Have you ever wondered what sets apart a horticulture garden from a regular one? Do they both feature the same elements? Or is there something unique about a horticulture garden? Let’s find out.
Domestic gardening and landscaping are the foundations of a horticulture garden. The diversity of ornamental plants and flowers to fruits and vegetables make them truly unique. A horticulture garden combines environmental design, botany, agriculture and a lot of creativity.
Most horticulture gardens in the world are designed with temperate zones in mind. However, many tropical plants can be grown in subtropics. And the opposite is true as well.
Some garden features like an annual or herbaceous border depend on temperate zones. And the winter resistance of plants decides the garden’s success.
Altitude is also a key factor while designing gardens. It affects the climate, with varying temperature, humidity, winds and rainfall. Growing plants in mountains is harder. This is because cold nights, winds and watering constraints make the growing season shorter.
However, proper planning can help. Choosing the right plants based on regional climate is important. And so is protecting the plants at the end of growing season.
Whereas, gardens with lower elevations get a longer growing season. And they can grow a wider variety of plants.
An interesting exception is that of valleys. As a matter of fact, valleys are cooler due to the shade from mountains.
Horticulture garden environmental control
Controlling the natural environment of a horticulture garden can boost growth. The growth environment decides the success of a garden. Since horticulture involves intensive cultivation, environment control is vital.
Landscape designers need to find the perfect spot for each kind of plant. By this, I mean sunny or shady spots, elevation and plenty of water access. Mulching is also a vital activity in horticulture gardens. They provide an economic way to retain moisture and control erosion. Moreover, they offer good protection from weeds.
But wait, there’s more. Mulches also protect plants like strawberries from harsh winters. Frost is the biggest risk to perennial fruits and flowers. These plants are very sensitive to freezing injury. Hence, the precautions are much more than a regular garden.
Your own little horticulture garden
There’s nothing better than growing fruits and vegetables in your own garden. Beside saving money, it also brings you close to nature. And all the digging, pulling and planting is a great workout! Growing plants from seeds gives the maximum bang for your buck.
Hence, gardening is good for your health and light on your wallet. All you need is a little time to invest. Moreover, the taste of freshly grown organic produce is always better than that of grocery stores. Blending in all the garden elements is a skill that is mastered with time.
First and foremost, soil is the most important element. Organic matter like compost or fertilizers boost nutrients in the soil. The roots of plants penetrate through soft soil much easily. Hence, its useful to have a nice loamy soil. Make the perfect balance of moisture in soil that’s neither too dry nor too wet.
Secondly, find the right spots for different kind of plants. Most plants need direct sunlight for optimal growth. However, shrubs and bushes do well in the shade. A big mistake most beginners make is to plant too much. And this affects the air circulation between them. That’s why its better to have a few plants with good ventilation.
Finally, selecting your plants wisely is very important. Choosing low maintenance plants is a practical solution. Regional plants have the benefits of local climate. Moreover, high-yield varieties give a better harvest per crop.
A little inspiration from some popular horticulture gardens will help you.
If you have read my Horticultural society article, you might already know that they feature horticulture gardens. However, individual horticulture gardens are also very popular.
Royal Horticultural Society gardens
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. It was founded in 1804 as the Horticultural Society of London. Today it has over half a million members. The RHS owns four gardens in the UK. And they attract over 1.2 million visitors from all over the world. Read on to know more about their gardens.
This horticulture garden became part of the RHS through a merger. The site was originally a forest and an ancient royal hunting ground. In 1734, Sulphur water springs were found here. But it was not upgraded to a spa for at least a century.
Major developments occurred since the RHS took over. These include the Winter Walk, Gardens through Time and the Montague-Burton Teaching garden. The Bramall Learning centre and the Alpine House are the most recent inclusions at Harlow Carr.
Harlow Carr horticulture garden features annual meadows themed with willow sculptures. Over the years, the gardens have seen major design changes. The horticulture garden has a wide range of landscapes, woodlands and wildflower meadows. Moreover, its water features include fountains, running and still water.
