Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 12:06 pm
Do you prefer formal or informal garden design? I like both myself.

Here are some examples -

http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm

http://www.arts.monash.edu.au/visual_culture/projects/diva/gamberaia.html

Added 2/15/03 - hmm, Monet's Giverny isn't as entirely informal as I guessed; one half of it is laid out on with a lot of straight lines and rectangles, and the other is informal:
http://garden-gate.prairienet.org/downpath.htm

Here is garden that has a formal layout, but when experienced, does not have a rigid feel to it:
http://www.invectis.co.uk/sissing/

and, a link to the garden at Stourhead, an example of the naturalistic english landscape:
http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Stourhead_Garden.html
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 13,907 • Replies: 63
No top replies

 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 12:17 pm
informal for sure!
0 Replies
 
Thinkzinc
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 05:33 pm
Like yourself, I love both styles. There is something very impressive about visiting a stately home with carpet bedding designs, and elaborate topiary.
I love visiting botanical gardens also, where they try to recreate the natural vegetation from countries all around the world in a far from formal manner.
One of the most impressive gardens I have visited is under 'glass', at the Eden Project in Cornwall. I believe it features in the new Bond film. Check out the website - http://www.edenproject.com/ The Humid Tropics Biome is fantastic, recreating rainforest conditions in a naturalistic manner, though obviously planted with a plan in mind so that we can appreciate the beauty of all the plants, rather than just being trapped under a dark canopy, crawling through vines, real rain forest style, lol!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 06:50 pm
Great websites, ossoB and Thinkzinc.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 06:52 pm
I think informal is my general preference. I like a garden that's got good bones, but has then aged and become a bit more voluptuous than is properly tasteful.
0 Replies
 
Wilso
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 06:58 pm
I've got the perfect garden. 99% native, requires no work.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 07:51 pm
Wilso, how are those natives arranged at your place? Do you have pathways...

I didn't actually look at the Giverny site hard enough, it might have some formal bones under it. That gravel path with the nasturtiums spilling out, that goes under the curved trellis, might actually be a formal site line.

I, like ehBeth, do like a structure to garden space, with voluptuous planting within that structure, maybe spilling over it..normally. But I also love the extremely formal spaces of which that Villa Gamberaia is such a great example.

I like to spend time in Arboretums, they become another home for me...
I think the layout of arboretum gardens is almost by definition not as strong, design-wise, as some gardens, say by Russell Page, can be, because the reason for being for arboretums (a?) is to display a collection of plants native to a region for educational purposes. So drama, for example, is not a big motive for why you put one plant where you do, in front of another.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 07:59 pm
I like looking at formal gardens, but to live with a garden there has to be fullness for me to be comfortable. A friend visited in the summer and complained about my 'jungle'. I was amazed. I looked out - there is a small patio, a small zed shaped grass path, an old garage turned into a giant garden shed, a footboard and a headboard as a small fence, 3 small garden areas and a couple of seating areas. Turned out the jungle was the section under a bridal wreath spirea - i had clipped the bottom 4 feet out and placed a bench underneath - it made him very nervous to be under part of the garden. He doesn't like green all around him, he just likes to walk on it!
0 Replies
 
timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 08:15 pm
Here at Castle Timber, we're very much into "Informal" gardening. There's The Paddock, there's The Orchard, there's The Bramble Thicket, and, of course, The Woods, which themselves sport a very spongy bog and a little stream. Apart from a bit of mowed yard and an area given to kitchen crop, we pretty much let "The Garden" make its own decisions.



timber
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Dec, 2002 09:09 pm
I have a front yard that is presently a swamp, as I haven't managed to install a french drain yet. One day next year there will be a narrow path through it to the gate to the side yard. Once you get in the side yard, it is formal for a while, with four 4 x 8 raised beds with irises and daylilies and artichokes and garlic, etc. These have gravel paths around them, which are presently sprouting weeds aplenty, for that ohsoinformal look. Along the sides of all this is a batch of rosemary and lots of other things...a hedge on the other side, with bench. Past all that we have the framing for a raised terrace, waiting for me to move it fourteen feet in the other direction. A little toy house made by the former owner, about 5 ft x 8 ft. sits not quite in line with the gate. And of course a miss is as good as a mile. Two japanese maples frame the middle space, one about 18 feet tall, another, its offspring, about 42" tall, but growing.

Turn to the left and we have a pile of broken fireplace bricks, waiting for me to decide if they will go in a trench or what, scattered pots looking for divisions yet to come, a half built battered broken concrete wall, a dilapidated fence I hope makes it through the winter.

So this all sounds formal-ish so far, right? But back in the front yard, what will go in between the path and the house and the path and the city sidewalk won't be, it'll be much more rambunctious.
0 Replies
 
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2003 10:47 am
Hi, Osso: It's Groundhog Day again; spring is just around the corner, according to our cat Nekochan. Good time to revive this thread,would you agree?

