Before you actually start planning the garden, you should answer the question of which garden style suits you and how you want to use the garden in the future – whether as a kitchen garden, as an ornamental garden, as a play paradise for the children.
Are you going to spend a lot of time in the garden, planting veggies and harvest or just relax and enjoy the peace and enjoy quality time with the family?
Is it a new garden you planing from scratch or do you want to redesign your old garden? How much time, work and money you want to continuously invest?
In addition to the type and size of the garden, the nature of the terrain, the local climate, the soil, water and irrigation, and the exposure to sunlight, also play a role.
You see, there is a whole lot to consider.
A well-kept lawn is very important to most garden owners. A lawn can be used in many ways. And especially if you have children, a lawn is absolutely necessary as a play area for the little ones.
Many gardeners say that a lawn has no place in an organic garden. Why not? When mowing the lawn there is a large amount of organic waste that can be used for mulching, fertilizing or to protect the soil from drying out. In the fall, grass clippings, mixed with leaves, are processed into particularly good compost and can be distributed in the beds in the spring and return valuable nutrients to the soil as plant fertilizer.
The rock garden
It was a coincidence that the rock garden was created. There was just a big and a few smaller stones in one corner, too heavy to transport them away, so I came up with a rock garden. I added a couple, the space between the stones well filled with earth, rubble and sand. A rock garden must be sunny and a little higher, after the rain the rock garden must not be in the water. All stonecrop, saxifrage, stork’s navel, carnation or pennywort are suitable for planting. By the way, the pennywort grows just as well as in the pond! Herbs like thyme also feel very good in the rock garden, a hardy yucca is also very suitable. Alpine plants like gentians are often recommended, I’ve never been lucky with gentians! It is probably too demanding and expensive.
that creating a rock garden takes a lot of effort and effort, you need so much special tools, and plant selection would also be a difficult thing. And the best thing to do is get a landscape gardener, etc.
Admittedly, I put a lot of work into it, but not more than if I were to design a simple flower bed. My rock garden wasn’t created in a year either. I change it every year. There is also an important aspect: because there is no digging and no fertilization, many small animals have found a home between the stones. In the meantime, toads, small lizards and beetles can often be seen, a few snails and thick spiders have also settled down and I hope they all fill up well with me …
The idea of building a pond until I came in 2001 after seeing the pond at a neighbor’s. The first pond was a smaller plastic pond from the hardware store. We let the water in, bought a few plants and fish and finished. After a few days the water became cloudy and cloudy, the fish fell victim to herons or cats. All that was left was the stupid plastic thing, full of dirty water. So the first try was for the cat, which made me try again. But this time I wanted to do it right. We bought pond liner, dug a giant hole, laid foil, planted a beautiful water lily and the new pond was almost ready.
At the deepest point, it is approx. 1 m deep, which the fish need to survive the winter. After a few weeks, our fish have moved in. It took about two years for the plants to develop and for the water quality to settle. Since we have no electricity in the garden, I have no pumps or filters to keep the water clean. Everything that happens in the pond happens naturally. The only exception in the second year was the addition of bacteria to the water, which help the microorganisms to develop more quickly. Everything that falls into the water, e.g. Foliage is often fished out. The fish get very little additional feed, the plants thrive splendidly and the water is crystal clear, the few filamentous algae that will spread in early summer have been fished out, we have not had floating algae (Volvox) in years.
The pond is proof that you can create something beautiful without technology and chemistry. The most important thing is to let as little as possible rot in the pond (leaves, fish feed residues, faded plant residues, etc.) and never, but really never replace the water, not even partially. When the summer is very dry and a lot of water evaporates, it is best to add stale water and not fill the pond too much at once. In the fall and spring the pond is cleaned a little, too many plants have to get out, mud is removed if too much. The cleaning action must be done very carefully, because the animals that live in it want to be left alone! In the past few years, many different animals have moved to us: the green water frog, colorful dragonflies, crested newts, common toads, sludge snails and a lot of small creatures whose names I do not even know. At least they seem to like it with me!