The Main Borders is a must visit at the garden. With herbaceous perennials, grasses, bulbs and shrubs, and inspiring plant combinations. Particularly, the prairie style planting around the streamside.
Recently, the Woodland has been replenished. Adding specimen trees among the rhododendrons, magnolias, birch and flowering bulbs.
Alpine House, Arboretum, Sandstone rock garden and Heather beds are also very popular among visitors.
This horticulture garden has an inspiring story since the RHS took over in 1993. At the time, it was a cold and windy hilltop site. And it had just six trees with clay soil on the slopes. Even though these conditions were difficult to grow plants. The RHS managed to create a marvellous garden on this site.
Irrigation is one of the biggest challenges on a hilltop site. The addition of a 45 million litre reservoir helped solve this problem. Speaking of irrigation, a water-efficient Mediterranean themed dry garden was designed. This garden features a wide range of plants that tolerate drought.
Another amazing addition was the Queen Mother’s garden. It was built as a tribute to the Queen Mother. As a patron of the RHS, she had a deep interest in gardening.
As time went by, an Australian and New Zealand garden was designed. With primary focus on Eucalyptus trees and native plants, the garden has Antipodean vibes.
The Hermione’s garden was redesigned with many intricate and unique species. And the area was renamed to the Robinson garden as a tribute to its first owners.
Hyde Hall is a truly dynamic garden, with regular upgrades. This constantly changing landscape will continue to inspire visitors for years to come. Now, this horticulture garden has a relaxing and informal environment throughout.
Rosemoor was originally a salmon fishing lodge. Back in 1931, the garden was dull and needed a lot of work.
Lady Anne Berry became the owner of the garden. Her interest in gardening started when she travelled to Spain. And this is where she met famous plant collector, Collingwood Ingram. He shared his skills and expertise in gardening. Moreover, he also gave her some cuttings and young plants to get started.
As the garden grew, she travelled to the Americas, New Zealand, Japan and many more places. And all these travels influenced the wide variety of plants at Rosemoor. And today, some of the species are very rare.
She gifted Rosemoor to the RHS in 1988. Marvellous changes were done ever since the RHS took over. Rosemoor got its first visitor centre named after the RHS president.
Furthermore, shops, restaurants, a plant centre and lecture hall were built. Additionally, electricity and water supply, drainage systems, parking space and roads were created.
Moreover, an underpass was excavated to connect the new and old gardens. And finally, Rosemoor opened its doors to visitors in 1990.
The original garden of Lady Anne is a diverse variety of plants in an informal setting. On the other side, is the new and formal garden by RHS. And it is set among the woodlands. What’s remarkable is how the garden was created in a short period of time. A truly amazing achievement.
Wisley was acquired by the RHS in 1903. At the time, it was mostly a woody farmland with a small garden named Oakwood. The original garden primarily featured lilies, primulas, gentians and Japanese irises.
The horticulture garden has one of the largest plant collections in the world. With bulbs and blossom in spring, roses and mixed borders in summer, ample colours of autumn and frost glittered winters. Indeed, its dynamic nature makes it beautiful all year round.
As Wisley grew, it quickly became an ornamental garden. However, its scientific and educational divisions remain strong. Keeping this in mind, a small laboratory was built. And the School of Horticulture was founded to spread the knowledge of horticulture. Above all, the school inspired aspiring gardeners to pursue careers in horticulture.
You will surely be amazed by the wide variety of attractions at Wisley. The Glasshouse is the centre of attention. It is home to many rare and endangered species. Moreover, it features world-class tender plants protected from winter frosts.
Stepping into the glasshouse literally teleports you to a jungle. The feeling of being surrounded by tall palms, tree ferns, creepers and flowers is mesmerizing. Climatic zones in the glasshouse range from tropical to moist temperate and dry temperate.
The Jellicoe Canal takes the centre stage along with a laboratory building. Indeed, it is surrounded by interesting horticulture. With a terraced landscape and interesting plants, it is the most iconic view of Wisley. Moreover, the canal also features a wide range of waterlilies.
