Good taste in garden design

thegardener's picture
General life patio dela acequia fountains A'lhambra
Yorkshire newbie haul
Chateau sur parc de marqueyssac au dordogne
scare crow

The Scarboro Garden Scene
Good taste in garden design
I’ll avoid the obvious pun about veggies, although growing vegetable in combination with flowers, or even shrubs, is clearly an attractive proposition: one example is the North American “Three Sisters” - the combination of corn (maize), beans and squash.
Extracting phrases from Wikipedia, “… [good] taste is about the human ability to judge what is beautiful, good, and proper. Different socioeconomic groups and cultural practices are likely to have different tastes. Social class is one of the prominent factors structuring taste, and aesthetic preferences likewise reflect our experiences … bad taste is something that does not fall within a person's idea of the normal social standards of the time or area.” Clearly ideas of what is attractive vary enormously within and between communities.
This spring we may be ask what we can do to make our gardens or properties more attractive, and we should focus on what we regard as attractive. The time and money we expend on our gardens must result in something that we enjoy and appreciate. No question that this will reflect our tastes, “bad” or “good”. For centuries our forebears have transcribed the ideas seen in the properties of the rich or famous into smaller versions they could install in their gardens – this is exemplified by the idea of a lawn that did not have the function of providing food, and was the popular version in the UK, for instance, of parkland in which deer ran freely!
Garden design today is a very personal choice: while we often want to have gardens compatible with our homes we don’t always have that option, at least in the short term. One pattern we see is that people plant beautiful small trees that suite the style and size of their house, but in 15 or 20 years, the tree may tower above the house or, less frequently, particularly of the house has been enlarged, be too small for the house.
What we can do is look at other attractive gardens throughout the world and see how, if modified, they would fit into our property and into the overall design of our community. American, Japanese, European, Asian … warm temperate, or hot desert climates … all will produced gardens that reflect history as well as new ideas (see photos in digital version): and of course, climate – not to mention changing climate!
January 15