A sustainable landscape is a summer resident’s dream, and if you don’t dream about it yet, it’s only because you don’t know that it’s possible.
From a scientific point of view, this is a biosystem that exists on its own, without outside interference.
Everything is like in nature: the snow is melting, grass is growing, it is raining, the meadow is blooming, the sun is baking, the leaves are blooming on the trees, it is snowing and further in a circle …
A sustainable landscape in design is the same, only several times more beautiful, in other words: a garden for the lazy. But nothing will grow by itself, no matter how hard you try, you need to know the secret.
The biggest problem for a novice summer resident or gardener is the lack of experience and sufficient knowledge to growing certain plants. And if you can still deal with a garden in a couple of years, then things are much more complicated with an ornamental garden.
Happy new settlers start buying up in nurseries, everything is the most beautiful, and then this beauty is endlessly transplanted from place to place: either it has grown too much, then there is little light, then there is little shade, and sometimes such experiments end in the loss of plants that have already become beloved.
Why is this happening? And why do some couples get divorced — they didn’t fit each other). Alas, often the desire to get this or that plant overshadows our mind, and we cease to soberly assess the situation. But every plant has its own «rider«, With which can not be ignored: the amount of light, humidity, soil acidity…
I have already devoted an article to creating an optimal and easy-to-care garden, which lists the main points, I recommend reading it. There is such a technique for creating a landscape as moderation and consistency. What does it mean: you you select a limited number of participants for the landscape composition (literally 5-7 herbaceous and the same number of woody perennials), but plant them in large arrays.
For a young garden, where there is little shade, at first only drought-resistant plants that love light are bought. If there are shady places, then you can buy shade-tolerant perennials. Moisture-loving plants for sunny places are planted only near a reservoir (again, if there is one) or in places of high groundwater occurrence. Do not count on watering if you do not live in the estate permanently.
Only by observing this rule, you can, albeit slowly, but surely and without much hassle, create a stable ornamental garden in the garden that will not freeze and dry out without your participation.
Today I will go further and announce a list of specific plants that you definitely won’t regret buying. But first, a few more elements that will not only decorate the landscape, but also literally grow into it, creating a single harmonious space.
Trees on the lot should be planted taking into account the conditions of illumination, humidity and the size of the crown in the long term. Dense plantings, although they look more attractive at the stage of a young garden, will play a trick on him in the future, preventing the plants from appearing in all their glory. And thinning and transplanting adult plants is a thankless task. So be patient and, looking at the seemingly “empty” area, imagine the perspective 🙂
IMPORTANT: remember the sense of proportion, a garden of three types of trees (from 3 to 6 pieces each), becoming an adult, will look much more harmonious than a motley mosaic of one and a half dozen different types purchased in a single copy.
static elements: stones, retaining walls, «ruins» — the basis of the landscape composition while the trees and shrubs are still too small. When the trees grow up, these elements will already be overgrown with grass and moss, enveloping the garden with a veil of antiquity and romance.
Mulching solves two problems: weeds and drying out of the soil, which is especially important for young plantings.
We planted a tree or a bush, dig the ground around it wider, water it abundantly, cover it with geotextile (coconut mat) and cover it with a thick layer of mulch and be sure to spill it with a solution from the beetles (lovers of tender young roots).
Only in this way the young will not die in your absence.
Open space young landscape is its weakest point. Of course, you can sow a lawn here, but it requires regular mowing and watering. My recommendation is to simply mow the grass between the trees. So in a couple of years you can get rid of malicious weeds, and when they are replaced by meadow grasses, plant bulbous perennials in the landscape.
Snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils (preferably species), tulips (late and Turkestan) — all these plants can migrate over the site for an infinitely long time and multiply by self-sowing.
They bloom in the sequence as listed: the first arrows break through as soon as clearings appear in the snow. And in June, when the leaves of the last tulip wither, the lawn is mowed.
Junipers (Verginsky, horizontal, ordinary, rocky, scaly) are characterized by maximum unpretentiousness: all they need is moderately moist soils and the presence of the sun for at least 6 hours a day.
Vertical forms take up little space on the site, but at the same time create reliable wind protection and shading, especially when planted as a hedge along the boundaries of the garden.
Horizontal (creeping) junipers eventually form an evergreen lawn, even if you can’t walk on it, but you won’t need a lawn mower either. Perfectly «work» in the spring paired with bulbous primroses.
Self-rooting species of juniper (in particular, Cossack, Chinese) are winter-hardy, but are of little use for a stable landscape, since growing they fill an area up to 20 m2except that in the first five to ten years of growth you will form them in the form of a tree.
Creeping varieties of Fortune’s euonymus just like the horizontal juniper, they will create pretty evergreen rugs on the site. While they grow, they need weeding, perhaps this is their only drawback.
Since it’s been talked about about soil turfingthat is, two more beautiful perennials for shady places: small periwinkle grows on neutral soils, pachysandra feels great on acidic soils (needs shelter at a young age).