The Rock garden, Bonsai walk, Conifer lawn, orchard, Howard’s field and Jubilee arboretum are major attractions.
American Horticulture Society gardens
The AHS is one of the oldest national gardening organizations in the USA. The society has been a trusted source of horticulture and gardening information since 1922. And it continues to inspire people with its social, educational and environmental duties.
For instance, the National Children and Youth Garden Symposium is held every summer. This provides a forum for educators, community leaders and designers to inspire children.
AHS has always envisioned a land of sustainable gardens with a passion for gardening. And it shares these skills and education to its visitors. Speaking of sustainability, the River Farm at Virginia is a true inspiration.
River Farm was once part of George Washington’s farms. The 25-acre site became the AHS headquarters in 1973. Its famous vistas stretch down the Potomac river. A children’s garden, flower displays, and a 4-acre meadow are part of it. Moreover, it’s a popular destination for weddings, picnics, painters and bird watching.
Besides, it also features perennial borders among a series of gardens. And this ensures diversity and dynamic nature of the garden. Each zone of the garden exhibits an array of colours, texture, sizes based on the bloom season.
What the AHS has to offer
AHS Manor house is surrounded by native trees and shrubs. A variety of perennials and annuals give the garden a dynamic nature. This makes it attractive during spring when bulbs bloom in thousands. Moreover, some species date back over a century.
The 4-acre André Bluemel Meadow showcases native grasses and wildflowers. In fact, some trees in have been standing tall for centuries. For instance, a black walnut tree dates to the time of George Washington himself. Indeed, a link through the eras.
The Garden Calm features trees, shrubs and perennials under full or partial shade. A large tree called Osage orange gives most of the shade. As a matter of fact, the tree is over 200 years old.
Visitors are likely to spot bluebirds, bald eagles, ospreys, hawks and red foxes. Coupled with the diversity of butterflies and insects.
You may be surprised by the Wildlife Garden as well. A small pond is the centre of attraction. Including goldfish, frogs and turtles. The surrounding plants give food and shelter to birds, grasses, pollinators, shrubs and perennials.
There’s something for the kids too. River Farm’s Children’s Garden consists of small themed gardens. Indeed, a good inspiration for the kids to interact with nature.
River Farm also encourages people to grow eco-friendly gardens. And the Green Garage does just that. Showcasing a variety of tools, materials, equipment and methods for sustainable gardening. Naturally, all these details help gardeners make better gardening decisions.
And if this is not enough, their orchard will surely delight you. Apple, Pear and Japanese Persimmon trees create an alluring display. As a result, there’s plenty of fruit during summer and fall.
Michigan State University
It is indeed a place that educates and delights people of all ages. To emphasize, they encourage people in understanding plants and their role in the environment. More importantly, how it affects our lives.
The Carter Annual garden showcases hundreds of trials of annuals. It is in fact, a great opportunity to learn about various plants that are rare, unusual, bright and colourful. What’s more, all the plants are labelled for information.
Similarly, the DeLapa Perennial gardens are a must visit. With a blend of island and border beds, the variety of perennials is abundant. As a matter of fact, there are over 500 perennials in the garden. Moreover, its displays feature both shade and sun gardens.
Be sure to get your kids along. Because the Michigan 4H children’s garden is truly a delight for children of all ages. With over 60 theme displays, its set to bring joy to the entire family.
MSU has something for everyone. From the Frank’s Nursery and Crafts Rose garden to a VIP garden. And each of them has a different theme every year.
Jules Janick Horticulture Garden
This garden is part of the Department of Horticulture at Purdue University. It was named after Dr. Janick, one of their oldest faculty members. The garden was created in 1982 and is home to hundreds of ornamental plants.
Herbaceous perennials are the centre of attention at Jules Janick. Additionally, there are enough annuals for colour variety during growing season.
Jules Janick has an abundant plant diversity. The half-acre living classroom plays the role of a horticulture lab. And it offers learning programs like botany, plant pathology and entomology.
I hope this article has given you enough information on Horticulture garden. And inspired you to start your own! Feel free to share your views in the comments section below.