If your flowers and gardens look the same year after year and you're getting bored with them, it might be time to think about starting a specialty garden. This guide gives you an overview of three specialty gardens and their unique garden plants.
Butterfly gardens feature brightly colored, sweet-smelling plants that naturally attract butterflies. Butterfly-attracting flowers and plants are pleasing to the eye, and even more so in the company of dozens of intricately patterned butterflies! A butterfly garden is a calm, tranquil place to relax and enjoy nature, and it's also an easy gardening project for children and parents to enjoy together.
When choosing butterfly garden plants, make sure to include a mixture of both "nectar" plants and "host" plants. These are plants that provide adult butterflies and caterpillars with the foods they like best. Each type of butterfly prefers a different set of nectar and host plants, so consult a guide to find out which types of butterflies are native to your area.
A second type of unique garden is the Japanese garden, which consists of carefully manicured garden plants, shrubs and inanimate objects such as statues and decorative stones normally used in rock gardens. Japanese gardens create a miniature microcosm highlighting the inherent balance found in nature.
Each Japanese garden is unique. However, most focus on creating an inviting space to stroll or meditation using native Japanese cultivars, bonsai and mossy stones. You may also be interested in adding a water-based element, such as a pond, fountain or small stream, as well as a gazebo, benches or tea garden area.
Unless you live in a tropical or sub-tropical climate, you are probably used to spring, summer and autumn gardening. But if you select your plant seeds and bulbs carefully, you can create a year-round or perennial garden.
Perennial gardens feature indigenous plants that have naturally evolved to weather your local climate. The initial set-up can be time-consuming, because you will need to pay careful attention to the correct selection of plants and to the care of your soil. You may also need to practice hyrdrozoning, in which you locate your plants in different spots in your garden according to their natural moisture requirements.
However, all your hard work will be well worth it, because perennial gardens last for years with minimal maintenance and are a beautiful complement to your landscape design.