10 essential elements of a Swiss garden
Swiss garden art is largely obscured. The magnificent landscapes of the Alps, neat panoramas of cities and the long-established lifestyle of the Swiss attract many. But here about how developed and what is landscape design in this amazing country, only the insiders know. The Swiss style of landscape design remains outlandish and mysterious, perceived as rare and poorly understood. Meanwhile, as in almost everything, in the gardening, the Swiss demonstrate a unique fidelity to traditions, old proven methods and combinations of plants. In the Swiss style, it is worth looking for inspiration for those who love annual plants, bright colors and sensations of ceremonial flower variety.
The Swiss style is for those who love accuracy, bet on bright clean colors and formal compositions. It does not come down to neat lawns and modest discounts, because private gardens in Switzerland look somewhat different than the modest landscaping of urban estates. Accuracy in everything, combined with the widespread use of the brightest seasonal plants, allows you to achieve a feeling of almost fabulous ideality. Swiss-style gardens are usually said to always look “like in the picture.” The pursuit of excellence is perhaps the best characterization of this as yet rare style. Gardens according to Swiss traditions are drawn up with no less care than the interior. They are a kind of source of color therapy and an idealized landscape in which there is strict geometry in symbiosis, a modern unrestrained riot of pure acrylic colors in the country spirit and a clear separation of the decorative garden from the functional areas. The current look of the Swiss garden is a transformation from the usual (until the 19th century) neat strict garden in this country, which occupies almost the entire space, to a mixed design and a modern decorative garden, inheriting much of its canons.
Mix design in all its glory
Mixed beds, a decorative garden and flower beds - all these phrases are well known to modern summer residents and gardeners. The so-called mixed or mix design, which offers a new look at the arrangement of beds, is not just popular, but gradually replaces the classic approach to growing your own crop. The heyday of mixed design came to us largely thanks to the Swiss. The transformation in the 19th century of a traditional garden garden, in which mainly vegetables, useful, spicy and medicinal herbs were grown, into a mixed garden, where useful plants are grown along with highly decorative ones, determined the modern look of the Swiss style. And this process has led to the appearance of decorative gardens, which have received a new reading already in this millennium. Mixing vegetables and purely decorative plants for the Swiss garden is always relevant. And the more flower beds you can arrange, the better. But the main thing is to remember the classical form of the breakdown of the garden and the origins that laid the foundation for the decoration traditions of all Swiss gardens.
The entire area under serial flower beds
The entire space of the garden that you want to decorate in the Swiss style must be divided into regular flower beds or flower beds-beds of the correct form with the desired ornamental repetition and the combination of different figures into a single ornament or composition. With the exception of functional areas like a terrace, paths, a relaxation area and a large lawn, which is more than desirable in a Swiss garden, the rest of the space is literally laid out with a series of flower beds, and flowerbeds are separated from each other.
Such flower beds are never big. We are talking about small neat flower beds, which are successfully combined with each other and create together more complex figures, look almost toy-like and surprisingly elegant. Symmetric solutions are very popular, highlighting the central flower bed-circle, around which rhombuses, squares and other figures are added up practically in labyrinths.
The only option for framing Swiss-style serial flower beds is a strict sheared boxwood border. Low green fences, peculiar green frames that determine the shape of the flower garden create a feeling of practicality, absolute impeccability and joy.
The space inside the flower beds is reserved for one or more flowering plants, literally filling the entire area with a solid colored spot and lush flood. Most often in this capacity in Switzerland they use summers, allowing you to admire the relentless flowering from the beginning to the end of the garden season. In this case, it is worth deciding to mix plants only when you are completely confident in the advantage of such a combination. Strict boxwood frames filled with a uniform texture, one variety or type of plant always look not only more simply and noble, but also much more brightly and expressively in terms of the impact of color and texture.
Flawless floral frame
The Swiss garden is austere in nature. But in order to create a real idyll and not lose anything of spectacularity and rich color, the actual regular execution of the main area of the ensembles is complemented by lush flowering ribbon discounts along the perimeter of the site or individual zones that create a kind of frame around the main flower beds:
- Along the fences, walls, hedges, very narrow ribbon flower gardens are broken, on which they try to recreate a continuous flowering relay race.
- Landscapes and architectural elements are planted with vines, pergolas and arches are introduced, which complement the feeling of a solid green frame around a garden broken into geometric patterns.
Framing with dense vegetation is considered mandatory for the terrace, and for the recreation area, and for the facade, and even for fences and gates. In such narrow ribbon flower gardens, traditional country-style plants are planted - bright, unrestrained, somewhat flashy, but at the same time, surprisingly picturesque. Marigolds, irises, peonies, dahlias, stock roses, zinnias, phloxes, cornflowers, carnations - these are the main characters of the narrow mixborders in the Swiss style. From tall plants in the background to low ones in the foreground, from perennial stems to year-old stars with abundant blooms, from ivy to gorgeous blooming roses - the “frame” around the garden is gracefully, but as bright as possible.
It is almost impossible to imagine a Swiss garden with paved paths and grounds. In this style, preference is given to loose coatings: gravel or shredded wood bark, which are considered an exemplary way to emphasize the beauty of flower beds framed by geometric green frames. Mulch paths crunch pleasantly underfoot and give special comfort.