My vegetable garden is the colorful and the mess in my garden, so the mixed culture. Here the onions grow together with the strawberries, and if there is still space, a few salads are added. To add more color to the vegetable patches, I let the camomile and the yellow marigolds grow wherever they feel like it. You can find more information on mixed culture here.
Of course, I cannot grow everything, there is not enough time for that, nor, by the way, the acreage. That’s how I grow my favorite vegetables. Every year there are beans and potatoes, onions and garlic. Zucchini shouldn’t be missing either, plus a few more. Most importantly, everything tastes so delicious !! Own radishes are the best, aren’t they?
Fertilization is also necessary in mixed cultures. I only use compost or green manure for my vegetables. This type of fertilization costs little, is harmless, you cannot overdose and is really healthy for humans, plants and animals.
I don’t have a real herb garden at all. My herbs can grow anywhere, in the vegetable patch, in the flower bed, wherever they like and wherever there is space.
I have oregano, thyme, sorrel, sage, lemon balm, peppermint, hyssop, lavender, boretzsch and much more. Most herbs like lavender, sage, thyme can be easily propagated through cuttings, others like oregano, sorrel or lemon balm through sowing or division. Some even multiply much faster than desired. Oregano, hyssop and lemon balm must be cut off before they bloom, otherwise the garden is full of oregano and co in no time. But not too early, the bumblebee, for example, particularly likes herb blossoms. Only when the flowers are no longer interesting for insects should they be cut. More about my favorite herbs on Herbs.
Of course I also spend a lot of time with my flowers. My favorite thing is spring flowers like snowdrops, tulips, daffodils and crocuses. Maybe because winter was so long again? Then there are the roses and clematis and the countless summer flowers.
I have also tried exotic species like alstroemeria. It was nothing! They didn’t want to grow too expensive or grow. It is true that the plants that grow best in our neighbors also grow best in our garden. You are used to our weather. In my garden I have a lot of flowers that I got from neighbors and almost all of them have become great. Everywhere I plant e.g. Tagetes, garlic also has a permanent place in the flower bed. Some perennials, such as lupins, I have grown from seeds; buying them would be quicker, but much more expensive. The flowers that feel good with us also multiply very quickly. For example, bells, cowslip or lady’s mantle (for lady’s mantles you always have to cut off the flowered out, otherwise we will have a thousand little women’s coats next summer!).
Bees and butterfly garden
No, I don’t have a real butterfly garden. I have corners in the garden that I have planted especially for butterflies with certain plants. Some of them were my own observations. I once got a plant called Schneefelberich. The next summer, during flowering, I saw a lot of big ox eyes on it. My summer lilac was also visited very often. Leek and chive flowers are also favorite plants. But one thing has to be considered: the beautiful butterflies that adorn our garden today were caterpillars in the past life. We usually don’t like them that much! Woe when someone crawls on the rose, zack, it will be flattened, sprayed and destroyed. One less butterfly! What a pity!
I let my caterpillars crawl. Recently they actually nibbled a rose. But that doesn’t matter, the rose is already getting new leaves and the caterpillar hangs somewhere in my garden (I hope so!) As a doll and soon flies as a butterfly in my garden.
In the past few years we have fewer and fewer insects in the garden. The wasps, wild bees, bumblebees and Co. have become rare guests. Partly because they can’t find enough food. All the “exotic” and unusual plants in our gardens are not for them. The nesting opportunities have also decreased. Environmental toxins and diseases also play a major role, e.g. in bees. For this reason, I decided to build an insect hotel. I hope that the first guests will register in spring at the latest.
Other nesting aids
Very simple things are often enough to help the animals. A few pieces of tree wood in a quiet corner can accommodate many types of insects. The main thing is to leave them alone.
I have an old wheelbarrow in another corner. I turned it over and covered it with old pruning and tried to let ivy grow on it. It was intended as a winter quarters for hedgehogs and even worked!
So no cleaning up and no moving! One should not do anything that would bother the animals. They need their own place.
I also have nesting aids for birds.