Form Versus Function in Garden Design

by Karen Bates
(last updated September 1, 2014)

When it comes to planning and planting a garden area, there are many considerations that you must keep in mind. First, you need to remember the amount of space you have to work with. You should also remember your budget during this process, while deciding what kind of look you want for your garden and what functions you want it to have.

The idea of "form follows function" can work in your garden, as well as other aspects of life. This thought suggests that the way something looks should reflect what it is used for, and this is something you may want to think about since it can easily apply to your garden area. Of course, there are different ways you could work with this idea, and what is ultimately important is that you put together a garden that you enjoy looking at as well as working in.

One way to include both form and function in your garden design relates to what you plant. Many things you choose to put in your garden can be both beautiful and useful at the same time. For instance, a fruit tree you plant in the garden may show beautiful blossoms in the spring, but will also offer shade and fruit. Vegetable gardens can also have the same effect, displaying a pleasant appearance while producing food for you to enjoy. Shrubs or hedges can serve as fences or dividers in the garden while providing a green, leafy backdrop to the area.

The form and function idea translates to other parts of the garden. Use garden furniture, such as a bench, that double as a planter, or a fence that offers privacy as well as a place for vines to wind around. Using rocks that you may already have in your yard to divide areas of the garden utilizes a resource you have on hand to create something helpful. A retaining wall built to hold dirt back could be turned into an area for planting flowers and other plants, or even used in a waterfall or fountain design. There are all kinds of possibilities for you to play around with as you decide how you want your garden to look.

You can keep your garden functional as well as lovely. Keep this in mind as you plan and work on your garden space, and you will be able to make the most of the area.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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