A garden, no doubt, is a happy place for some people—a place where they feel a sense of calm, peace, and connection—a place where they retreat to recharge or reconnect with themselves. Statistics show that happy places are essential to people’s mental and physical well-being.

Not only does your special place lower your heart rate and help build your immune system, but it also benefits those around you. Your happy place is unique, and therefore, so should be your garden—the look of it will be determined by its purpose.

How do you create a garden unique to your lifestyle?

For most people, their gardens reflect their personality, interests, and style. Therefore, in order to answer this question, you would need to ask yourself a few more questions.

Why do you want a garden?

Do you want a garden where you can grow vegetables, one where you can relax while sipping on some tea, or one where you can exercise or host barbecue parties? Will you spend time alone in the garden, or will you be sharing it with close friends and family? Before you decide exactly how your garden will look, you first need to determine its purpose, and that will determine what will be in it.

What will be in your garden?

Once that is settled, you then need to plan your garden’s layout. Will it be indoors or outdoors? Will it be fenced in? Is parking required? Or should there be a play area for children?

What is the budget for your garden?

When budgeting, you need to consider both the time and money you have available. You probably already have some of the items that you need for your garden. Your budget will help you decide whether you can add any additional elements.

Choosing between a vegetable and flower garden

The pros and cons of vegetable gardens

When you harvest your own produce, you know exactly what’s going into it—the food you bring to the table has no pesticides or preservatives. It can be a great family project that you can do with your kids, helping you to save money at the grocery store at the same time. Nothing tastes better than the food grown in your garden—it’s fresher with greater variety.

Vegetable gardens require a lot of effort and time to create and maintain, and despite it all, there’s still the possibility of massive crop loss due to foraging animals and pests. Also, if you want to produce a variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs, sufficient to sustain your family, you would require quite a lot of outdoor space.

The pros and cons of flower gardens

Flower gardens add color and beauty to your outdoor spaces, and can be enjoyed not only by you but by your family and friends as well. Perennials give you the added benefit of planting your flowers once and having them continue to bloom year after year. Flower gardens don’t need much space to be beautiful—even those planted in containers grab your attention.

Although flower gardens are pretty to look at, they really serve no purpose apart from that. Flowers produce pollen, which in some cases causes allergies, especially in the summer and spring, making a flower garden unbearable if you have severe allergies.

Vegetable garden versus flower garden

Again, because everyone is so unique, the choice between a vegetable and flower garden is not simply based on the pros and cons of each but rather on purpose and preference. But, instead of planting your flowers and vegetables in completely separate areas, you may want to consider interplanting—harmoniously blending the two in such a way that it benefits all plants involved. It has been found that pollinators that vegetable plants rely on to form fruit are attracted to flowers. A number of flowers are also pest resistant; they help repel pests, keeping them from causing severe and extensive damage to the vegetable crop and damaging food before it is harvested. Combining flowers and vegetables in the same bed can help increase your vegetable yields and improve the health of your plants.

Planning your landscape

Now that you’ve answered the pertinent questions, you can now proceed with planning your landscape and doing all the work necessary to build your garden—your happy place, if you will.

Along with your budget and available space, also keep in mind your regional climate, soil type, and topography. Remember, some plants require more attention than others, so if you’re sure you’re up to the task, then by all means feel free to plan anything you like. However, if you know you have no experience caring for them, opt for outdoor ones that are easy to maintain. That will leave you with enough time to plan other stuff.

You can also consider installing a pond or adding some garden art, colorful pots, feature containers, furniture, or a greenhouse. Don’t forget about lighting—it will surely beautify your garden, particularly at night.

If you find it hard to envision your garden, consider hiring an experienced landscape designer to assist. Here’s where Leadar with its massive database of business contacts can come in handy—find your ideal designer from your local area to visualize your dreams.

Final Thoughts

To build yourself a unique garden that also serves as your happy place, you most definitely need to invest time and effort into it. The decor is very important. By choosing a design and plants suitable to your regional climate, soil type, and topography, coupled with other features within your budget and available time and space, you can no doubt achieve the unique garden of your dreams. Remember, you also have the option of seeking the assistance of an experienced landscape designer if you feel at a loss for how to move forward.

When your garden is finally complete, be sure to indulge in it—bask in the glory of your new garden—because if not, your efforts will have been in vain. When you give yourself time there, you turn out to be a happier and more positive person.

Morgan Wilson

Morgan Wilson, holding a Master's in Horticulture from Cornell University, has been an influential figure in gardening and landscape design for over 15 years. Before this, he worked as a landscape designer and a horticultural therapist. He has provided insights into organic gardening, native landscaping, and urban gardening solutions. Her background includes working in public gardens and environmental education. He is a nature photographer in her spare time and participates in community greening projects. He is also a great birdwatcher and enjoys creating wildlife-friendly garden spaces.

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