If you want your floral garden to be a mass of colors and fragrances to inspire you every time you open your window, now is the time to put some ideas to work. Filled with different sounds, scents, colors and textures, floral gardens are intimate outdoor spaces designed to inspire our lives. Sometimes stimulating, other times calming, landscapes can evoke emotions and relaxation.
Floral gardens can be designed simply along walks and paths or in large borders and beds. Smell is one of the most vivid senses, as it is known to trigger strong feelings and even improve well-being or mood. In walks and paths, scented flowers, such as Lavender, Nepeta, Calamintha or other herbal flowers, can be planted along a path or in between stones. For visual interest use different textures for paths, mixing patterns with decking or stones and gravel. A winding route works well; it invites you to slow down and look around.
Whatever your preferred design, it’s always nice to include some comfortable seating in the shade. Large floral gardens can include floral trees such as Dogwood, Crape Myrtle and shrubs of small, medium or large scale such as Rhododendrons, different varieties of Hydrangeas, Buddleia, Caryopteris and Hypericum. It always looks best when plants are displayed in different layers, in groups of the same shapes, and with a variety of heights and textures. Encourage people to explore the garden with their hands. This can be achieved by placing flowers such as Stachys near the edges of the garden; Stachys will attract people to touch them, because the leaves feel soft, almost like velvet.
Colors can be used in two ways, choosing either calming colors or hot colors. Lighter colors such as lavender, blue or white can be used with a range of colors accented with lighter and darker tones, for instance, Lavender and Salvia or Baptisia and Russian Sage. In this case, the same colored flowers will be planted in the garden but only the density of color will change. For more vibrance, a variety of strong colors such as yellow, red or vivid pink have to be added. These colors create a great contrast that promotes excellent visual impact. The variety of shapes, heights and textures will blend the colors naturally to enhance the look of the floral garden.
Peaceful sounds can be brought into the garden through water features, wind sculptures or sound fences that naturally call for greater interaction; sound fences are a row of tubes that make a melody when a stick or another object is dragged across them. Water features help to establish a relationship between nature and us. The sounds and visuals of water are very attractive, giving us a desire to stay closer to it. Water features can become the ultimate attraction for a floral garden because they can be designed as a separate element or associated with an existing pool.
Always aim for a timeless floral garden design. There is no substitute for good structure and design, which should stand alone and not be subject to fashion. Choosing the right structure complemented with the right garden design, including suitable planting, attractive contours and blending elements, will bring you timeless inspiration.
Landscape Designer, Writer, and Lecturer; Frederico Azevedo is the CEO of Unlimited Earth Care, Inc., providing landscape design and maintenance to the Hamptons for over 20 years. For more information, call 631-725-7551, or visit unlimitedearthcare.com.