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Garden design like home design?

Posted by lavender_lass WA zone 4 (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 10, 10 at 17:57

I know everyone has different styles, but until recently, I was having a LOT of trouble deciding how to design my garden spaces. I don't have one big, flat space so I've had to put the gardens in different areas around the house.

Finally, it occured to me that garden design is a lot like home design (which I'm more familiar with, as a hobby). I wanted a vegetable garden, but didn't have a lot of space. So, I am planning a kitchen garden (not far from the kitchen) for salad veggies, herbs, and some flowers, with a bed across from it (against the house) to capture as much heat as possible for tomatoes, eggplants and mediterranean herbs.

A larger garden will go in next year, behind the kitchen garden for bigger crops that take more space (my pantry).

I'm hoping to add a grape arbor with a dining table and chairs under it, in the back yard, close to the door. I will put a few more herbs and flowers here, mainly for fragrance and visual appeal...also really close to the kitchen.

In the front yard (entry, living room) I have roses with perennials. Around the side, in the shade, I have a little magical/fairy garden for the nieces and nephews. I'm trying to keep all the plants non-toxic and give them a place to enjoy the garden, when they visit. They also like to help with the veggies :)

Next year (I already have so much garden space I'm working on this summer) I'd like to put in antique roses against an old lilac hedge along the other side yard. I think it would be beautiful, mixed in with traditional perennials and herbs. Almost like a garden library. I also have plans for blueberry shrubs along a fence and purple raspberries along one side of the kitchen garden. I hope to find space for a few more fruit trees too.

Does anyone else have this type of design, or do you just put similar beds all around the house? I'd love to know what other people are doing and see pictures of their gardens.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Garden design like home design?

I'll leave it to others who work that area of the biz to answer, but in generally yes it is. Home design as opposed to interior decorating that is.

For example what is the mission and purpose of the construction?

Layout on the site of the construction?


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RE: Garden design like home design?

Lass - yes, it's much like home design.

You need to define how you want to live outside, then pick the appropriate area for it, then select the "decor" to plant there.

I like mixed-purpose gardens because there's no reason a pretty plant like basil or eggplant needs to be hidden, and no reason (if you have enough space) to not have some plants in a vegetable area just because they smell nice or look good.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

In the sense that interior design is considered decorating a space then garden design if seen in the same way is similarly decorating a space. The similarity ends there though in my opinion.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

Design concepts and principles transcend specific disciplines, so in that regards you are perfectly correct - the same considerations could/should be applied when designing a building, an interior space or an exterior space. And I don't think it has much to do with 'decorating' per se, although a great many do seem to confuse decoration with design.

Depending on the homeowner/gardener and their requirements, a collection of outdoor 'rooms' may be exactly what is ordered. And if that is the case, these are treated in much the same way as an indoor space would be addressed - there is a 'floor' (the ground plain), 'walls' (taller screening plants, fences, structures, etc.) and even a 'roof' or ceiling (an overhead structure, tree canopy or just the open sky). The rooms should have a purpose or function. Often architectural elements are included, whether they be built structures or a bold, architectural type of plant. Focal points are considered and included. And they are colored, furnished and 'decorated' just as an interior space would be. And as in an interior space, means of access and egress/ingress and connectivity need to be considered as well.

When you come down to it, except with regards to some of the materials, there's not that much difference between the two at all :-)


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RE: Garden design like home design?

  • Posted by catkim San Diego 10/24 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jan 11, 10 at 13:59

There are definitely parallels between garden and home design. One of the more pleasureable, fascinating, and challenging aspects of the garden that won't be found inside the home is constant change. Imagine if you selected furnishings in certain sizes, colors, and textures, then in winter they shed their upholstery and regrew it in spring, only displayed the selected color 4 to 6 months out of the year, and over a period of years quadrupled in size! With a garden you are working with living things, very exciting. Imagine, you will have a pantry that replenishes itself (veggie garden). ; )


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RE: Garden design like home design?

It seems that the revelation is that outdoor spaces can have distinct, highly-defined purposes and functions, similar to those that are associated with interior spaces. "A room is a room is a room" is not the way that most people approach a home's design, with the specific designation of a living room vs. a dining room vs. a family room (and the relationship between them) being quite significant, and yet it is the way that a lot of people think of exterior spaces.

- Audric


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RE: Garden design like home design?

Here's the rub: A house has areas in it that suggest a use, not for nothing is a kitchen called a kitchen or a bedroom called a boudoir. Copper bottomed pots hanging from the ceiling Provencal style looks good in one but not the other all things being equal! If you choose to hang copper bottomed pots anywhere else than the kitchen that doesn't make that room a kitchen.

Move outside and as long as you want to create a "garden library" the motivation is clear and you can organise it so that all the titles are face forward and readable. Just don't go hanging any pots that you could bang your head on and confuse the issue.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

Ink, I think it's worth noting that interior design and interior decorating have different meanings, professionally speaking. In most states, you can only call yourself an interior designer if you've passed a rigorous exam- if I remember right, the NCIDQ? On the other hand, anyone can hang a shingle and call themselves an interior decorator. Kind of like a landscape designer.

I mention this because I had a brief fling with interior design, and took two years of classes in that discipline. When I came back to landscape design, everything I learned in my interior design classes- space planning, circulation, color theory, building materials and methods, fabrics, architectural & furniture history- made me a much better landscape designer. I think there are a lot of similarities between the disciplines.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

I agree with what you are saying marcinde in fact I think the wider the experience the better the designer. My obscure point is that in home decoration, aided and abetted by glossy magazines the impression I get is that you can design a room by dotting a few artifacts around. A vase of flowers here some pretty curtains there, I guess the parallel is a Japanese garden that's only claim to "Japanese" is a stone lantern and a maple tree. Like I said, in a house someone goes into a room called library to look at books and the best way to show the books is to line them up on shelves in some kind of order. If you want people to be attracted to a particular area of your garden to look at the plants growing there you need a different plan and like kim says the plan has to accommodate change.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

I agree that they are similar in many ways, as others have clearly articulated.

There is, however, one massive difference. Home Design or Interior Design is static. Once designed and constructed, it largely remains the same. You can completely control the scale and look of a house or room. Sure, maintenance is required to keep it clean but the size and shape of a chair isn't going to change.

What makes GOOD landscape design uniquely difficult is that you're working with LIVING things. Living things that may have a typical size, shape and form but that is by no means guaranteed. One oddly growing tree can completely change the look or function of the final design over time.

One of the challenges is trying to account for that upfront. Many times we install a landscape but have no control over the long term maintenance of it and the way a LACK of maintenance or poor techniques can change the entire look as the plants age. This is much less of a problem with other design disciplines where they have more control over the final product.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

I think so that you should take the suggestion of expert interior design professional because interior designer now in these days are adopting new strategy into garden and home designing.


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RE: Garden design like home design?

to me, form follows function, inside and out--even if that "function" is simply to look beautiful.


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