Designing gardens starting from the location: dimensions and exposure to the sun
Designing gardens means, first of all, creating a green space taking into account the available budget. The first thing to do, however, is to identify the location: not only the width of the available surface (it is clear that, the wider the space, the more varied the solutions adopted may be), but also the presence of any trees or buildings in the surroundings, which could make shade at certain times or throughout the day (and therefore the presence of plants at that point should be carefully considered), or create a sort of funnel for the winds. Finally, the exposure must be calculated, bearing in mind that the best is south-west or south, as it ensures a sunny garden. In the presence of slightly sloping terrain, you should not worry (much less should those who plan to design rock gardens, which indeed prefer the slopes), unless the slope is very accentuated: in this case, it might be useful to create dry stone, brick or stone walls, and eventually make an embankment. The land will be measured adequately, so as to be able to manage the perimeter and the interior space in the best possible way: for example, confining the plants, in a small garden, to a peripheral area, so as to leave the lawn free in the center and give the feeling of greater breadth. Anyone who has to deal with small spaces, on the other hand, will have to use many climbing plants: they, growing vertically upwards, on the one hand help to save space without sacrificing the beauty of flowers and leaves, and from the other contribute to increase the feeling of depth. With a large garden, on the other hand, it might be useful to resort to borders, that is to say to delimitations (for flowerbeds, streams, paths, etc.) made with vegetations according to different techniques and profiles. The borders, the hedges, or simple vases, are used to keep the garden in order, dividing and delimiting, perhaps even juxtaposing styles that are different from each other so as to give rise to particularly suggestive effects.
The importance of adapting to the surrounding environment
Designing gardens, on the other hand, also means designing green spaces that are able to adapt to the context, fitting into the surrounding environment in a balanced, proportionate and harmonious manner, without causing visual shock. Besides the vegetable component, then, it is also important to dedicate oneself to accessories, objects and floors: all that is not nature but which serves to better enjoy nature. For example, you cannot miss at least one path leading to the entrance, a driveway that avoids getting your feet wet when it rains. Therefore, it will be necessary to choose the construction material: tiles, gravel, pebbles, fine sand, asphalt, depending on personal needs and tastes. Obviously, both the price (the sand will certainly cost less than the tiles) must be taken into account, but also the people who will have to frequent the garden (for children the sand will be more fun and safe, compared to asphalt). After having thought about the placement of trees and plants, also in consideration of their size (we do not exaggerate with imagination, in short, if we have to manage a small space: an eight-meter-high conifer is unlikely to be used), you can proceed with sowing the lawn . The plants can be grown in the ground or in pots, taking into account that the cultivation in pots allows, of course, to be able to shelter them in case of violent precipitation, but at the same time requires frequent repotting, especially for the species that tend to develop a rather imposing root system. In the context of planning, it is essential to remember even more practical aspects: for example, the need for water intakes for the construction of automatic irrigation systems (indispensable for lawns, considering that they must be bathed strictly in the early hours of morning), and eventually of electrical outlets in the case in which it is intended to realize also a lighting system.
Designing gardens: Focusing on alternative choices: the minimalist garden and the English garden
It is worth remembering, however, that the design of a garden does not necessarily imply the choice of a classic garden, in the sense that lately "variations on the theme" are increasingly widespread. This is the case, for example, of the minimalist garden, which intends to combine green (often reduced to a minimum) with the linearity, rigid patterns and geometric shapes of the architectural spaces in which they are inserted; but above all, of the English garden, known since the eighteenth century, which in the wake of the most famous examples (for example, the garden of the Royal Palace of Caserta) is making proselytes also in private spaces, between palaces and houses. It is a garden that includes the use of plants and plant species alongside natural elements such as streams, ponds and small waterfalls: solutions, obviously, only possible for sufficiently large spaces, and above all for those who are able to ensure a adequate maintenance, constant over time. On the other hand, the economic aspect should not be underestimated.