Create a balanced green space
Designing a garden is a fundamental operation to be able to count on a harmonious and balanced green space, able to combine natural beauty, aesthetic pleasure and functionality. The first element to be taken into account, at the time of planning, is the climate, which determines the number and kind of plants that can be placed in the garden. A useful idea will surely be represented by observing what is cultivated and what grows spontaneously in the neighboring gardens, and from there pay attention to altitude, wind intensity, winter duration, number of days of drought, etc.: factors, in short, which significantly affect the growth of essences. It should also be noted the presence of buildings and surrounding trees, which could give rise to wind funnels and therefore damage crops. The ideal, in short, is to create a real microclimate, for example by building barriers against the coldest winds, in such a way as to minimize the effects of the most extreme situations (very abundant rainfall or, in summer, torrid climate).
Know the terrain
On the other hand, it will be advisable to know the soil and its composition: it is clear that a naturally poor substrate must be enriched with appropriate fertilizers. Also the acidity is important, because not all species are able to tolerate the same pH: for example, a rhododendron or a camellia will never be able to thrive in an alkaline soil. Even the shadow and the sun are elements to be taken into consideration. The best exposure for a garden is the south-west one, because during the days it favors maximum sunshine: in the presence of very hot climates, however, it would be preferable to have a shaded area in front of it. The choice of essences, then, also depends on the quality of the light: a shadow that is too long, in fact, helps to create a feeling of cold. Of course, to design a garden it is also necessary to take into account the space available: only in this way is it possible to verify the possible possibility of dividing the area into functional areas (for example an area for the relaxation of adults, a zone for games of children, etc.), and to evaluate the number and type of plants that can be placed: an eight-meter-high conifer will beautifully stand out in a large garden, but will be unnecessarily bulky in a small garden, for which it will be advisable to resort to in hanging or climbing plants, on walls or walls, so as to make the most of vertical surfaces. In addition to saving space, on the other hand, a climber like wisteria, growing upwards, provides a feeling of greater depth.
Before, however, to think about the shrubs or trees to be planted, it is necessary to consider the needs and requirements: in short, what will the garden serve for? Will it be a space in which to rest in the shade or a way to make the most of the desire to have a small vegetable garden? This leads to the evaluation of other more immediate and practical aspects, such as the identification of a space for drying clothes, the positioning of the composter, the placement of garden tools. It may not lack even minimal lighting at night, which means that in the design phase it will be advisable to take into account the presence of electrical outlets. Again, you will have to decide whether to pave a part of the garden, and if so, how and with what material to do it: cobblestone, tiles or gravel? As for the vegetation, we must not neglect irrigation and watering: for a small garden, these operations can be carried out by hand, with a simple watering can or the water pipe; for a larger garden, it might be convenient to think of an automatic and structured irrigation system, for which, therefore, water intakes will have to be made. The shape of the green space will also have its importance: there are few symmetrical gardens with regular, triangular or rectangular shapes. Usually a garden has an irregular shape, narrow on one side and wide on the other. It will be advisable, therefore, to try to put "order", for example by softening the hardest edges with masses of shrubs, or by masking with a few bushes the forms that are less pleasing to the eye. The accessories, in fact, constitute an essential part of the garden: the reference is to borders, walls, fences or hedges, which contribute to separating, creating different environments and special shading. In short, barriers that are more symbolic than real, but which are also combined as a decorative element.
Design garden: Non-classical gardens: the English garden and the minimalist garden
In the field of garden design, however, one can also choose to move away from the canons and the style of the classical garden, to opt for more particular solutions. For example, the English garden, which aims to combine different natural elements (streams, bushes, ponds, hedges, small waterfalls), in an apparently casual manner, in a sort of contrast with the linear geometric shapes; or, the minimalist garden, more and more fashionable in recent times, which instead intends to enhance, through the use of a few plants, the architectural element, thus sacrificing part of the green.