Many Different Garden Types
Before you start creating your garden plan you may want to answer the question posed by the headline. This is an aid to your search for information on the Internet, and doesn’t necessarily reflect how you’re going to do the work of starting a garden.
Even though you may want to work intuitively as you get into gardening, you will more likely get more pleasure—or product—out of your efforts if you have some information to guide you. Even if you just want to do some container gardening and grow strawberries in strawberry pots.
For example, you may already have a fixed idea of what you want your garden to be, maybe a raised bed garden or a traditional flower garden. And, in fact, that’s exactly what it may end up being. But there’s a lot of inspiration—and pleasant surprise—to be gained from knowing the kinds of gardens people are growing. And what makes plants grow. And where they're growing them! Lots of container gardening happening on apartment building terraces. We were quite surprised at all the types of gardens people grow.
Following is a representative list of garden types (presented in no special order.)
- Indoor (and outdoor, of course)
- Container Gardening
- Butterfly Gardens
- Water Gardens
- Bonsai (miniature Japanese trees)
- Home Kitchen Garden
- Green Roofs
- Urban Gardens
- Raised Bed
- Therapy (really!)
- Grass (ornamental, as opposed to lawns)
- Cultural (Japanese, English, etc.)
Source: (mostly) The University of Florida Extension Service website.
BTW, if you want to get to the Florida Extension website,
just click on the blue underlined link right above.
Obviously, many of these garden types can be combined. No reason you couldn't have a home kitchen garden as a raised bed garden. Or if you're restricted to container gardening, pots on your patio growing food as well as flowers. A casual drive through the countryside in Northwest Connecticut, for example, will regularly reveal sunflowers planted with vegetables and herbs, possibly with a pond nearby, or a raised bed or two with lush with herbs.
In general terms, we had the best success finding garden type information (you can get to the website we found by clicking on the blue, underlined link just four words ahead) using the excellent, general Extension Service website. You may know that every state and just about every county has an agricultural extension service presence, really a partnership among state agricultural departments, land grant universities, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Currently, the extension service website allows searches within 1,050 member websites. They've even got information on LED grow lights, or grow lights in general, for you indoor types. And they'll tell you exactly how to go about setting up a raised bed garden.
That’s the good news.
From Container Gardening to a Zen Garden
The bad news is that the searches are powered by a Google engine and so is still mainly a popularity contest as opposed to serious content research. It saves time, though. And the searches omit commercial interests. Instead of tellling you where to buy the structures for a raised bed garden they'll tell you how to make your own.
You’ll get results specific to your garden plans from searching the extension sites if you begin with the name of your state. Gardens, of course, are dramatically affected by location, and location itself is affected by climate. A home kitchen garden, for example, will be productive longer in California than in New England.
For states that cover lots of geography such as California you could also include a county name after the state name in the search box. Then, by all means, include a subject. Example: "California Calaveras garden types". Obviously, the state name is first, then the county ‘Calaveras’ and finally the subject, ‘garden types.’
For subjects such as 'how to grow strawberries,' which are pretty much grown everywhere, you don't need to be so specific with your search. 'How to grow strawberries will work just fine.’ And for that matter so will 'how to plan and plant a home kitchen garden.'
Once you make some decisions on your garden type, you’ll be in a position to start laying the garden out—the subject of the next tab in the ‘Garden Planning’ section.