Garden design is the creation of plans for the layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Gardens may be designed by garden owners themselves, or by professionals. Professional garden designers tend to be trained in principles of design and horticulture, and have a knowledge and experience of using plants.
Some professional garden designers are also landscape architects, a more formal level of training that usually requires an advanced degree and often a state license.
Elements of garden design include the layout of hard landscape, such as paths, rockeries, walls, water features, sitting areas and decking, as well as the plants themselves, with consideration for their horticultural requirements, their season-to-season appearance, lifespan, growth habit, size, speed of growth, and combinations with other plants and landscape features.
Consideration is also given to the maintenance needs of the garden, including the time or funds available for regular maintenance, which can affect the choices of plants regarding speed of growth, spreading or self-seeding of the plants, whether annual or perennial, and bloom-time, and many other characteristics.
Garden design can be roughly divided into two groups, formal and naturalistic gardens.
The most important consideration in any garden design is, how the garden will be used, followed closely by the desired stylistic genres, and the way the garden space will connect to the home or other structures in the surrounding areas.
All of these considerations are subject to the limitations of the budget. Budget limitations can be addressed by a simpler garden style with fewer plants and less costly cardsharper materials, seeds rather than sod for lawns, and plants that grow quickly; alternatively, garden owners may choose to create their garden over time, area by area.
Landscape maintenance (or grounds keeping) is the art and vocation of keeping a landscape healthy, clean, safe and attractive, typically in a garden, yard, park, institutional setting or estate. Using tools, supplies, knowledge, physical exertion and skills, a groundskeeper may plan or carry out annual plantings and harvesting, periodic weeding and fertilizing, other gardening, lawn care, snow removal, driveway and path maintenance, shrub pruning, topiary, lighting, fencing, swimming pool care, runoff drainage, and irrigation, and other jobs for protecting and improving the topsoil, plants, and garden accessories.
Groundskeepers may also deal with local animals (including birds, rodents, reptiles, insects, and domestic animals or pets), and create means to attract or repel them, as desired or necessary. A garden may also be designed to include exotic animals, such as a oi pond. In larger estates, groundskeepers may be responsible for providing and maintaining habitat for wild animals
Landscape design is an independent profession and a design and art tradition, practiced by landscape designers, combining nature and culture. In contemporary practice, landscape design bridges the space between landscape architecture and garden design.
Landscape design focuses on both the integrated master landscape planning of a property and the specific garden design of landscape elements and plants within it. The practical, aesthetic, horticultural, and environmental sustainability are also components of landscape design.
It is often divided into cardsharper design and soft cape design. Landscape designers often collaborate with related disciplines such as architecture and geography, soils and civil engineering, surveying, landscape contracting, botany, and artisan specialties.
Design projects may involve two different professional roles: landscape design and landscape architecture.
- Landscape design typically involves artistic composition and artisan ship, horticultural finesse and expertise, and emphasis on detailed site involvement from conceptual stages through to final construction.
- Landscape architecture focuses more on urban planning, city and regional parks, civic and corporate landscapes, large scale interdisciplinary projects, and delegation to contractors after completing designs.
There can be significant overlap of talent and skill between the two roles, depending on the education, licensing, and experience of the professional. Both landscape designers and landscape architects practice landscape design.
A patio is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is typically paved.
Patios are most commonly paved with concrete or stone slabs (also known as paving flags). Patios can also be created using bricks, block paving, tiles or cobbles.
Cardsharper refers to hard landscape materials in the built environment structures that are incorporated into a landscape. This can include paved areas, driveways, retaining walls, sleeper walls, stairs, walkways, and any other landscaping made up of hard wearing materials such as wood, stone, concrete etc. as opposed to soft cape, the horticultural elements of a landscape.
From an urban planning perspective, cardsharper can include very large features, such as paved roads, driveways or fountains and even small pools. Most water features are cardsharper because they require a barrier to retain the water, instead of letting it drain into the surrounding soil.
Landscaping allows the erection of man-made landscaping features that would otherwise be impossible due to soil erosion, some that compensate for large amounts of human traffic that would cause wear on bare earth or grass. For example, sheer vertical features are possible
Without nearby bare soil, or natural drainage channels or culverts, cardsharper with an impervious surface requires artificial methods of drainage or surface runoff to carry off the water that would normally be absorbed into the ground as groundwater and prevent premature wear to itself.
Lack of capacity, or poorly planned or executed drainage or grading of the surface can cause problems after severe storms or heavy extended periods of rain fall, such as flooding, washout, mud flows, sink holes, accelerated erosion, wet rot to wood elements, drowning of plants trees and shrubs and even foundation problems to an adjacent home like cracking the foundation, basement flooding due to water infiltration, pest infiltration like ants and other insects entering through damaged areas