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Landscape gardeners

Landscape gardeners

Designing and planting gardens is a deeply rewarding pastime for people who are blessed with green thumbs. For some people, designing gardens is a profession. They can be a landscape architect, a landscape designer or a landscape gardener. Nurturing plants so that they can grow and thrive then ultimately bloom is the function of the gardener and landscaper alike. Gardeners and landscapers are in great demand for public sites and private gardens that need to be beautified with Mother Nature herself.

Garden Design

Designing a garden is considered an art form in many cultures. This is distinguished from actual garden maintenance, where we tend to potter around our gardens enjoying its colourful beauty. Garden design could include various themes, for example shade, tropical, water, Japanese, wildlife, butterfly, English country, and perennial gardens. In Japan, the Zen monks and the Samurai often built decorative gardens or practised related skills such as flower arrangements called ikebana. In Europe during the 18th century landscape gardeners used to refashion country estates into a landscaped parkland or formal garden, such as in Stowe in England and Versailles in France. Today, landscape garden designers and landscape architects create artistic designs for the private garden space.

Different Types of Landscape Gardening

Residential landscape gardening is carried out in a home garden. Although a home garden is usually found on a piece of land near the residence, the garden could also be found in or on a vivarium, a patio, a window-box, a balcony, an atrium or even on the roof. Gardening can also take place in a non-residential green area such as a garden hotel, around a tourist attraction, at amusement parks, zoological gardens, botanical gardens, and parks. There is usually a staff of groundskeepers or gardeners who maintain the gardens.
  • A native plant (or indigenous) garden will use native (indigenous) plants which will ultimately create a wildlife habitat. The aim of this type of garden is in creating a garden that is adapted to and in harmony with a specific area. Indigenous gardening will reduce fertilisation costs, maintenance and water usage and increase the native fauna in the area that will be attracted to the indigenous plants.
  • Indoor gardening concerns itself with houseplants within a building or residence, a greenhouse or conservatory. An indoor garden is sometimes used as part of a heating system or air conditioning.
  • Water gardening is about growing plants that are adapted to ponds and pools. A bog garden is also a category of water garden as is aquascaping which is a garden that is created inside aquarium tanks.
  • Community gardening is where groups of people garden a piece of land, which provides access to plants and fresh produce. This all helps in aiding community spirit and connecting to the environment.
  • Container gardening revolves around growing plants within different types of containers, either outdoors or indoors. Planters, hanging baskets and pots can be used on rooftops, patios, balconies, atriums and inside the home.
Both landscape designers and landscape gardeners can design and also tend to their gardens. They should both possess certain knowledge with regards horticulture. They will need to know about which plants are suitable for growing within the space that they are given to landscape, and what light conditions, watering and soil types each plant can survive in. They also need to know how big each plant can grow in one season or even over a few years. The landscape designers and gardeners should know which colours will complement each other in the garden and the flowers that are fragrant or that produce undesirable or desirable growth.

A landscape gardener looks at a project as the whole and designs the complete plot and sees the design layout. They will also plant and tend to the gardens, lawns, trees and shrubs. Landscape gardeners should also be able to use garden tools such as chainsaws, lawn mowers and hedge trimmers. They should also know how to neaten topiary plants and how to safely cut certain trees down. Degrees in landscape architecture and horticulture are offered at numerous universities, colleges and trade schools.

A landscape gardener who has a degree in horticulture can produce plants within greenhouses, tend to private gardens, design a garden, or become a floral designer, writer or researcher. A landscape architect will design public and outdoor spaces so as to achieve aesthetic or environmental outcomes. It will involve the systematic study of existing geological and ecological processes and conditions within the landscape. The scope of the landscaper profession includes parks and recreational planning, green infrastructure provision and planning, urban design, and private residence and estate landscape master design and planning.

A landscape gardener also has to consider the layout of a garden such as rockeries, paths, water features, decking and sitting areas, and also the plants and the horticultural requirements needed by them. This includes their lifespan, their seasonal appearances, size, growth habits, and grouping with other landscape features and plants. Consideration must also be given to maintaining the garden and what kinds of plants are used in the garden such as perennials, annuals, evergreen etc. The design of a garden can roughly be divided into either a naturalistic or formal garden.

England’s Greatest Landscape Gardener

The landscape garden is a term that is frequently used for describing the design style of the English garden that was so characteristic during the 18th century, which swept through the continent and replaced the formal Renaissance gardens. Of particular influence was Lancelot Brown, an English landscape architect who is remembered as ‘England’s greatest landscape gardener’ who designed more than 170 parks of which many still endure. These include Addington Place in Croydon, Kirkharle in Northumberland, Claremont in Surrey, Woodside in Berkshire, and Bowood House in Wiltshire. It was only in the 20th century though, that the term ‘landscape gardener’ started to be used by gardening contractors.

An important consideration for a garden design is how it is going to be used, and the way in which the garden itself connects to the house. A good landscape gardener will be able to meld all of these elements into a garden that has been creatively landscaped.

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