Want to make your horticulture garden more vibrant? Ornamental Horticulture can help you make a bold statement by adding extra colour to your garden. Ornamental horticulture is the art of growing, arranging and maintaining decorative plants and flowers. A vibrant and lively garden reflects everything about the owner’s lifestyle and creativity. So naturally, Choosing the right plants for your garden is vital for a sustainable landscape design.
Ornamental Horticulture involves all the activities from growing plants, flower arrangement and landscape design. In this post you will find everything you need to know about ornamental horticulture from ornamental plants, design arrangements, planning and maintenance.
Ornamental gardens focus on plants for their pleasing appearance rather than to produce fruits and vegetables. It is easy to grow ornamental plants at home. An ornamental garden design includes a wide variety of plants from flowers and bulbs to foliage plants, grasses, shrubs and trees.
Ornamental gardening can bring out your creativity by planting from an artistic point of view. These gardens usually feature aesthetic patterns and elements like flowers, leaves, foliage, stems, fragrance and textures. However, even the most unnoticed traits like the thorns on rose plants can be interesting.
So let’s understand ornamental plants better.
Trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, flowers and bulbs are all ornamental plants and need special attention and care. Topiary plants require regular pruning to maintain their shape and be of ornamental value.
Bonsai trees are another example that require regular maintenance to be considered ornamental. This Bonsai Tree Starter Kit from Garden Republic is all you need to start your Bonsai garden.
Ornamental plants can also be functional. For example, flowers like roses and lavender are used to make perfume or to produce essential oils. This way, ornamental plants can have multiple purposes besides their aesthetic value.
Ornamental plants come in a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes that are suitable for different environments, climates and gardening needs. Learn more about ornamental plants here.
Foliage is one of the major features of ornamental plants and it can be either deciduous or evergreen. The deciduous foliage can add some colour to your garden ranging from orange to red and finally yellow during fall. On the other hand, Evergreen foliage stays green all year round and may seem like a practical option. Some ornamental foliage feature a lacy or needle-like texture.
Flowers and blooms are another key aspect of ornamental horticulture. Planting a variety of flowers ensures that the garden is always filled with blooms throughout spring and summer. Flowers may be annuals, perennials or biennials. Now that you know the types of flowers, let’s understand them better.
Annuals are plants that grow from seed to flower and die within a single season. However, most of these plants drop seeds that grow new plants in the following season. These seeds bridge the gap between two generations of flowers. Some annuals such as sunflowers and petunias are easy and practical to start from seed. Know more about annuals here.
Perennials are plants that grow and die over many seasons to come. The top portion of a perennial dies during winter and regrows in the following spring from the same roots. The roots are protected below ground during harsh winters. Some perennials can live for more than 3 years. Check out some perennials to grow in your garden.
Biennials are flowers that grow fully in two years. The leaves, stems and roots develop in the first year. They are very similar to bulbs since they grow low to the ground and have short stems. Their growth stops during the winters and continues in the subsequent seasons. In the second year, flowers, fruits and seeds start to develop. Biennials are fairly resistant to cold winters, but extreme drought during summers can shorten it’s life.
Bulbs are herbaceous perennial short stems and leaf bases with underground storage organs. True bulbs, corms, rhizomes, tuberous roots and tubers are the major bulb categories. Most bulbs are produced by geophytes that have growing points below ground level. Some lilioid monocots can also produce bulbs and contain most of the showy monocots such as lilies, tulips and orchids.
The bulb’s storage organs are dried and stored in this condition and then planted again as needed. These organs can survive the summer heat and harsh winters thanks to their stored moisture and nutrients. The upper portions of bulbs die during extreme climates and grow again when the conditions are favourable.
Most bulbs have origins dating back many centuries and became popular throughout Europe via Turkey and the Ottoman Empire. Popular bulbs include Tulips, Dahlia, Lilies, Narcissus, Hyacinth and Iris. Netherlands is the largest producer of bulbs all over the world. Most florists suggest discarding bulbs after a year and planting new ones to increase the yield.
Hardy bulbs have good resistance to harsh winters and they survive in soil. Daffodils, lilies, tulips and snowdrops are some of the best hardy bulbs. Non-hardy bulbs like cannas, caladiums, begonias, freesias, gladioli and dahlias are planted during summers or indoors.
Ornamental grasses are a great choice for colder regions thanks to their aesthetic value throughout winter and excellent resistance to low temperatures. Another important point is they are the most versatile and practical with the lowest maintenance all year round. Ornamental grasses also give a dramatic appearance to landscapes and come in a wide variety of colours, textures and sizes.
True grasses or Poaceae are the most popular type of ornamental grasses. Some grass-like plants such as sedges, rushes, restios and cat-tails are also considered as ornamental grasses. These grasses usually have narrow leaves and may be herbaceous perennials or evergreen.
Here are some of the best ornamental grasses to grow in your garden.
Herbaceous plants are perennials grown for their flowers and ground cover. These non-woody plants feature soft, green stems. These plants are sustainable and increase every year by their falling seeds. This also provides a way for your garden to regenerate every year.
Annuals can also be called herbaceous since they are all non-woody. But perennials need relatively more maintenance and have a limited blooming period. Poppies, primrose, bellflower, coral bells, phlox, columbines and hollyhocks are some popular herbaceous perennials.
Unless you have a lot of annuals in your garden, herbaceous plants do not completely disappear during winters. Their roots and ground-level growth remain intact and continue growing during favourable conditions.
Choose your plants based on the results you want. Moisture, sunlight, and nutrient-rich soil are the most important elements for growing flowers from seeds. Start with a select few and get growing!
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