- Lawn arrangement
- Track arrangement
- Traditional reservoir of the English garden
- Small garden forms and furniture for the English garden
- The device of mixborders and the selection of plants for them
- English garden fence
This article of the cycle will consider the basic techniques and rules for the device of the English (landscape) style in landscape design. Using them, everyone will be able to create a real English park on their own, even a very small garden plot.
“Nature will always take its toll” – said the famous Englishman William Shakespeare. Apparently, his compatriots were guided by this very principle, creating both magnificent parks and small gardens next to their cottages. It would seem – how can you combine the riot of colors and vegetation of the natural landscape with the English approach to life? It turned out that you can. The result was the so-called English parks, which since the 18th century continue to be popular and beloved throughout the world. Russians can familiarize themselves with the best examples of classic English parks without leaving the country. Most of the park ensembles of St. Petersburg and the region are made in this style.
So, English or landscape style of landscape design is:
- The most preserved natural landscape.
- Well-groomed and orderly.
The main criterion for this style is impeccable English taste. The creation of an English garden is quite accessible to every owner of a garden plot, regardless of the size of the property and material capabilities.
Whatever the site is – flat or located on a slope, the English style does not imply the implementation of any engineering work to change the relief.
However, given that one of the basic techniques of English design is the presence of viewpoints, such a park looks most advantageous on a small hill or slope. An example of a viewpoint can be a bench on an elevation, from which a view of the site will open. An ideal option may be a preliminary agreement with neighbors about the design and their plots in the same style. This, of course, is not necessary, but an English-style plot should not abruptly break off “along the fence”, it is better when it continues, as it were, is part of a natural forest.
But this is the ideal. As already mentioned, this is a fairly budgetary and uncomplicated option for decorating even a very small personal plot or summer cottage. After all, the English style is primarily a reflection of the English village life. Unhurried and measured.
So, if the owner feels that he is an Englishman at heart – slightly prim, restrained, neat, but by no means arrogant, then the arrangement of the garden in the English style should start with familiarization with the basic techniques and rules:
- Free, without strict geometry of lines, layout of the site with an asymmetric arrangement of landscape design elements.
- The openness of the area of the site, its merging with the natural landscape (if possible). Lack of artificially created landscape elements.
- Strictly consistent English style in all elements of landscape design, architecture of buildings.
- The presence of ideal, well-groomed lawns that do not require additional accents, being in themselves a decoration of the site. Moreover, their outlines can be very different..
- Asymmetrical, well-groomed natural stone paths.
- Natural-looking body of water (pond, stream) with an island in the middle.
- Discreet, dull garden forms and furniture.
- Bright and well-groomed mixborders that use only local plants.
- Garden fence – hidden by vegetation, low, made of natural stones or wood.
First, on the site plan, it is necessary to carefully draw the location of all elements – in relation to either the house or to the viewpoint from which the site is most clearly visible.
When planning, it is worth remembering that the lines and turns of the paths, the outlines of lawns and the reservoir can be arbitrary and asymmetric. But at the same time, they are not located chaotically, but thought out taking into account functionality and convenience.
When planning, you should refrain from wanting to make the most of every piece of the site. There should be a feeling of freedom and space. You should not arrange a complex water cascade, topiary or alpine slide. If there are boulders on the site, then in their natural form they will become an excellent lawn decoration.
Of course, a residential building should be in the British or Victorian style. Therefore, if the construction starts from scratch, then it is necessary to select the appropriate project. But what if the house has already been built and it doesn’t look like English at all? In this case, stylization techniques come to the rescue:
- Decoration of the new entrance group (portico with columns).
- Sheathing of at least part of the building with finishing panels imitating natural stone or red brick.
- Replacing the roof with colored tiles.
- The device of a “green carpet” of creepers that can completely cover the facade of the house.
- Installation of openwork balcony railings.
These not very expensive and uncomplicated techniques will help bring the look of the house closer to the desired style..
It is hard to imagine an English manor house or cottage without a perfect lawn. Even at the planning stage, it is necessary to think over the design of the irrigation system. The best option would be an automatic watering system. She will be able to irrigate the lawn regularly and in dosage, constantly maintaining it in perfect condition. Automation completely excludes the presence of a person. It is possible to mount a semi-automatic system that is manually programmed. Of course, any other irrigation method can be used. But a delay in watering or excess moisture can negatively affect your lawn carpet. Making a good lawn will take about two to three years for the plants to root and spread evenly. Although the British say that a good lawn cannot be less than two centuries old.
But even after that, it is better not to arrange football matches or crowded picnics on the English lawn. The grass on a real English lawn cannot be trampled, with bald patches, withered and not trimmed. To mow your lawn, you need to purchase a lawn mower. When choosing it, one should be guided, first of all, by the area of the lawn, as well as its convenience and functionality..
Methods for arranging an English lawn:
- You can choose a ready-made roll lawn. It is stacked in layers in a checkerboard pattern. This is done to reduce the perimeter of the joints. Excess areas are cut off with a shovel. The surface is compacted with a hand roller. The first days you need to carefully monitor the degree of soil moisture. Mowing of the established lawn is performed in two weeks, against the direction of laying.
