In general, when people think of a garden plant, the first thing that comes to mind is ornamental plants. That is to say, those that, due to their aesthetic characteristics, are cultivated in order to decorate, either for their flowers, their peculiar foliage, their perfume or any other characteristic.
But in the garden there are not only ornamental plants, we also have plants for other purposes such as food. That is why on this website you will find that we are talking about fruit plants and also vegetables. We recognize as a garden plant everything that can be planted in a garden, whatever the type of garden.
1. Different types of gardens
Gardens have existed practically since man has been a man, this has made them adapt to all types of climate and evolve along with each society. So today there are dozens of types of gardens, each with a well-defined characteristic.
In this section we have selected some of the most prominent and common types of garden that are currently used.
1.1 Flower garden
This is perhaps the most common garden, the one that most people grow. In it you will find ornamental plants of various types such as shrubs, trees and cover grasses.
A well-designed flower garden should have flowers throughout the year. That is, it has a careful selection of flowering plants, depending on the seasons.
1.2 Indoor garden
Bringing plants indoors brings many benefits as it allows people to connect with the outdoors. To be successful with this type of garden you have to make a good selection of plants. Not all are suitable for indoor growing. Only those that can be developed with little or moderate amount of sunlight.
You should also choose a good place inside the house, not only the lighting is key. In general, all indoor plants are affected by drafts and sudden changes in temperature, so placing them near a stove or air conditioner would not be a good idea.
1.3 Kitchen garden
As we said in previous paragraphs, a garden is not only made up of ornamental plants, there is also space for other types of plants. To such an extent that we can create a space within our garden specially designed for them.
Here we will grow vegetables, aromatic herbs, fruit trees and any plant capable of providing us with ingredients for our kitchen. It is a very personal garden since only those plants that we can use in our kitchen will be grown, by this I mean that if you do not like to season with thyme, you will not grow thyme.
1.4 Aquatic garden
This is not as common a type of garden as the previous ones. It is difficult for your neighbor to have one of these in his house. But in those gardens with a lot of space it is a very good idea to have a pond where you can grow aquatic plants.
It is not a garden for beginners, as it requires knowledge of drainage techniques, pond cleaning, and knowledge of aquatic plants that are generally not very common.
1.5 Sustainable garden
Among all the types of gardens that currently exist, this is surely one of the last to emerge. In these, when selecting plants, we must take into account minimizing the environmental impact. What you are looking for is to place plants that grow in similar climates. In other words, don’t take a tropical plant to a dry area or similar situations. By doing this, we can save resources like water.
We could continue mentioning many other types of gardens, but in order not to extend this section too much, I will only name a few.
- English garden.
- French Garden.
- Arab garden.
- Japanese garden.
- Feng Shui Garden.
- Vertical garden.
- Rock garden.
- Tropical garden.
- Dry garden.
In case you are interested in any of the above gardens, there is a lot of information about each one of them, it is just a matter of searching a bit on Google. 😉
2. Types of garden plants
For each type of garden, there are certain types of plants that are generally the most suitable. It will be useless if you know the types of gardens if you do not have any information about what type of garden plants you can plant in them.
Recognizing each type of plant will give you knowledge to know in what conditions it grows best. In other words, you can take better care of them. Let’s take a quick review of the following list of garden plant types.
- Perennials: Perennials are those that are capable of living for more than two years. It is usually misleading since the word perennial is used to differentiate the foliage of a plant, between those that the foliage lasts all year (perennial) and those that renew their leaves every year (deciduous). Perennials adapt to the type of climate, being able to grow all year round or rest during the cold months.
- Annual: these types of plants are those that develop their entire life cycle in one year. That is, they are born, produce flowers and seeds, and then die. These seeds produced are responsible for generating the plants for the following year.
- Biennials: they follow the same concept as the previous ones. Only its cycle lasts two years. That is, they are born one year and the next they will bloom and die.
- Shrubs: this type of garden plant is very broad, includes different sizes and different characteristics. There are perennial, deciduous or semi-evergreen. They are given many uses within the gardens, from decorative for their flowering to the formation of fences, cladding of walls, walls or fences.
- Trees: the substantial difference with shrubs is their size, the trees are larger. They are great for adding leftovers to a garden, as well as helping wildlife in the environment.
- Climbing plants: in vertical gardens or with little space, these types of plants are very useful, since they take up little space horizontally. They only need some structure to climb in height, they are another very good option to create shade if, for example, you let them cover a pergola.
