sowing
the seeds can be as simple as just sprinkling handfuls of
wildflower seeds around your garden area. A pleasant bonus
to this type of garden is that it will attract lots of
birds and butterflies, as well, which will provide even
more enjoyment for nature lovers.
You don't have to spend huge amounts of money to create
extraordinary garden spaces. It just requires thought and
Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher
Environmental Psychology: Your Responsibility to
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