Today there are so many variations of decorative compositions and varieties of garden ensembles that even experienced gardeners find it difficult not to get confused in terms and in their meaning. Boundaries between flowerbeds and squares, islands and groups are being erased. But at the heart of garden design there are always basic principles and simple elements that create the effect of special expressiveness. And basic types of flower beds are no exception. After all, even the most complex projects are still based on basic principles.
With the increasing expansion of methods of decoration of decorative compositions in the garden, the huge choice of plants and the appearance of new styles, options for flower beds seem to be truly limitless. Possibilities of creating compositions restrain only objective conditions - the parameters of the soil, the size of the site, lighting, garden style, budget, etc. But from an artistic point of view, the only limitation is the imagination and desires of the owners themselves.
In essence, a flower garden is a plot on which ornamental plants are grown, a general term for any ensembles of ornamental plants. Flowerbeds can be different both in filling and in form. But any composition made up of ornamental plants in a limited, delineated, separated area is a flower bed. That is why both flowerbeds, borders and flowerbeds can also be safely called flowerbeds.
Flowers can be large, medium and small, austere and classic, natural and carpeted, ornamental, ceremonial, seasonal, permanent, annual ... They are decorated only from herbaceous perennials, annuals and biennials, or even from bushes and trees, conifers and ferns, and sometimes - even from lawn and decorative coatings, using not only plants for decoration and filling of the area.
Sometimes the flower beds are so different in character that they appear to be completely separate, unrelated types of garden ensembles. But all decorative compositions, even if they differ from their fellows, are flower beds.
To facilitate the choice of design variations, there are basic types of flower beds - objects that differ in form, character, plants used and role in garden design.
The basic types of flower beds include 8 types of decorative compositions, which are quite easy to recognize and distinguish:
Blooms, or as they are rightly called, classic flower beds are decorative compositions of geometric shape, most often with a flat surface, in which various decorative plants are combined or only one type of plant is used.
The flower beds come in different sizes, but their form is usually limited to simple geometry - square, circle, oval, semicircle, rectangle, triangle. To create large flowerbeds the simple form is duplicated, repeated and supplemented by filling the area with simple patterns.
All flowerbeds are divided by the nature of the plants used into carpet, planted with low crops, and floral, in the decoration of which plants of different height and size are used.
Formal flowerbeds used to be standard for a classic flowerbed, mixing in planting at least 5 types of plants. But today the classic flowerbeds also include mono-flowers, created from only one species, and flower beds of five perennials, and compositions of three plants, and complex ensembles with a dozen names of garden stars.
Flowers differ in style, planting density, color palette (mottled, monochrome, harmonious or contrast), the "set" of plants. In their design you can use only annuals, biennials and perennials, and you can mix herbaceous plants with shrubs and trees. Selection of plants that can be content with the same conditions and similar care, predicting the development of plants and their growth over time is not only a real art, but also a real pleasure.
2. Borders and ribbon flower beds
The easiest type of flower bed to identify, representing a narrow strip of densely planted plants forming a continuous lush ribbon, is certainly a border. A decorative frame or edging for paths, flower beds, lawns, glades, and other decorative objects plays the role of a beautiful and lush frame and ornate line drawn along the border of the object, hiding or emphasizing the transition.
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Borders come in flowering, temporary, clipped, landscape. They are created from shrubs and herbaceous perennials, biennials and even annuals. Borders can be both bright and neutral, more or less high. Plants are always chosen according to the style of the garden and taking into account the task of achieving maximum line density.
Lenticular flower beds, mixed borders, complex borders or just ribbons - a variation of the border, but created on the principle of the classic bed, a narrow flower bed width of up to 1 m and any length. It is a combination of at least 3 kinds of plants different in their decorative characteristics, it is a strongly elongated flower bed with a constantly repeated pattern and performs the function of a border.
The main task of ribbon flower beds is masking unsightly, residual narrow strips of soil not suitable for classical compositions, decorating boring walls or fences, hiding functional communications, creating the effect of lush landscaping on a minimum area. It is ribbon flower gardens are placed under hedges and along the walls of the house or garage.
Rabatkas - rectangular or curved arc flower strips regular style. The length of the racquet is determined only by the purpose, but the width is always strictly limited: the racquet is called a strip width of 2 m. Planted along the path, hedges and fences or walls of the house, laying them as a decoration, an element of the walking area, viewed from two sides, respectively, when planting plants, creating a one-sided or two-sided composition.
Rabatka can be created from a single species of plants, and do multi-flowered. In the latter there is always a clear ranking of plant height from low in the foreground to high in the background for one-sided plantings and the middle line for two-sided ones.
Mixborders are very often confused with a rainbow (the confusion is reinforced by the fact that mixborders are also called mixed rainbows), but the difference between them is easy to understand based on the nature and purpose. Whereas a flower bed is a strict rectangular flower bed with well-defined contours, a mixborder is a landscape version of extended flower beds. Mixboarder - it's framing flower bed, concluding lawn, recreation area, pond, walls of buildings in the lush and bright frame of the mixed flower garden. Its form is not limited to strict contours.
Mixed-border can stretch along a path or around the lawn for tens of meters, and the width depends only on how much space can be allocated to the flower-frame. Given the combination of different types of plants and multi-row planting, the minimum width of the mixboard is 1.5 m. With an area of more than 4 m in width the mixboard is transformed into an array.
Mixed gardens are most often created from herbaceous perennials, adding as accents of shrubs and conifers. They are created to match the style of the garden so that they look attractive not only during the active season, but also in winter. Plants are planted not strictly, but in groups, selected on the principle of deep contrasts, in compositions set visual peaks, seasonal accents and points of attraction to the eyes.
