Designing Town Gardens

Ever since man first cultivated plants in a garden - probably in Persia some 3000 years B.C. - he has been trying to recover in this way the beauties and delights of his lost paradise. There are many natural and technical constraints which outline the principal components that go into the creation of a beautiful garden.

  • Of the natural constraints, the most limiting is climate.
  • Wind and aridity are probably the main impinging elements against which the garden can be shielded against by means of wind-breaks and watering.
  • There is nothing much that can be done to control the relative humidity of the air, temperature variations, nor the basic nature of the soil (although soil can be improved by fertilizers).

What Factors Should Be Taken Into Account While Considering Garden Development

  • Topography of the site - where the water comes and where it drains away.
  • The surroundings - which views are to be preserved and which to be obscured.
  • Various micro-climates can exist within a particular climatic zone, it should not be overlooked.
  • Economic factors like cost and upkeep must constantly be bornein mind by professional and amateur alike.

A garden consists of a combination of architectural and horticultural elements. All the usual building materials are used in gardens. Stone, timber, brick, sand concrete, glass, steel, and aluminium can all be used within the garden in accordance with the style and character of the desired whole. The same also applies to the architectural design. Pathways in particular will be governed entirely by the shape and size of the areas for which they serve. Walls, fences and steps  will be made to match the house, both as concerns design and materials used, although the latter will often be more dependent on the nature of terrain. Pergolas, pools, and fountains, being architectural set-pieces, enjoy a corresponding wealth of possibilities for style and effect.

Paved and Planted Areas

  • Paving makes garden to indulge in a variety of activities such as playing, eating and putting feets up without having to worry about mud and damp, while at the same time protecting the plants.
  • It is useful for linking different parts of a garden, separating clumps of vegetation, and generally making circulation and upkeep easier.
  • Material used for paving may be the same as those used to pave the inside of the house, thus creating unitu and a feeling of space.

Some Paving Materials

  • Stone - provides a noble material whether it is dressed or natural, in large rectangular flags, small blocks, or laid as crazy paving. Stone lends itself best to a fairly austere creation, providing a note of solemnity to the garden.
  • Brick - Materials like this or terracota tiling can be used to create areas of warmth and color on a more intimate scale. It can be laid in any number of ways: flat or on edge, forming crosses or squares, in herringbone, or in other patterns of varying degrees of complexity.
  • Timber - It is used occasionally for good effect and comfort, but its advantages tend to be outbalanced by problems of maintenence (painting, impregnation, treatment against worm, etc) and by the fact that it is comparatively fragile in certain types of humid climate.
  • Concrete - It is perhaps the most recent addition to the list of possible paving materials and already it is one of the most extensively used, being both economical and hard-weating and having great formal possibilities. It offers a wide choice of surface textures from unrendered shuttering to various gritm pebbledash and marble-chip renderings.