Gardens have played an important role in the lives of humans and animals since man first started to cultivate them. The very first gardens, in most likelihood, did not benefit from any form of garden design and were little more than small patches of ground, near to the home, turned over to the provision of foodstuff. Maybe the very first gardeners began to attempt to beautify their land by adding more decorative plants and herbs, such as chives but the concept of garden design, most probably, did not come into existence until man had leisure time, was producing sufficient quantities of foodstuffs to cover his needs and he could afford to turn over some of his land over to a flower garden.
The first people to employ garden design would have been those people in a position of authority such as lords and kings. In antiquity there has been much written about the hanging gardens of Babylon but there is still something of an enigma around how such lush gardens could be grown in such conditions and at such varying level. Obviously much thought went into the garden design here to ensure that there was sufficient water delivered to ensure that the plants flourished and even top scientists still debate how this could have been made possible back then.
The very first gardens enjoyed by common man would have been in rural districts and would have been rather basic, but just enough to add beauty to their home, maybe just one or two flowers here and there. Over time the cottage garden would have become more of what we would now describe as a cottage garden design but the overall appearance of such gardens often gives the viewer the feeling that there are actually no design concepts at all. This effect is actually rather clever implementation of specific garden perennials, annuals and biennials to give the impression of haphazardness whereas, in reality, much thought has gone into the color scheme.
Of course beauty is often said to be in the eye of the beholder and one person may like the look of one garden whereas another may well detest it. The design of your own garden is often a very personal matter and depends on very many influencing factors such as the amount of space available and the prevailing climate in your area. Today nearly everyone is aware that a well designed flower garden not only adds beauty to a property but it can also add value.
Some folk believe that a flower garden can very much influence your well being and general attitude to life. If this sounds bizarre consider the fact that the immensely successful entrepreneur Lord Leverhulme (of Lever Bros fame) believed in this so much that when he had completed his village of Port Sunlight near Liverpool, England, garden design was to become very important. Lord Leverhulme had played a major role in the design of his village right down to the layout of the rooms of the homes but when his workers moved into their new homes they had no concept of garden design at all as they had never had a garden before. This led to most gardens being left fallow and Lord Leverhulme grew very annoyed and upset. In his usual fashion he decided to take full control of the situation and actually did exactly that, he took back the control of each and every front yard and brought in professionals to plan, design and maintain them! Can you imagine a modern day worldwide organization providing luxury homes (as they then were) to all of their workers which also had professional garden design and maintenance? I know I can't.
Throughout this section of Landscaping Info 4U we will be taking a look at other aspects of designing gardens so check out the list of pages below and, if you can't find anything suitable just now please call back soon as we will continue to add information to this section on a continual basis.