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Gardens without plants - Your views

I am putting together a piece of writing about gardens without plants and would be interested in your views.

Has anyone ever been asked to design a plant-free garden?

Is a garden without plants a garden?

How much hard landscape can we as a society take?

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  • Does it not then just become exterior Interior Design?  Perhaps for the modern young family that is perfect.

     

    I agree that minimal planting is effective, but what would you do with a brief of No plants?

  • PRO
    Agree Rob, definately just a tarted up yard !!!!!

    Rob Glassborow said:

    I think that if your looking at a contempory urban design, where the space is an extension of the inner space, then it can be plant free. However, I would suspect that this would become a yard, rather than a garden.

     

    Minimalist planting is as effective in the right context as traditonal planting. Less is more.

     

    Its a bit like asking if those blank white canvasses can be considered art? But, they are.

  • I'm not sure it's a question of low or high maintenance more the role plants play in an outdoor space. Are they necessary?
  • Have you looked at the work of Isamu Noguchi - created some pretty amazing gardens and landscapes with hardly any plants - proving perhaps that they needn't be completely soulless?

     

    Personally couldn't be doing without plants in gardens - and even clients with the smallest of spaces are very keen to green them up in some way.

     

    I'd be interested to read your article!

     

    jenny

    www.jennybloom.co.uk

  • PRO

    Hi Sarah

    As someone who believes in biodiversity, urban greening and wildlife gardens, I would never design a garden without plants, or encourage anyone else to. I would not even call it a garden if it had no plants. I believe that a plant-less garden would take the planet in exactly the opposite direction to the one it should be going in. In other words, I'm totally against it.

    Sorry, but you did ask.

    Jen

  • Hi

    A garden created without plants would be like bread baked without flour or yeast..... It just doesnt work.

    Best

     

    Kerry

  • You can have a garden without decking, paving, fencing, walling, lighting, water features, lawn or plants, thats called a wilderness, or perhaps just a mess.

     

    The Oxford English Dictionary defines a garden as "an area of land, usually planted with with grass, trees and flowerbeds, etc, adjoining a house" . 

     

    So no mention of all of the ad-ons in hardscape materials, it mentions only plants, that could be your answer. 

     

    Without plants it is not a garden.

  • The problem here seems to me to be calling it a garden. If it's a garden, with the exception of some Japanese schools, it's going to have plants in it.

     

    If you call it an outdoor space, on the other hand, I don't think it has to. Think beyond decking and patios to the spaces you could create using different materials - wood, glass, stone, metal, plastic, to name a few - and the almost infinite variations available in each of those. Variations and contrasts in colour, form and texture can all be blended to stunning effect. Using height would also add another dimension (excuse the pun), as would light, sound (think beyond wind chimes), weather and the passage of time (think rust and verdigris). Then there is the use of form - natural forms, sculpted forms, angular forms. And if you add in power, you can add kinetics to the mix too. And I haven't even included water.

     

    Given the opportunity, I'd love to have a crack at one of these - and I love my plants - because the possibilities and challenges set my mouth watering. It is part of the reason that I love design, visiting design and hard landscaping shows, reading design magazines and books and so on for the ideas they give me.

     

    No, they aren't gardens. And I would only have a space like that myself if I had somewhere else that I could fill with plants. But they are, to my mind, a perfectly valid, and indeed thrilling option, if you are talking about designing outdoor spaces.

     

     

  • PRO
    i cant see how you could call a garden a garden without plants if some one is looking low maintance take out the lawn you put in some raised beds with slow growing shrubs but you got to have plants all the smells and colours  shapes and textures its what makes all the hard landscape work  
  • PRO
    Plants may not be "necessary" for human aesthetics, but they are absolutely vital for... well basically every other system on the planet...

    Gary @ Acer Paving & Landscaping said:

    Well if the question is that simple then the answer is equally simple: No

    Just read that back and it seems blunt, it's not meant to be :-)

    Sarah Naybour said:

    I'm not sure it's a question of low or high maintenance more the role plants play in an outdoor space. Are they necessary?
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