Tuesday, July 16, 2013

How to Design a Traditional Garden Landscape on a Small Budget

Mrs. Whaley's Charleston Garden ~ Classic Garden and My Favorite! http://designinspiration.typepad.com/design_inspiration_planet/2008/07/mrs-whaley-and-her-charleston-garden.html

It is possible to create a traditional garden landscape on a small budget if you keep in mind the design elements that go into formal gardens.

While Mrs. Whaley's garden is my all time cozy favorite, I realize that I do not have the space or the funds to recreate her garden in its exact form.  What I can do is get the same feeling by understanding the elements that go into a formal or traditional gardens and incorporate as many as I can within my budget

If you have an inspiration photo of a garden you absolutely love, try to pick out the parts that appeal to you the most.  You may not be able to have everything you want but you can be creative and add some statement pieces to your garden.

Photo - The Enchanted Home

For example, when I look at Mrs. Whaley's garden what appeals to me is the privacy, the white fence, the outline brick shape around the grass and the focal point of the statue at the far end.  I also like the shrubs mixed with the roses and potted flowers that add color against all that lush green.

Keep in mind that most formal or traditional gardens have the following three main elements:

1.  Classic accessories such as:
Urns or ornate planters -  Use one as a focal point or use two or more symmetrically.
Statues -  Always a favorite of mine in a beautiful garden.  Statues offer a higher level of sophistication to a formal garden.  You can have it as a focal point like Mrs. Whaley's garden or in another area surrounded by boxwoods.
Fountains or bird baths -  If you can't afford a fountain consider a cement bird bath.  Some of the large home improvement stores are carrying them and they are an inexpensive way to add interest to a section of your garden.  The little birdies will love you for it!
Garden Screens, Arbors or Pergolas - If you have the budget for these items they can really make your garden feel like a separate room.

2.  They are tidy and orderly:  Think clean lines.  You can create this by making a path out of inexpensive crushed stone or pavers.  Just be sure to keep the lines around the paths edged and clean looking.  You don't need to add brick or metal edging around your gardens but learn how to edge your gardens yourself to save money.  Turns out it is very easy and there are a lot of YouTube videos on edging a garden (I've included a link to one below).  You probably already have the tools to do it since all you need is a flat ended spade or you can buy a half-moon edger at your local hardware store.  Properly edged gardens are beautiful.  I tend to like them better than the ones that are too busy with stone, metal or horrible plastic edging.  Save all that extra work for your pathways.

This Old House Video on How to Edge Your Garden

3.  Balanced:  When you look at most traditional gardens they repeat plantings.  You'll see lines of boxwoods and symmetrical plantings across walkways or seating areas.  You can keep you cost down by watching for sales at the end of season sales on hydrangeas, boxwoods, dwarf spruce to add the outline to your garden space.  For example, consider using large cement or black urns at each end of a garden bench.  Plant each urn with a dwarf alberta Spruce surrounded by white impatiens or petunias.  Then continue the white with a couple of hydrangea bushes.  This balance and symmetry can make small gardens feel larger. 

Photos: Pinterest
One last point to keep in mind on your garden landscape budget is to spend the most you can afford on the permanent fixtures and focal points such as a pergola, urns, statues and walkways.  This is the same way you would treat your home decorating budget - spend on the big impact items first.  Even if you have to buy one item each season, you will save money in the long run and will have a space you truly love.   Creating a beautiful, traditional garden space on a budget is very easy to do as long as you're willing to do some searching for bargains and a little gardening work yourself. 
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The enchanted home said...

Hi Christine what a beautiful post. Happy to find you and meet you. Thanks for including a pic of my urn..that Charleston garden is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hello Tina! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting. I love your urns with the pedestals! They look lovely with the Hydrangea.

Have a great day :-)

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