Plants for the different styles in consumers' gardens

Show me your garden and I'll tell you who you are ... Outdoor areas are an integral part of our homes, and reflect our style and personality in the same way as the interiors.

There are many factors that need to be considered when laying out a garden, and more and more consumers are choosing to consult an expert before designing or rearranging their gardens.

Function before style
Anne Marie Lind, who runs her own gardening and landscaping consultancy in Ärslev, Funen, says:

"First of all, you need to define what functions the garden will have to meet. Once that has been settled you can decide on the style, which will usually be a continuation of the lines of the house and the interior features. It's a bit like moving the house's interior outdoors."

Geometry vs. organic shapes

"In general, I work with two extremes, ranging from tight, geometric lines to rounded, organic shapes - or from the simple to the varied, as I usually put it," continues Anne-Marie. "If your focus is on the minimalist and 'controlled', you will typically go for uniform, structural elements in the form of clipped hedges of boxwood or beech, and identical pots with evergreen plants or grasses."

Romantic garden dreams

If, on the other hand, you tend to a slightly romantic idea of the garden, as do many first-time gardeners, according to Anne Marie, you might go for a lush, more random and unruly expression with winding paths, round forms and pots with a size and content that is not necessarily identical.

There are many ways to create a varied and fertile expression with flowering shrubs and colourful classics such as roses, asters and other perennials.

Combined styles
"Often, however, the result will be a combination rather than one style or the other, because nothing is quite that clear-cut -  just as you might like to have colours and soft pillows in your bedroom, but a black-and-white, hi-tech look in your living-room," Anne Marie concludes.

Recreation and climate awareness
Signe Wenneberg, who writes gardening books, works with two overall themes or trends, each of which offers rich possibilities for expression:

"One theme which is really in right now is for gardens (including balconies, courtyards and terraces) to be positive and recreational places to relax.  They should give us everything that we cannot get indoors, sitting at our computer screens - in other words a form of garden therapy," says Signe, and gives another example:

"Another very important trend is that gardens should be edible. This is a trend inspired by climate-awareness and the idea that perhaps we don′t necessarily have to buy herbs which have been flown a long way before we sprinkle them on our food."

So whatever your budget, style or convictions, there is a garden style that is just right for you.

Plant suggestions for a minimalist garden style:
Carex
Cushion bush (Calocephalus)
Curry plant (Helichrysum)
Houseleeks (Sempervivum)
Echeveria

Plant suggestions for a romantic garden style:
Cyclamen
Aster
Amaranth
Roses



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