Good "Bones" for the Garden

When summer is here and our gardens are full of color, it's hard to remember the cold, dreary days of winter.

But let's face it, we live in Maine and more than half our year is winter. So how do we maintain interest in the garden all year? Simple - create a landscape with good "bones".

The bones are the structure of the garden, the elements that remain after the flowers are spent and the leaves are gone - paths, walks, trees, shrubs, benches, rocks, patios, ponds and sculpture.

The Importance of Structure

Most of us become preoccupied with favorite plants or the ones we fell in love with at the garden center. We hope that all the wonderful plants we bring home, placed together, will make a beautiful whole. Unfortunately, what we often end up with is disorganized and lacks unity.

By adding structure a garden becomes solid and grounded, in all seasons, and creates a backdrop for those interesting plants. In fact, the most ordinary plants arranged within a well structured landscape can make a striking garden.

Structural Elements and their Uses

When coordinating the bones of your garden, take these elements into consideration:

  • Paths connect different parts of the garden and direct traffic
  • Walls, fences and trellises create a sense of enclosure and security
  • Boulders and rocks add visual focal points and can anchor plants
  • Evergreen trees are perfect for framing a view, while deciduous trees grouped together can create a canopy of green
  • Flower beds direct the viewer's eye and add seasonal color and interest
  • Water features create sanctuary, sooth street noise and create a focal point

For ideas on how to add structure to your garden, please contact us.