Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Biodiversity and sustainability is the great importance when designing and building gardens. The tendency among the new generations of landscapers and gardeners (or those who are not so new understand their importance) is to create natural gardens. Organizing the plants in a different way and looking for other forms of beauty. The flowers and their color, while playing an important role. Look into the deep feel the prominence to the shape, texture and color of the foliage. After all the flowers are present for a short period while the leaves, fruits and seeds remain longer.

Plantation scheme

When choosing plants with flowers, following a naturalistic scheme, the shape, fruits and color are taken into account, in this order. The transparencies are another factor of great weight, the nuances of the sunlight when filtering between the higher plants creates very interesting visual effects. It is convenient to those which plants have fine textures or small leaves. Choosing native plants assures us much of the success in maintenance. Although we can also choose colorful plants with similar needs.


Surely, you have read that the best inspiration to plant a naturalist garden you will find in nature. Observing meadows, trails, forests, ponds ..., and certainly is true because what we intend is to imitate nature in a reliable way. However, knowing how to bring the concept from a wide space to a small garden is not always easy. To help you in this work, my advice is to read and observe the works of the great landscape painters to learn how to apply their techniques. Do you need sources? In Home Grown we have talked about great masters of gardening on more than one occasion, this link will take you.

Choose the plants

  1. Observe the plants that grow in the environment and give you clues of what can work in your garden. Study the type of soil, the temperatures they support. Whether they are in shade or sunlight. These three characteristics are fundamental.
  2. It preferably uses native plants (from other regions) that are not invasive.
  3. Choose a botanical species that a cultivar, tend to be more resistant. This does not mean that the cultivars cannot be, but there are cases in which they can be a sure failure. For years, I was buying vincas in the nurseries and every season I lost them until I got seeds of the botanical species that I have kept for more than 10 years.
  4. Look for attractive plants for butterflies and beneficial insects. In this blog, we will do a list.
  5. Study the flowering and fruiting of each plant, the color of the leaves in autumn, the berries that will appear in winter. Look beyond spring to make the garden attractive all year round.


Each landscaper has a scheme that defines his style and always gives results: Applies a plan of matrices in which he repeats certain plants. In a simple way, we can pose it as a plantation in three layers:

  1. Base layer: with plants up to 30 cm high that grow in width.
  2. Medium layer: between 30 and 100 cm
  3. Top layer: plants that protrude from 100 cm

I explore a link that details a plantation method that also includes a care of trees or watering with the best garden hose reel.

Group the plants

By grouping the plants, we will look for an aesthetic purpose. But, also a sustainability and optimal maintenance too. It is necessary to avoid putting plants together, due to their vigorous growth, may displace other weaker ones. In the same group, we will put plants with the same water needs, which we will be able to regulate accordingly. The taller plants should allow the sun to reach the lower ones.

Trying to avoid the errors. It is only necessary to choose the plants that we like the most, according to the above, and plant them in dense and repeated bushes in different areas. My garden is not a clear example of this because it is very small. However, I do try to repeat a plant when turning a corner or that some of the terraces appear again in the garden. I think the sense of continuity that is achieved with this practice makes the garden look bigger.

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