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Theme Landscaping Ideas

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Landscaping with a theme - have you ever considered the possibilities? 

Theme landscaping is actually nothing more than adding a personalized twist to the basic shrub and flower landscape that we all do to some degree. Botanical Gardens do many nice theme gardens, and are a great source of inspiration. They often include Japanese Gardens, Daylily Gardens, Hummingbird Gardens, Bog Gardens, Herb Gardens, and Rose Gardens, to name a just a few.  A basic vegetable garden is a theme garden, if you think of it in those terms.

In that vein, this page is devoted to the joys of theme gardening with suggestions for creative themes for the average home gardener who just wants something more individualistic or has a penchant for certain types or colors of plant material.  Simple theme gardens can be monochromatic, such as a blue garden white garden, or red garden, with variations of plants in that color. For patriotic gardeners, a red, white, and blue garden can be a statement in itself.

Other suggestions include Cottage Garden, English Garden, Fragrance Garden, Crayon Garden, Edible Flower Garden, Fern Garden, Fairy Garden, Magical Garden, Sun Garden, Moon Garden, Medicinal Garden, Cat Garden, Butterfly Garden, Bible Garden, Cactus Garden, Remembrance Garden, Tropical Garden, Romantic Garden, Old West Garden, Alphabet Garden, Royalty Garden, Native Garden, Woodland Garden, Techno Garden, Culinary Garden, Sensory Garden, Space Garden, Tea Garden, Trumpet Garden, Peace Garden, Tranquility Garden, Water Garden, Secret Garden, or Whatever Garden - whew!  The possibilities are endless.

Though this page is not big enough to suggest plant possibilities for each type of garden suggested above, below are some examples of appropriate plant materials for basic summertime theme gardens:  Remember that the fun in a theme garden is to be creative and find ways to connect plant materials.  Just because you want a sun garden does not mean that every flower has to look exactly like the sun.  It can have a ray-shape, but different color to qualify.  Or it can have a ball shape with different color to qualify.  All it really has to do is be vaguely in the shape of the sun (many, many  flowers are vaguely in the shape of the sun), so don't specialize too much. 

Another important aspect, depending on your theme, is to also pay attention to actual plant names.  For instance, in a Cat Garden, Cattails, Catmint, Catnip, Pussy Willow, etc. are what ties it all together. Unfortunately, these particular plants don't share the same growing requirements at all. Beware, then, that a garden this specialized could easily become a chore at best and a complete failure at worst, so think about what you want and where you want it before your fantastic theme idea becomes a haphazard mess that you have to clean up later.

Having said that, there are easier options.  If you love roses and royalty, you can't go wrong with a Royalty Garden - there are plenty of named roses such as Queen Elizabeth, Princess Diana, etc. - all with the exact same growing requirements.  This one makes two theme gardens in one - Rose Garden and Royalty Garden, and would be deliciously fragrant.  What a nice place this would be..... 

Another really nice theme idea is the Remembrance Garden.  This does not have to be a big area, and can be filled with whatever feels right. The main plant should be a perennial that returns year after year, signifying the renewal of life. But different color combinations in annual flowers could certainly be done every year inexpensively when perennial is not in bloom.  And again, always try to look at all aspects - the herb Rosemary has been considered a Remembrance herb for centuries and has both culinary and medicinal uses too!  Most plants have mythological and spiritual properties associated with them that may not be apparent on the plant labels.

An Alphabet Garden is a good way to teach kids about gardening and plants.  Simply find a plant for every letter of the alphabet, such as Aster, Begonia, Chamomile, Dahlia, Echinacea, Fennel, Gladiolus, Heliotrope, etc.

Or how about a Trumpet Garden?  Choose flowers for this garden that all have a trumpet shape, such as Trumpet Vine, 4 O'clock, Nicotiana, Moon Flower, and Angel's Trumpet.  This would also be a very fragrant garden.  This garden could be accessorized by strategically placing an old horn or other brass instrument with flowers spilling out. 

So you get the idea - use your imagination and plan a theme garden that interests you.  No matter what your passion, there is a way to translate that passion into a theme garden.  For instance, if you like Hollywood, find plants that are named after celebrities and paint pots to look like they are made of  film strips.  Or paint stones with Hollywood legend names.  If you like space, then find plants that have space names, such as cosmos or blazing stars, and hang gazing balls in strategic places to simulate planets.  If you like trains, then make a railroad garden with a working train if you can afford that.  If you have someone handicapped at home, plan a sensory garden that appeals to taste, touch, smell, sight and sound.  Incorporate the sound of water in this garden, and include plants with fuzzy leaves or bright colors for touch and sight.  Always plan for plenty of fragrance in this garden too, along with easy to grow herbs or cherry tomatoes for nibbling in the garden. 

Remember too, that a theme garden does not have to take up the whole garden space.  I know a guy with a Hangover Garden tucked into the corner of his yard, with herbs that he claims help the symptoms of hangovers, such as Cayenne Pepper, Mint, and Calendula.  Or you could have a Pizza Garden with herbs that go well with pizza such as Oregano and Basil.   

Anyhow, slowly but surely, I am posting individual theme type garden pages on this site, so do feel free to explore other links at the bottom of this page.  I am currently trying my own hand at Cottage Gardening, and will post pictures soon.  I hope you have been inspired, and if you have created a great theme garden and would like to share it with others, please don't hesitate to contact me using the link below.  We love to see what others are doing!



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