Curated Board for Hometalk
We are drawn to them. They cause us to pause. They cause us to want to linger and to explore. Gardens are a delight and in many cases an extension of the home. But, what makes a beautiful garden? I was asked to curate a board of Beautiful Gardens for Hometalk. I reviewed many. Here’s what I concluded.
The Elements of a Beautiful Garden
I have fallen back on a few basic principles over the years. The best outline I have found for beautiful gardens was detailed and described by P. Allen Smith, his 12 Principles of Garden Design. He viewed gardens as garden rooms and held that to create beautiful gardens one can impart these twelve principles divided into two functioning categories:
Framework or Bones of a Garden
- Enclosure – a garden is defined by its borders
- Shape and Form – the ‘three-dimensional properties’ to plants and their groupings as well as the outline of the garden room
- Framing the View – directing the view basically screening to draw attention to the garden, as well as creating a ‘visually balanced and organized composition’.
- Entry – having a ‘defining point of entry to a garden’
- Focal Point – ‘positioning an object to draw the eye’
- Structure – using a variety of structured features in the garden
Decorative Finishes, Personal Touches, Charm and Whimsy
- Color – ‘a green framework holds the garden together’ serving as a backdrop to the other colors
- Texture, Pattern and Rhythm – using ‘contrasting textures and patterns highlight the visual aspect of a garden’
- Abundance – ‘an ample or overflowing quality created by generous use of plants and materials’
- Whimsy – elements of fun and fancy
- Mystery – creating interest in the garden, perhaps through curved pathways and such
- Time – garden styles reflect an age or a sense of a certain time
24 Beautiful Gardens to Consider
With these design elements in mind, I selected 24 examples of beautiful gardens shared on Hometalk. These are to pique your interest, spur your imagination and to cause you to dream. Each of us has a certain style we gravitate toward whether in our home or in our gardens. Garden rooms can act as an extension of the design we create inside our homes or they can be the fanciful version of the decor inside. Gardens are to be enjoyed. Gardens are to bring delight. They reflect what we love, what is sentimental to us. Or they may just introduce one to what they may expect when walking through one’s door. Garden design is personal – you can take one of these inspirations or more and draw upon them to create a beautiful garden of your own.
P. Allen Smith garnered his knowledge of gardens through years of learning, of admiring known gardeners such as Penelope Hobhouse. He took what he learned, expanded upon that and created beautiful gardens and ideas of his own. We can too.