Yew grows very slowly, evergreen, loves moist soils (do not plant on «bald» hillocks) and tolerates even strong shading. An excellent partner for the «coniferous forest», it will not wither in the shade of higher neighbors.
Will take root in cold regions, only if it is planted in an already established landscape, closed from cold winds.
thuja western — the only one that can endure the hardships of harsh winters and its drawback is the need to wrap the crown with geotextiles for the winter. This procedure is done for young individuals up to 10 years old. In adults, the branches are stronger and can withstand snow loads. The best indicators of safety after wintering in plants with a formed crown.
cypress pea-bearing has also established itself as a reliable conifer, enduring difficult weather conditions.
low firs it is better to plant on the southern edges of the garden, because they need the sun for a beautiful “fur coat”. With all this, they cannot stand the drying of the soil, therefore they prefer moist loams. Given the small growth and the corresponding size of the root part, organizing a large pit filled with a mixture of clay, sand and peat is just a matter of finance and labor.
Of the variety of species for the climate of the middle zone, dwarf varieties of spruce, Serbian and prickly spruce are suitable. Canadian and Eastern, alas, will not endure «hardships and hardships» (although there are exceptions).
Deciduous barberries (thunberga, ottawa, ordinary) will make up the company of the above conifers. Their place is in the sun, but the soils prefer neutral and slightly alkaline.
From deciduous trees I can recommend white maple — an inhabitant of the local flora, it will harmoniously fit into the landscape. red maple although it looks exotic, it survives cold winters well.
As for the birch, it is a large water drinker, its place is in the wet lowlands. But I wouldn’t recommend planting it. and there: it multiplies very actively in such favorable conditions. Self-sowing ash, elm, poplar are also easily distributed.
Willow, aspen, viburnum, elderberry, lilac, mock orange form a strong root shoot. If you do not have a desire to regularly inspect the site for the appearance of unauthorized individuals, then it is better to refuse these plants.
But Rowan — an excellent small ornamental and useful tree for a sustainable landscape. Two or three specimens planted at the borders of the garden will not only decorate the garden (especially in autumn), but also distract the birds from the fruit crop.
If you like topiaryyou can create unpretentious «green sculptures» from common privet, spruce and arborvitae.
Now a few words about herbaceous perennials.
stonecrops (all frost-resistant species) — an excellent option for filling voids in the middle of the stones. Some of them look like moss but thrive in the sun and without watering. Others are valued by gardeners as the most unpretentious flowers. Choose the right place for them (sun without stagnant water) and they will respond with a high breeding rate and unpretentiousness.
Stonecrops planted simply in the ground will quickly turn up the soil, but, alas, they will not force out the weeds. But the site can be mowed with a lawn mower, which will make the stonecrops many times larger, and the weeds will noticeably decrease.
Perovsky — a semi-shrub, lives in one place for more than a dozen years, does not like transplants, prefers light soils with a neutral and alkaline reaction. Drought-resistant, does not like getting wet, does not need regular weeding, the only maintenance requirement — spring pruning. Not suitable for regions of climate zone 3-4.
Where there is sun, non-acidic soil and moderate humidity — a great place for herbaceous peonies. Grow in one place peony there will be several decades, a short flowering period will more than pay off with a beautiful view of a curtain of green leaves. Enviable stability and decorative effect.
He does not like competitors, therefore it is important to clear the root circle of weeds and mulch. This procedure is repeated as needed (approximately once every three years).
host it can be planted on the site when a light shade from young trees and shrubs has already appeared there, otherwise its leaves will burn in the midday sun and quickly lose their decorative effect. The host soil needs to be moist and neutral, but not soggy. This beautiful “fountain of leaves” will live without a transplant in one place for 25 years.
Place ferns — under mature trees or on the north side of the fence. Soon this area will turn into a whole garden of ferns. For a young garden, local species are more suitable (ostrich, nomadic, shield-bearing), later more exotic varieties can be planted in the array.
There are much more frost-resistant perennials, however, I did not include them in the list for one reason — they need to be looked after: weeded, cut, often replanted … it is better to plant these in front of the windows of the house.
All of the listed «set» of perennials will allow you to create a stable foundation for your garden. When everything grows and fills the empty space with itself, a landscape will appear on your site that will develop without your participation. And starting from this moment, it will be possible to plant other plants, including more capricious exotics, in this already established garden-forest-park (depending on the composition).
What else to read on the site:
Piet Oudolf’s garden: plants for a flower garden
The beauty of the gardens created by the famous Dutchman is so simple and extraordinary that you involuntarily catch yourself thinking: yes, how did I not think of this before! However, in order to create what is now called the “new wave” in landscape style gardens, you need …
Garden without the cost of native plants
«Cheap and angry» happens only with inanimate objects. And everything that lives, grows and develops requires elementary care efforts. Toas well as with an ornamental garden. And if labor costs can only be optimized, then it is quite realistic to reduce material costs to almost zero.
Any site that has not been cared for for a long time appears before the new owners in an unsightly and abandoned form. An overgrown garden, tall weeds, small shrubs, virgin soil in the garden — all this can cause a lot of trouble.