country garden is more complex to design but also more
Anyone who has ever designed a country garden knows that it offers distinctly different challenges as compared to designing a city garden. The most obvious are its size, scale and the variety of habitats. While the task may seem daunting, there are advantages to it.
First, although the design of a country garden is often more
complex than that of a smaller city garden, it's often more
forgiving. This is because most country gardens are set well
back from the road and therefore are not subject to the same
up-close scrutiny as urban landscapes. Second, the larger
size provides an opportunity to experiment by, for example,
planting trees and shrubs that wouldn't fit in most city gardens.
Third, a country gardener can take advantage of the varied
microclimates and topographical conditions. Finally, features
often found in the rural landscape (bodies of water, berry
patches, extensive rockeries, etc.) can be incorporated.
On the other hand, it can be challenging to appropriately
incorporate smaller, more intimate spaces, such as a breakfast
patio or a reading area, into a large garden. These often
take the form of hedge-enclosed garden rooms on the flanks
of the house. Also, country grounds may require a long-term
phasing plan to spread out significant development costs or
to obtain necessary municipal approvals.
Start With a Plan
As with all good garden design, you need to have a solid base
plan of the property. Pay particular attention to existing
elevations, drainage, soil conditions and site ecology. Additionally,
every rural site has its own character or genius loci
(spirit of place) to be discovered and featured. Elements
such as a well-established hardwood forest, a pond nestled
in a valley, or an ancient stone wall that snakes across the
land all add to the genius loci.