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Finding your garden style

Articles: Finding your garden style

Here’s a bad idea: You live in a house that looks like it belongs on France’s Normandy coast and you’re intending to landscape the yard with your Sonoran Desert cactus collection. This odd combo might look nice to you, but don’t expect any style awards. Granted, there’s probably not a vigilante brigade from the Crimes Against Horticulture squad in your neighborhood waiting to publicly shame you. But, like chocolate milk and sardines, some things just shouldn’t mix it up.

Strong lines and geometric forms at Filoli Gardens, Woodside CA. Billy Goodnick

When we talk about “garden style” we generally mean a garden emblematic of a particular historic period and geographic region. For example, Mediterranean-style gardens reflect the influences of Islam and the Moorish culture: conservative use of scarce water, simple floral color schemes, and water-thrifty plants arranged to reinforce a symmetrical layout of the grounds. Many Japanese gardens embody the Shinto religion’s animist belief that nature is imbued with spirit. Based on this philosophy, they show reverence for natural elements.

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