Theme parks, like Disneyland, are a place to go and be entertained by the personalities created by Disney studios. Theme gardens are a landscape and garden that are personalized and unique to the individual(s) that live in that space.
Personalize Your Space
People like to personalize their “stuff.” You see it everywhere, things like family stickers on cars, unique cell phone ring tones, stylized computer covers, etc. There are so many different ways to personalize your possessions. So how about taking it one step further and personalize the space around your home?
Your yard should have a theme that makes it personally yours, even if, or maybe especially if, you live in a HOA ruled cookie-cutter neighborhood. With a judicious use of plants and hardscaping, you can turn your yard into your own personalized theme yard.
Good for the Soul
It is soothing and restful to live surrounded by a space that speaks to who you are as an individual. This is why people decorate the interior of their homes with furnishings, colors, and wall hangings that they enjoy. Why stop with the inside of the home?!
In fiction, the theme is considered one of the fundamental components of the story. A theme can be a broad idea, a message, or the moral of the story. When it comes to yards, having a theme would mean that your yard in not simply an amalgam of whatever ended up there. Your yard can help embrace and embody who you are as an individual or family.
Themes to Consider
Are you proud of your heritage? An Italian garden is easy to create here in the Southwest. Also Greek, Middle Eastern, Persian, Spanish, as well as Southern France, Australia, India, and just about any other warm climate area of origin.
Oriental theme gardens are a distinct possibility. There are a number of dry climate plants that can be turned into bonsai, and a small water garden is a distinct possibility (to be discussed soon).
Football fan? You could have fun with plants with purple and yellow flowers for the Minnesota Vikings. Some of the other teams might be a challenge, like gold and black, but you could focus on a backdrop of plants that grow in Louisiana, like the true myrtle, and accent with large pots painted in team colors for other plants.
Are you a Shakespeare buff? You could have a Shakespearean yard filled with plants mentioned in his plays and sonnets. Yes roses, but also rosemary, sage and so many more. Don’t forget the sundial for a touch of the Elizabethan age.
How about a yard full of plants mentioned in the Bible? This is easy to do since many of them thrive in our very similar arid environment. Also there are some lovely spring flowering bulbs that are native to the Holy Land and survive for years in dry climate gardens. I mention this because August is the time to order the bulbs for planting in September (as mentioned in the August Garden Calendar).
Designing a theme landscape is much like designing any other landscape. Think about the look you desire, formal or natural, then select the plants that reinforce that look.
The hard part is keeping in mind the final mature size of the plants and the growing and watering requirements of the plants involved.
You may need some help creating your theme garden. That is to be expected, because you want it to look good, not just a bunch of plants plopped into the yard here there and everywhere.
Garden coaches and landscape designers can help create the look you want, because they are familiar with the plant materials, and can visualize the combinations that will work well over time. The role of such a professional is to listen to the client and help create a space that fits the client’s wants and needs.
A list of such professionals is being compiled for inclusion on this site. Sign up for the Gardening In the Land of El Sol Newsletter to stay informed. Please share your favorite designer below if you have one!
Thanks for Reading
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