Subdivision lots like the one I live on sort of dictate the formal approach, if one wants something else than the hackneyed lawn and hedge "landscaping". By formal, I mean imposing order upon trees and shrubbery whose habitat is the woodland or forest. Besides, a clipped appearance to me has more appeal than an amorphous one. It's a plus for a pleasing appearance during the winter when the branch and twig pattern comes into play.

So-- What I have here is a silver maple trimmed to a conical shape,kept to about 30', a thuja screen along the driveway of a series of overlapping conical thujas (a study in solid geometry - sort of),and a pink flowering apple clipped in a style inspired by some ikebana displays I've seen a long time ago,and which lives under an overhanging Eastern White Pine branch. The ground under the trees has no grass-just a flowering ground cover comprised of a successive series of perennials and bulbs. And this is just the front.
0 Replies
 
seaglass
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2003 05:53 pm
Does anyone know how to propatate Japanese Black Pine? I'm at
4,400 feet.
0 Replies
 
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Sun 2 Feb, 2003 07:07 pm
Hi,Seaglass: Try layering,if your tree has a branchtip close enough to the ground. You know--weight the branch down so you can place a joint of last year's growth (smooth skin) under the surface held in place with a fairly heavy stone, and keep it damp. Probably will need a couple of seasons if it works at all.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 09:16 pm
Hello, Neko! Your garden sounds really sharp.

We may think of "formal" differently, or maybe not. I think of it more as having to do with garden layout and you mention the trimming of the plants first. I don't think of plants first in a formal garden...but the "bones", as ehbeth was mentioning, are worked out first. Or sometimes along with the planting, if there are existing plants you want to keep.

With a formal layout, you end up creating rooms in the space; even if you don't divide up the space much, there are usually some little side areas, nooks to check out as you walk through the garden.

I think subdivision housing can lend itself well to formal layout. For one thing, the houses are right there, and they are geometric by nature. The lots are usually not huge. This makes a curvy front walk, or back walk, a bit forced. With straight walks, then you have your basic set up for a spine, backbone of a formal garden. It can be less rigid with a terrace as a stopping place somewhere between the end of the walk and the door(s).

In southern California, thousands of houses were laid out with a front lawn, a walkway, three or five shrubs, and one young tree.

Another whole way to work with that kind of front yard would be to hedge it in with a low trimmed hedge, or perhaps a non clipped one, some more trees out toward the front, even a grove depending on the eventual size of the trees, and then ground covers and perennials in the space between the hedge and the house. Sometimes the yard would go better with the neighbors and look better if the front line of plants is set back a bit.

That leaves a new garden world between the street and the face of the house, and is kind of a buffer to the world outside. It's hard to be the first one to do that though, and some communities may have restrictions.

It also takes more attention than having somebody or you yourself mowing the lawn and that's it.

You describe all your plants as clipped, Neko, and some people are uncomfortable with all manicured plants. For them,a garden can have a formal layout and a fair amount of unmanicured plants within it.

On the other hand, a lot of japanese gardens have primarily clipped plants, with a lot of attention to pruning, and curvy paths...even though there is all that clipping going on, I don't think of the gardens as formal. Classic, though.

A third way is to have a lawn, a tree or two, and swaths of some shrub toward the street...and that is relatively informal, even if there is a straight walkway.

and more usual, lawn, and some shrubs as foundation plants next to the house.
I guess that falls under formal.

Myself, I try not to have my gardens look totally out of whack with the neighborhood. I pick either some of the same trees, so the ones I put in look like part of a neighborhood grove, or maybe some of the same shrubs as some of the neighbors. Well, that is speaking of right around Los Angeles, where in some parts, the only immediate natives are coastal chapparal plants. The LA basin didn't originally have trees.

Where there is a rich native plant material, I like to use as much of that as I can, and then sometimes a much more natural looking planting makes more sense, although I still use more straight lines as I near the house.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Feb, 2003 09:29 pm
osso

Informal for me, every time! And (especially drought times, like now in Oz), lots of natives. They don't struggle in the conditions AND attract the birds.
I like the idea of creating "rooms", little private spaces in a garden & also like the idea of mixing things like herbs (chives, marjoram, sage, rosemary, basil, etc.) amongst the other plants. They can look perfectly at home there. Especially in a small garden. There often isn't enough space for a separate vegie patch, these days.
My aim (in the garden I'm planning now, in my new home) is to create a haven for critters (3 cats), people & birds (out of reach of the cats!). Something that feels very user-friendly & a comforting haven from the stresses & demands of life.
0 Replies
 