Mixed gardens are created so that between the large and solo plants the space was filled with more modest textural partners, background crops. Mixboarder is considered an attribute of natural garden design, but if desired, regular elements are introduced into it. It allows you to pick up and color scheme, and vertical relief, and the nature of the compositions at its discretion.
5. Modular flower beds and series of flower beds
Modular flower beds are a rarity in gardens of small and medium size. These are luxurious compositions that require a large area to be "solidly" filled. In fact, a modular flower bed is a mosaic flower bed, which is an area divided into separate repeating sections-modules, each of which is filled with a different plant.
Installation in sections allows you to create a common mottled canvas. Modular flower beds are used for low lush summer and bulbous stars, seasonal plants that give the brightest "spots". Most often the area of the flower garden is divided into modules-squares of about a square meter.
Series of flower gardens - is a decorative ensemble in a fairly large area, divided into different in shape, but creating a general picture of mini-flowers with paths between them. Today the classical flowerbed series surrounded by boxwood is replacing other variants represented by small austere flowerbeds with another type of fencing - a border of wattle, decorative fences, herbaceous plants.
Presenting the same complex figure, divided into small sections, the flowerbed series does not make the same strict impression, are more colorful and much easier to care for. Labyrinths also belong to the series of flower gardens.
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6. Flowerbeds-spots or flower beds
Spots, spots and single beds are the main tool in the hands of any designer, allowing to enliven boring planes and bring additional color spots into the garden.
Most often islands are arranged on the lawn or glades of groundcovers, when there is a feeling that the created landscape may seem too boring. But they create single beds in order to maximize the beauty of individual plants, and to simplify the process of planting and maintenance of annuals (singled out in a separately standing small flower bed, annual stars are easier to plant every year, to replace, and to experiment with new species or varieties). They can be decorated as a mini-bloom or mono-flowers, to play with the size, shape, color plants.
A single bed of individual plants often creates from roses, hydrangeas, peonies, irises, lilies, rhododendrons, herbs. There is a separate type of spots - seasonal, pleasing to the beautiful blooming, and then completely disappear from the lawn. Such stain flower beds create from crocuses, tulips, narcissus, violets, muskrats, hyacinths.
Parterres (ornamental flower beds and arabesques) are carefully planned flower beds in which ornamental plants are planted in dense groups, creating ornate patterns. The parterre is still considered one of the most ancient, complex and elite types of flower beds. It is often used in urban landscaping, but in private gardens such a miracle is a rarity. It is a ceremonial flower bed, which is placed in the most prominent place, like the arabesque with its complex, ornate, artistic oriental ornaments.
Flowers that imitate wild plantings, imitating the natural beauty of nature, are called both natural and naturalistic, and wild and free. But best of all their essence is conveyed by the term landscape flower beds. They are flower beds, in which plants are allowed to grow freely and naturally. For them, combine unpretentious crops that can eventually create a continuous lush thickets and plantings. As part of the landscape flower beds separately allocate:
- Flowerbeds (imitating neglected, overgrown plantings over time);
- Prairie gardens (imitating the special charm of American landscapes);
- Decorative grass flowerbeds (or musical beds, in which the texture, movement and shades of color of the turf of the best garden grasses take center stage);
- Romantic flowerbeds (lush landscape flowerbeds in which abundant blooms and pastoralism are the main trump card);
- Country flowerbeds (created from antique or rustic plants, bright, motley, freely growing flowerbeds with vivid decorations or national elements);
- Massives - landscape flowerbeds in very large areas.
In addition to the main ones, there are also functional or specific types of flower gardens, which are laid out in special conditions, created especially for certain objects or extolling the beauty of certain plants.
Functional varieties of flower beds include:
- Water bed, or wamp bed - compositions created on the banks of water bodies or on wet soils, imitating or playing with water and coastal vegetation, created with the help of water-loving garden and water plants.
- Acorative vegetable gardens or bedbeds are the embodiment of mix-design, compositions mixing useful plants, vegetables and herbs with ornamental crops. They are distinguished by neatness, high decorative value, most often by strict form and symmetry.
- Alpine slides and rocaries - all kinds of compositions imitating mountain landscapes and rock outcrops, partially or completely created with the help of subalpine, alpine plants and lithophytes.
- Palisades - visiting cards of the garden, compositions on the plot between the house and the outer boundary of the plot, representing the tastes of the owners and the style of garden design in general.
- Rosarium, iridarium, vesnarium, convalarium, primularium, sirengarium, etc. - Flowerbeds created to reveal the beauty of a single plant species, ceremonial compositions that are a collection of varieties.
- Flowerbeds - flowerbeds that fill the soil between shrubs and woody, creating a decorative background and emphasizing the beauty of garden giants.
With the trends of garden fashion over time, other types of flower beds are allocated into separate types. For example, many designers consider as special varieties monochrome flower gardens (maintained in one color scheme), color spots (bright compositions of one color on the lawn), flower clock (complex compositions of plants that open or close the flowers at a certain time, or with their planting imitate a clock face), flower gardens (flower gardens in the form of a circle divided into sections), flower gardens made of conifers (created only from different evergreens or based on their combination with deciduous shrubs and perennials), vertical flower gardens (created on the frame of a three-dimensional figure, wall or screen) and multi-dimensional or 3D flower gardens, which play with volume and additional effects.
Mobile flowerbeds - compositions in stone flowerpots or large containers, which are actually portable flowerbeds - are also becoming increasingly popular today. The combination of bright plants allows to create flowerbeds, perfectly coping with the task of setting accents and attracting attention.
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