Gardening is an activity that can help you relax and escape from daily stress. It is also a way to stay close to nature, especially when you live in the city. Creating a pleasure garden is within anyone’s reach. It just takes some organization, and the right choice of plants, to create a little piece of heaven in one’s own yard. Follow the guide to quickly move from theory to practice.

Prior to discovering all the tricks to create a pleasure garden, one must already know what it is. This term generally refers to an outdoor garden that was created to reflect the tastes and desires of its owner. The word “pleasure” means everything because it means that this type of garden is created “for fun” and that everyone is free to decorate it as they please. As such, there is no standard rule for the creation of a pleasure garden. However, you have to resort to traditional gardening tools like a shovel, spade, pruning shears, watering can or garden hose. Depending on the garden’s surface and the plants that grow there, a dibble, a hoe, a rake, a seed drill and a lawn mower, if there is grass, may also be necessary. The ideal solution is to build a small tool shed and to set aside a small area in the garden for composting, thus carrying out smart and organic gardening. Once preparations are finalized, what types of plants should you put in your pleasure garden?

Plants and accessories that can make up a pleasure garden

Everyone can give free rein to his or her imagination while creating his or her garden. This means that all plant species can be included. However, to make up their garden, most gardeners prefer to opt for more traditional plants that are relatively easy to maintain. That way, they are guaranteed to obtain beautiful flower beds on time without too much effort. Exotic plants, as beautiful as they are, in fact require a lot of care and often struggle to survive the winter. That is why the plants most often selected to be included in a pleasure garden are annuals (begonia, nasturtium, fuchsia, pansy, sunflower, periwinkle, etc..), perennials (columbine, valerian, digitalis , iris, lupine, Japanese anemone, primrose) which, depending on the species, can make the garden bloom year-round, and biennial plants such as horned violet, daisies or the chimney bellflower. Ground cover plants, such as the white fairy rose, the Canadian white violet, or also simple green lawns, also experience timeless success. The pleasure garden may also include a few trees – preferably deciduous – like the magnolia, cherry tree or apple tree, but must not be overloaded. As for accessories, everything really depends on the chosen garden theme. If the pleasure garden is created in a Japanese style, it needs to include fountains, statues and stones (in the alley for example). If it is set in a country style, a few wheelbarrows, iron pots and haystacks give an illusion of the countryside, and so on …

Pleasure garden: some planting tips

Regardless of the season, a few conditions must be met prior to putting the seedlings in the ground. First of all, it is necessary to hoe the land, to dispose of waste that can clutter it up and then amend it with a little sand, clay or compost – depending on the desired texture. Afterwards, determine each flower’s perfect time to be planted in order to provide it with maximum chances of survival. Thus, it should be noted that annual plants are generally put in the ground in spring, although some varieties like bellflower and poppy accommodate themselves well enough to the first autumn frosts. In that case, the seedlings must be planted in trays or flower boxes – depending on the size of the seeds – in September and then be kept inside before being transplanted in the pleasure garden in March. It is best to sow biennial plants, which often produce their first flowers in spring, between May and June, and then transplant them in October. It should be noted that plantlets can only be transplanted when their first leaves are visible. Finally, concerning perennials, they can be planted year-round (except in winter) and some of them have evergreen foliage very pleasing to the eye.

Plants also require regular maintenance. One will need to trim bushes, water plants and add fertilizer when the need arises. Wilted flowers and yellow leaves will need to be removed and branches will need to be cut to air out the plants and produce a good harvest. Diseases such as rust or mildew will need to be dealt with. Treatments against aphids, cochineals, slugs, flies and ants, will also need to be considered to prevent the plants from withering and dying. If you do not have the adequate skills, it is better to seek help from a professional.

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Published in Decorating guide by Alexander on 06 Jul 2011