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2003 03:20 pm
okay--I started the front in a botanical style: the back is a work in progress toward a formal style. Don't know how close I'll ever get to it. A couple of photos to illustrate the clipped apple mentioned in my first reply:

http://groups.msn.com/TheRavensRealm/viking.msnw?Page=1
0 Replies
 
dlk33
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Feb, 2003 11:16 pm
I'll describe my gardens, and leave it to you to let me know whether you consider them to be formal or not.
You walk out of my back door down the cement stairs to the cement sidewalk. The gardens begin.
Step onto my gravel path as I give you the tour.
Directly to your right you'll see my hummingbird garden. In the garden there are perennials, a dwarf evergreen, ornamental grass, a vine which clings to the dog kennel. Next, a bit of that green stuff we all call grass. We'll pass the birch tree, and come upon the dogwood shrub. In front of the shrub you'll find a small garden with a couple of bleeding heart plants and a couple of other plants which I've forgotten the names of at the moment. In front of of these plants sits a wood bench.
Further to the right, along the fence line you'll find a row of tall evergreens for privacy.
The path leads to the back of the yard where I have what I call my little forest. There is tall ornamental grass to the right of the path, and mostly shrubs to the left, with a row of perennials in the front of the border. The border is lined with large rocks all the way across. There is also a Hawthorn tree and and a Black Hills Spruce tree in my little forest.
We can walk around the back of my little forest, take a little sit on my other wood bench, then turn left, back towards the other side of my path. On the right hand side you will find my butterfly garden. As we continue down the path back towards the house, on the right there is a garden that has three pjm rhododendron shrubs, with four carpet rose shrubs in front of them. A bit further ahead I have my easter egg, which consists of low growing phlox and yellow tulips.
Behind the egg I have a few coral berry shrubs. Directly in front the path meets with the sidewalk again. Along the foundation of the rear of the house I have my groundcover garden and another vine on a trellis for privacy. I also have a scented garden right next to the stairs that lead to the back door.
As well as the gardens I've already mentioned, I have a shrub rose garden along my driveway, four weigela shrubs along the driveway, my fall display of mums which will be changed this summer, and four dwarf cranberry shrubs. I also have a lily/daylily garden along the driveway.
In the front of the house along the foundation I have a shade garden. (it's on the north side) In front I have four small gardens. One has japanese type plants, the others have some potentila shrubs, a barberry, snowberry shrub, along with perennials.
Last year I put in a couple more small round gardens for annuals along the front side of the yard. On the other side of the house, along the foundation I have several Spirea shrubs.
All of my garden areas have some sort of edging along them or around them, and have some type of mulch for a top dressing.
I've done all of this work in a matter of five years.
I kind of consider what I have to be on the formal side, since none of it is left to it's own accord to do whatever it wants to do, and because it all does have edging around it or along it. I prefer a "neat" garden which most people I guess would consider formal.
It bothers me to see planting areas with no organization, or care.
0 Replies
 
seaglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2003 12:46 am
osso-

Really enjoyed the site on Monet's gardens.

I have a major challenge having bought a house and the landscaping has been neglected for many years. Tke last three months have been devoted to clearing out overgrown plantings, an encrouching jungle. The bones of my garden are basically Japanese. I have three terraces defined with lava rocks - I've removed non-native plantings and am trying to incorporate plantings that reflect their natural invironment. I have an abundance of Ohia trees and hapu'u (fern tree).

I've uncovered beds of spider lillies (which will be transplanted to one of the terraces) and I am now waiting to see what what the spring bulbs are when they bloom. Every day is a surprise. I have a rolling landscape due to the fact I live on top of a volcano which has formed some interesting areas to work with.

It is a garden of many decisions. In the back I plan a more tradtional gardening effort to incorporate mainland flowers that will grow here. I am in the process of a cutting garden for bouquets. Needless to say the possibilities are endless.

I've taken my before pictures and will be doing an album.

Does anyone have any suggestions for mainland plants that will grow at 4400 feet. The nights are cool, can go down to 34 - 40 - but usually the days are 65-75 and just beautiful.

I have staged pots of flowers up my front stairs. Orchids do quite well. Once I get my greenhouse rennovated I will be doing an orchid effort.
Small ag is big business.

If anyone has any ideas to share would love to hear them.

Oh, and I have two chickens that furnish me with great manure.

seaglass
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2003 01:15 am
Natural and environmentally friendly that is my choice saves water and saves time.

Quail Gardens - San Diego County, California
0 Replies
 
neko nomad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Feb, 2003 09:19 pm
Click to my album Viking [The Ravens Realm].
The picture Backyard From Patio Door shows the extent of my formalizing that part of the border. When I moved here there was nothing --just the turf the builder had set in.
This year I'll set in a couple of red rhododendrons behind the birdbath. They're presently to the side out of the picture's view. This is in addition to the routine pruning, thinning,and clipping.
Trilliums,hepaticas,bloodroot,and snowdrops are established there.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » Formal or informal garden design
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/17/2019 at 02:17:58