The tracks are not laid specially, but actually filling the gaps remaining between the flower beds. Usually in the Swiss garden there are many narrow soft paths connected into a single network, which provide a chance to enjoy walks in any weather. Starting from the paths framing the narrow flower beds along the perimeter of the site, to the paths laid between the flower beds, all the arteries of the garden seem to be connected together. In the Swiss style, it is not common to use mixed coatings. All paths in the garden are made of the same material, with the exception of the main load-bearing central paths, which can be made more resistant to wear (minimalistic solutions made of concrete or wooden and stone paving are very fashionable, but it is always worth choosing the most environmentally friendly options). Leisure areas or a terrace are usually paved with wood, focusing on how durable the coating should be.
The color scheme in contrast to boredom and dazzling tones
It is impossible to describe the palette of Swiss gardens in one term. As if embodying Swiss fidelity to tradition and a love of constancy, the restrained but surprisingly harmonious tone of sheared green boxwood borders in combination with light gravel or brown bark on the trails creates an excellent base that allows flowering plants to be selected from among the brightest options. After all, such an environment ideally harmonizes even multi-color cacophony, allows you to compensate for even the most eye-catching of the possible colors in the garden palette, and opens up prospects for creating flowering ensembles to your taste.
In the Swiss garden, there are simply no restrained, “pale” decisions. Yellow, saturated red, pink, lilac, violet, blue, cyan, orange, dazzling white in the brightest and purest colors and variations can be used both in pure form and boldly mix together. Any explosion of colors, the most daring multi-color compositions and unexpected combinations of both harmonious and contrasting nature, thanks to restrained strict frames, are appropriate and never look like overly flashy. In the Swiss style, even the most daring acrylic colors will harmoniously and cheerfully look. And the more variegated the composition, the cleaner the tone, the better it combines with lawns and boxwood hedges.
Flyers in all its glory
It is difficult to find a style that is more suitable for fans of annual crops with their unimaginable palette of colors and shapes than Swiss. In the garden, appealing to the good old traditions of Swiss design, the pilots present with a completely unexpected side. With the help of these plants, they fill the space inside boxwood flower beds, achieve lush color on ribbon slides around the perimeter of the garden and decorate window sills with magnificent cascades. Even terraces are filled with an unimaginable cluster of potted plants.
The classic annuals for the Swiss style are cultures that are familiar to all fans of country style. Gorgeous red geraniums on the windowsills and on the terrace table - this is just a small touch to the design of the garden in the Swiss style. The inimitable cockscombs of celosia, the beauty of royal begonias, terry and simple marigolds, laurels and snapdragons, modest but not at all boring marigolds, lush petunias and lobelia, the best onion cut crops, classical mallow, decorative sunflowers and nastlouces, posl sweet peas, morning glory, strange kobeys and other exotic creepers - in a Swiss garden any summer book is appropriate and beautiful.
Longstanding country style classics
The basis of the composition, despite the abundance of used annuals, is still made up of perennials. The best evergreen or flowering vines of roses and clematis, ivies and grapes flaunt on facades and pergolas. But in decorative compositions, the long-term basis is made up of classical, royal and time-tested and various peasant trends landscape design of plants, which can not be found among exotics. Swiss gardens are very fond of roses, especially the classic flowerbed varieties. But there is a place for other shrubs and grassy perennials. Perennial carnations, daylilies, grassy peonies, phloxes, asters, dahlias, irises, chrysanthemums, nyvyaniks, sages, monarda, wormwood, thyme - these are rural cultures that never go out of style and will be appropriate in this style regardless of the size of the compositions.
Wooden fences and decorative fences
To emphasize that regular strict frames in the Swiss style are just the basis for decorative compositions with a rural spirit, it is worth using a variety of wooden fences as a decorative element. Simple white picket fences around the perimeter of the plot or between zones, wooden gates, pergolas, props for lianas, decorative shutters on the windows will give Alpine charm to the design and emphasize the influence of style. Just do not rush to paint wooden structures in bright colors: the Swiss style welcomes the dark and natural shades of wood. This means that the processing capabilities are limited by special means to protect the tree from moisture and other destructive factors - i.e. texture-enhancing drugs. Wooden elements emphasize another important component of the Swiss style - commitment to green solutions.
Exemplary order and perfect care
In the Swiss garden, it is necessary to adhere to the rules of strict, ceremonial framing and perfect lines, even in the matter of interior design of the terrace and recreation area. Pot gardens are placed strictly, in lines, on racks or without them, trying to combine decorativeness and showiness with orderliness and rigor. Here, as in the issue of designing flower beds or a garden, it is better to compensate for the strict form with bright colors. Even placing plants on the countertop, it is worth giving preference to a group of plants arranged in a row or symmetrically in the same containers. It is also desirable to place furniture more strictly, using classical forms and models from natural and environmentally friendly materials.
A model garden needs exemplary care. Easily recognizable motives of Swiss gardens are associated not only with lush flowering in a strict framework and a peculiar aristocratic, restrained frame of peasant ensembles, but also with exemplary grooming. The idyllicity and constancy inherent in the traditional Swiss garden are inseparable from constant systemic care and careful care. Paths and boxwood curbs should be kept in perfect condition, and flowering plants should receive the care they need. Neglect, lack of pruning, untimely cleaning of faded inflorescences in such a garden is unacceptable. The Swiss garden must be carefully looked after, otherwise the whole character with such love created compositions can be hopelessly spoiled.
Decor without decor
The only accessories and decorations that are used in the Swiss style, with the exception of decorative lighting fixtures and the communications necessary from a functional point of view, are the plants themselves. Active use of pilots allows to completely abandon traditional garden sculptures and other objects of small architecture. The most striking features of this style should remain colorful flowering crops, strict boxwood frames and impeccable lawns.