- If a decision is made to arrange a lawn with your own hands, then the following actions are performed on the territory allotted for it:
- rubbish, stones, driftwood, visible roots are removed;
- with the help of pegs and twine, the boundaries of the site are marked;
- weeds are destroyed – by physical (weeding) and chemical (herbicides) methods. For high-quality weed removal, you should not lay the lawn in the seasons when the weeds have already dried up and weeded out the seeds (early spring and autumn);
- earthworks – digging a site to a depth of at least 20 cm. In this case, the roots remaining in the ground, as well as stones and driftwood, are finally removed;
- enrichment and feeding of the soil, depending on its composition;
- compacting the site with a hand roller;
- loosening the topsoil with a rake;
- sowing lawn grass seeds according to the instructions for the selected species;
- regular watering.
When choosing lawn grass seeds, it is best to give preference to special mixtures. Mixes for parterre or long-term lawn are best..
The paths in the English park are comfortable, not wide, of arbitrary bends. It is the bizarre bends of the paths leading to the secluded corners of the garden that will surely make the style recognizable. Parade alleys, as a rule, are not arranged, unless we are talking about large residences and palaces. The paths can be paved with cobblestones or covered with gravel. The main condition is that even on rainy days, movement on them should be comfortable..
Traditional reservoir of the English garden
A natural body of water on the site may be an ideal option. But since this is a rarity, it is worthwhile to start building a pond. For an English-style pond, a pond of any size and depth is suitable. The most important thing is that it should not have a strict geometric shape and a clear coastline. The banks can be partially overgrown, fallen leaves, water lilies and lilies float in the water. Branches of weeping willows can lean towards the water. The center of the reservoir can be decorated with a garden sculpture or a fountain. Stone or plaster sculptures, old, not very well preserved, or maybe some kind of Buddha statuette brought by an English ancestor from the eastern colonies, will look best. Let the fountain be thin-jet, not noisy and not pompous.
Since at first the English pond was of quite practical importance and was set up to take water for household needs, its bottom was usually laid out with a stone, and the edges even slightly rose above the surface and bent. This was done not for aesthetics, but for purely practical purposes. It is this pattern, which was subsequently applied by the organizers of landscape design, is the easiest way to arrange an English pond in a small garden area. In one of the articles of our cycle, methods of arranging ponds will be considered in detail and in detail..
Small garden forms and furniture for the English garden
We have already touched on the question of garden forms in the course of the description. They must be very sophisticated. And even if the funds allow you to purchase a very expensive sculpture, a true Englishman will put it in a secluded corner of the garden. A sundial can be an excellent solution for decorating an English park. They were present in almost all the estates of the century before last. You can purchase a finished watch from a specialist store. But if you wish, you can easily arrange them yourself, having looked before that various images of a sundial. In the secluded places of the park, you can place dilapidated columns and other picturesque ruins of various centuries. If space permits, it is worth arranging a Palladium bridge. It is easy to lay it out with your own hands, “aging” with uneven plaster.
There are no strict rules for furniture in an English garden. Ordinary wooden garden benches, painted in a dull color and placed in convenient places under the spreading trees, will look very good. Wicker furniture of a classic look and expensive forged furniture, devoid of claims to luxury, will perfectly fit into the style..
Rocking chairs and swings are best made of wood, giving them strict outlines, without unnecessary decorations.
The main principle of furniture arrangement is convenience. A table with armchairs is placed in the place of the garden where it is most comfortable to be during an English dinner; a cozy gazebo covered with ivy is where it is most pleasant to indulge in relaxation and reading the evening newspaper. For example, by a pond.
The device of mixborders and the selection of plants for them
Mixborder is a bright, well-groomed flower garden. It is worth giving preference to mixborders, small in area, located in arbitrary places. It is very good if behind them there is a hedge or a green border, which will become, as it were, a background that emphasizes the beauty and riot of flowering plants of the mixborder. The most reasonable and correct would be to use those plants that bloom most magnificently and for a long time in a given area..
Very often, small mixborders are arranged vertically, using special devices that allow you to hang flower pots. This method is very convenient. A pot of wilting flowers can be easily replaced with a pre-prepared pot in which the plants are just beginning to bloom.
For the device of a classic English flower garden, it is necessary to strictly observe the structure. A mixborder is arranged around a shrub, for example, quince, black elderberry, juniper or thuja. Further, herbaceous perennial plants are planted. Thus, a kind of base is obtained, which every year is randomly planted with flowering annuals. Clusters of cereals look very interesting in the mixborder.
English garden fence
Despite the love of privacy, the British do not like high fences. They prefer light, openwork and low forged fences, wooden picket fences. A border of well-priced plants is usually planted along the fence. The border should not be given strict geometric outlines when cutting. For example, you can cut it in a waveform.
The next article in the series will consider the device of landscape design in the Baroque style. Fans of this style will be able to find out what rules will satisfy their desire for luxury, while remaining within the framework of exquisite taste..