Connecting Areas of the Italian Garden

garden steps

By now a rough idea of the final garden design should be emerging; you

have hopefully decided on which style the garden will adopt, where your

formal area will be, where you would like to create your garden rooms,

informal areas etc and all based around one uniting theme or feel.

Now all that’s left to do on the garden plan is connect these different

green spaces and garden rooms together, in a coherent and attractive

fashion. Access needs to be assured to all areas of the garden by means

of pathways and entrances that lead you from one garden room to the

next, and from one space to the next. This access is clearly provided

by paths, gates, steps or ramps and the styling of each of these features

is an art in itself!

Intelligent planting schemes can enhance formality or informality

by adopting the use of topiary or vases to enhance or detract from the

symmetry. A very useful yet simple natural logic to follow when designing

a formal planting scheme is to always plant plants in even numbers,

as this will ensure a stable and mathematically rational structure to

the planting scheme. Instead informal plantings should display a far

less rational planting structure and the planting of plants in groups

of odd numbers will ensure a less rigid, natural ‘informal’ effect.

garden arch

The paths that connect

these different areas together should have a walking surface that picks

up on the feel and colours of the gardens it unites, with

careful consideration being given to the material used and its message

within the garden. Paths can also be enhanced with arbors,

italian gardenspergolas,

on which you can then grow climbing roses and other climbing plants.

These can be constructed from wood, wrought iron or even simple, inexpensive

taught metal wires pulled between wooden posts or walls. Do not underestimate

the potential of occupying the vertical space, as it will increase the

amount of color and foliage effect, without robbing you of valuable

floor space. Climbing plants with fragrant flowers such as classic roses,

honeysuckle and wisteria, when grown at head-height are clearly more

effective scent providers than scented plants grown at ground level!

People can be enticed and then rewarded by placing an object

such as garden benches, amphora or even a simple, inexpensive old mirror

hung on a wall at the end of a vista or path. Mirrors placed intelligently

can add depth and improve light-levels, making a pathway seem even longer,

or illuminate a dark corner.

Entrances and other prominent garden features should be given special

attention and their importance and inevitable

symmetry should be addressed

by planting elegant topiary or placing vases either side of a door,

gate, or at the beginning of a path or a flight steps etc. Planting

of this kind addresses and underlines important features perfectly and

automatically draws the eye to the feature you wish to emphasize, giving

it the importance it deserves.

Here ‘Space and form’ come into play yet again and any object, vase

or shrub should be designed and chosen to suit the overall scale and

unifying theme- maintaining a clear yet intriguingly subtle message

throughout the entire garden design.

By Jonathan Radford

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