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Even more garden styles


Last week we looked at three kinds of gardens: modern, formal and cottage. Of course there are many other kinds, but I’m going to try to cover them in one fell swoop, rather than individually.

N A T I V E   G A R D E N S

Simply put, native gardens strive to use plants and trees that are native to the area where you’re gardening. There are great benefits for the eco-system (wildlife will love you), but be forewarned, it can be hard to ascertain exactly what plants are native and which ones are not if you’re going to be strict about it.

I think native gardens lend themselves to a more naturalized look so angles and formal-type order are uncommon (although you note how they accomplished that in the photo above). Once established, there shouldn’t be much maintenance beyond good clean-ups a couple times a year as well as keeping an eye out for particularly aggressive reseeders that may try to take over.

J A P A N E S E   G A R D E N S
Photo from
Seeing a good Japanese garden such as one might find at a botanical garden (or, I suppose, in Japan) can be mind-blowing. They are structured, but colorful (imagine a sea of Japanese maples in autumn). The plants that are commonly found in them often have undulating habits, many times they have been pruned into a layered effect that I personally find to be extremely pleasing. Hillsides are covered in mosses, cherry blossoms drift down into streams, color is broken up by a zen rock garden. I think these kinds of gardens again require a regimented gardener and the right climate.

T R O P I C A L   G A R D E N S

Tropical gardens special in the beauty of texture. Since many of the plants are green, texture often has to come through foliage and tropical plants deliver. Banana leaves, palm fronds, large-leafed perennials all make a statement through form. I suspect that tropical gardens, which are very much dictated by where you live, are one of those things where people who have them wish they could have something else and people who don’t have them would love a taste of them in their own back yard.
Of course there are so many other kinds of gardens, often specializing in specific plants. Conifer gardens can be amazing in their structure. 
Moss gardens are the kings of the miniature landscape.
Via Pinterest (if you know the original source, please let me know.)
 I couldn’t possibly list them all, but there’s a whole world of gardens waiting out there.


Next: What kind of garden do I have? What kind do you have? What kind do we all really want?

3 Responses

  1. All this green is such a high given all the white we are surrounded with. I think that 1st Japanese garden pix has its color ramped up a bit much. I was at the Huntington when that bridge was still painted red. Love those gravel gardens at the beginning of the post.

  2. I am so enjoying this series!! I guess we all are because of the winter that never ends. I am currently taking a Master Gardener course and this is making me long all the more for warm weather and greenery, although we currently are renting and I am hesitant to put too much money and effort into a garden that I hope to leave as soon as possible. This is also the house search that never ends. I guess I will be doing some containers but it's really not what I really want to do after seeing the glorious pictures you have showed us. I hope spring arrives without too much longer of a wait and that all of you can plant to your hearts' content!

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