Green Themes

Climb that mountain

Green Themes

    Dry landscapes and texture gardens

    Not quite as waterless as they sound but definitely water-wise. Dry landscapes are an oriental tradition which originated alongside Buddhist zen gardens. Dry landscapes are artfully contrived using minimal materials and including borrowed scenery. The site directs choice to ensure an original garden whilst the symbolic aspects allow the  experiences  inside you to fill the landscape and give it meaning. The gardens are especially suitable for courtyards, rooftops, backyards balconies and even table tops.

    Texture gardens include complimentary textures using varied materials including gravel, pebbles, paving, plants wood and even glass. With our increasingly dry climate these gardens make better options than conventional type gardens as they require much less water.

    The principles behind the design of symbolic landscapes are relatively simple but require a thorough understanding of the environment in order to successfully implement and appreciate them. An African ethnic theme is perfectly suitable instead of the usual oriental style. Container landscapes are an excellent water saving choice and almost any theme can be symbolised using everything from cacti and succulents to mosses, grasses and bonsai. Shade net structures and greenhouses provide microclimates for small scale gardens. These methods ingeniously allow elaborate and simple styles and designs for a fraction of the cost of a full scale garden.

    Other water saving strategies include using filtered 'grey' water, storing rain water, drip irrigation and mulching but nothing beats using the correct indigenous and endemic plants appropriate to your area. Consider a moon viewing garden, designed to be best appreciated at full moon, when the silvery leaved plants literally glow in the moonlight yet is just as pleasing during the day and eminently suitable to reflect the harsh sun.

    Zen gardens consisting essentially of sand, gravel and rock provide endless hours of peace and tranquility and be redesigned with little effort. Raking patterns in the gravel is very therapeutic or more whimsically messages may be left for someone. It is said that by studying a grain of sand one can know the nature of mountains and that by studying a drop of water you may know the nature of the sea.

    Enjoy your gardening.

    written by D Barnard