- Bulbs: There are many garden plants that develop from an underground oregano such as bulbs. In general, these are plants that will begin to sprout in autumn or spring and during the hottest months (spring – summer) they will bloom.
3. Garden plants for each season
As we have just seen, there are many types of plants, which can be divided taking into account many aspects. That is, they can be trees or shrubs, annual or perennial, bulbous or climbing, etc. But when it comes to looking for plants for your garden there is a key aspect, and this is the climate.
Knowing how to select plants for each season is key if you want to have a good garden. Each season of the year has its own characteristics, some plants are able to adapt to all of them and grow throughout the year, but these plants are the least common.
It is important to know which plants will be able to withstand the cold winter temperatures and will provide green foliage and flowers for those cold days. As well as which will be the plants that will grow best in the hot months in the area where we live. Selecting the best plants for each season will allow you to have your garden always colorful, and be the envy of your neighbors.
3.1 Winter plants
Winter plants are the ones that thrive during the cold months. They are resistant to low temperatures and tend to have evergreen foliage. You may be surprised to learn that there are a large number of these plants that will also bloom during the winter.
Let’s see some of the winter plants that will grow best in your garden:
- Violet of the Alps.
As you will see, there are many plants that can brighten up your garden in the cold months. It’s just a matter of knowing how to select them
3.2 Spring plants
Spring is the season when our garden should be full of green and flowers. We spend the cold winter days and begin to feel the temperature rise. This change should be reflected in our garden, something that will help us if we select our plants correctly.
If you don’t want to have flowering plants in winter it may be acceptable, you can prioritize plants with green foliage. But during the spring in your garden you can not miss flowers of all kinds. Thinking about this is that I put together the following list:
- Thoughts and Violas.
Analyze exactly when each plant blooms to make sure you have flowers throughout the spring months. Don’t make the mistake of all plants blooming early and running out of flowers at the end of this season.
3.3 Summer plants
It is in summer when the days are longest and the sun’s rays are strongest. Some plants do not support so much solar intensity, although in general it is very easy to find plants that love the sun, and produce more and better flowers in these months.
When looking for plants that illuminate your garden in these months, you can look for those that love the sun and others that grow in the shade. Especially if you have a plant or structure that covers the sun in your garden.
The list of garden plants for the summer can be endless, but I leave you these, which are some of my favorites.
Combine any of the above and you will have a very good variety of colors in your garden.
3.4 Autumn plants
Autumn is the season when we must forget about hot summer days to start thinking about cold days. This change will be reflected in our plants.
Many of the flowering plants that we can mention for the fall bloom during the summer and for the fall a last flowering is saved.
- Pieris japonica.
- African violet.
The list of plants specifically for fall is generally shorter than for other seasons. Even so, as you have seen, there are many options.
4. Gardening tips for beginners
You already know several types of garden, what types of plants exist and you are even able to select the ones that best adapt to each time of year. However, if you are a newbie, you will surely run into many problems when it comes to carrying out your garden.
Those problems can make you feel discouraged when growing your plants. But that should not be the case, like any activity, gardening requires certain knowledge in addition to gaining experience on your own and learning day by day.
So that you can start with this knowledge today, I leave you these brief tips for somewhat novice gardeners. I hope you find it useful. 😉
- Project your garden: to make a house it is necessary to make plans with a garden, something similar happens. You must analyze the space you have and try to organize which plants you will place in each place. If you start planting any plant foolishly and madly, you start off badly.
- Acquire the basic tools: if when starting a garden you do not have the necessary tools (shovel, rake, pruning shears, flowerpots, etc.) you will suffer a lot. Performing tasks with unsuitable tools will only get you in trouble.
- Make a good selection of plants: I have already stressed the importance of this point on several occasions. Take special care when looking for plants that are well adapted to the climatic conditions where you live. At the same time have a variety of plants for each season.
- Analyze each plant before buying it: whenever you go to the nursery to buy a plant you must be aware of its general condition before paying for it. Check the vigor with which it is growing, at the same time to see the health of its foliage (that is not yellowish, stained or withered).
- Know the needs of each plant: each plant in your garden will require certain care, which begins from the moment you plant it. Place each plant in the place that best suits its needs (do not put a shade plant in a place with a lot of sun exposure). Another very common mistake is to water all the plants equally, something unacceptable. Each plant needs a certain dose of water.
