Groundcovers are a fantastic plant for building a layered garden full of visual interest. We ask four leading landscape designers for their advice and insights on all things relating to groundcovers, including the best varieties for sunny, shaded and even tropical gardens.
Grandmother’s garden, many people are looking for. The idea of colorful summer flowers between vegetable and herb beds and berry bushes densely covered with fruits moves everyday life far away.
Contrary to our current idea, until the beginning of the 20th century, a farm garden was generally understood to be a garden created and managed by farmers. Usually this garden was not located directly at the house, but it was a fenced or walled agricultural field. Ornamental plants or a design based on aesthetic principles hardly played a role. Fruit trees have not yet been planted. They grew on a meadow outside the garden.
The history of the typical farm garden for us today probably does not begin until the beginning of the 20th century. In 1913, a kind of Ideal farm garden was established in the Botanical Garden Hamburg. On a relatively small area, plants were arranged according to various categories such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, ornamental plants, as well as principles of aesthetics. The typical features of the farm gardens of Hamburg type are the predominant planting of herbs and vegetables, the rectangular or square plant with a wayside Cross and the enclosure, often by a fence, but also by a wall or hedge.
In the middle of the crossroads, a roundabout is usually located, often with a fountain, but also with a small tree or a small round Flowerbed. The beds are typically framed by boxwood hedges. In General, a few flowers, often perennials, and sometimes berries and fruit trees. Such Farm Gardens demonstrably did not exist before 1900, so they are not a traditional garden form. Thus, the medicinal herbs and stations of the cross come from monastery gardens, book hedges already existed in the castle gardens of the ancient Greeks.
Of course, the location is of great importance for the establishment of a farmer’s garden. The most favorable is a sunny south side, because many plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and fennel originally come from southern countries. A very important design element of the farmer’s garden is the enclosure: here there are many possibilities that depend entirely on your wallet, skill and taste. How about a braid fence? Thin Willow rods are braided either horizontally around wooden posts or vertically around cross battens. Staking or picket fences made of wood are somewhat easier to build. Natural stone walls are also well suited as a boundary. They should not be higher than 80 centimeters.