- Control of pests and diseases: to be a good gardener you must be vigilant. Take the time to look at each of your plants. Any sign of plague or disease should alert you and take appropriate action so that the problem does not escalate. Always try to go for green solutions.
If you keep these six basic tips in mind, you may not become the best gardener in the world, but at least you won’t make any serious mistakes, and you could have a nice garden.
5. How to make a garden
With everything we’ve seen so far, I think it’s time to get down to business creating our own garden. But we will not do it in a disorderly way but we will follow some well-defined steps to achieve the best result.
Follow the 4 steps that I will detail below and creating your own garden will be faster and easier.
Step 1. Observation
This point you should take it easy and not miss any detail when looking at your plot. Here you must define which elements and perspectives you want to highlight and which ones you prefer to hide. Perhaps from your garden you have a good view (mountain, sea, forest or whatever you like to see) that you want to keep and not cover with plants or decorations. Or on the contrary, there is some view that you prefer not to have, so it would be better to hide it.
Perform the observation at different times of the day to be able to define exactly the path of the sun within your plot. If you have lived there for a long time, it will help you remember what it looks like in different seasons and times of the day.
Take note of the plants you already have (if you have any) and define which of them you will keep, which ones you prefer to remove or accompany with other plants. Take into account the sectors where you have weeds and you must eliminate them.
Step 2. Drawing planes
Once the observation is made, it is time to put on paper all the ideas we have for our garden. To do this, you must first know what the measurements of the plot are.
Once the plot is drawn (try to do it with a defined scale) define the income you will have towards the garden. It also highlights all those windows from which we can observe it, as well as the views to highlight and those that we will seek to hide.
With the plot and its views well defined on paper, we can begin to divide the spaces within it. For this you must be clear about what type of garden you want. Once the plan is finished, it should be clear where you will place the flower beds, where the orchard will be, where you plan to place the pool, where you will place the leftovers, where you will place the games, etc. The above Items are for example level only, you define what you want to have in your garden. 😉
Step 3. Element selection
Plants are the key point in any garden, but in a good garden you cannot miss other elements such as chairs, tables, hammocks, toys, decorations, etc.
At this point you must select which of these elements you will place and where they will be. They are not only decorative, but also help you make better use of your garden. What better than to have a couple of chairs and tables under the good shade of a tree.
Step 4. Plant selection
Now is the time to make the specific selection for each plant. Start by defining the types of plants to use, shrubs, trees, vines, etc. Then, within each group, find the ones that you like best and are best suited to your garden.
You must know how big each plant will be in order to define a place where it can develop correctly. In addition to how much lighting they need, for this it will serve to know the path of the sun in the plot.
Try to group those plants that have similar needs. That is, group those plants that need a lot or little water. This will not only serve your plants well, but will also simplify the watering task.
6. Benefits of gardening
Whether you’ve come this far because you’re a seasoned gardening lover or a newbie interested in creating a garden, you may not be aware of the many benefits that gardening has. To such an extent that when you finish reading you may want to spend fewer hours in the gym, go to the psychologist less and even do fewer medical check-ups. 😉
- Reduces stress: studies published in recognized media concluded that just half an hour of gardening helps lower cortisol levels. Wondering what this has to do with stress? Coincidentally, cortisol is a stress-producing hormone.
- Increases our self-esteem: caring for plants and seeing how they respond well, growing strong and beautiful helps us feel stronger and more confident of ourselves.
- It helps us improve our ability to meditate: nowadays people live with their heads always full of information, we never stop. Working in our garden disconnects us from all this, managing to have a few moments of peace and meditation.
- Burns a lot of calories: some gardening tasks allow us to burn more calories than others. But without a doubt, dedicating a few hours a week to our garden is more than good for our physique.
- Helps to sleep better: this comes from the hand of two points that we already mentioned previously. Lowering our stress level and being able to have a few moments of meditation will undoubtedly help us sleep more and better.
- It helps to value the environment: especially for people who live in big cities, where the connection with the land is almost nil, having a green plot to take care of is a great help to become aware of the importance of caring for the environment .
- It allows to cultivate a better memory: going back to scientific studies, another benefit of gardening that was found is that lowering cortisol levels also helps to have a better memory and learning capacity.
- Strengthens our immune system: I have no doubt that you know the benefits of spending hours outdoors. Getting some fresh air and sunshine. Coincidentally, the sun is responsible for providing vitamin D to our body, which will help strengthen our immune system.
If with these eight benefits that I just mentioned you still do not want to take care of your garden, gardening is surely not your thing.