Spending time outside in a garden has shown to positively affect a person's emotions and improve their sense of well-being. Access to nature balances circadian rhythms, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and increases absorption of vitamin D. We are all connected to nature. Maintaining this vital connection contributes to our overall health and happiness—and our inviting garden designs encourage this benefit.
Landscapes and Garden Settings
The Naturalistic Garden:
Naturalistic or Natural Gardens draw their inspiration from nature. Ornamental plantings tend to have wispy foliage and delicate flowers, creating a light, airy effect. The best naturalistic landscapes incorporate native plantings that blend into and are in harmony with their natural surroundings and are often used in healing gardens. Such gardens attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and songbirds.
Below are examples of such gardens we feel fall into this category.
The Edible Landscape:
Often termed Potagers Gardens or Kitchen Gardens, these gardens are the practical integration of food plants within an ornamental or decorative setting. The same design principles as ornamental landscapes are used while substituting edible plants such as lettuces, blueberries, herbs, grape vines, vegetables, and fruit trees, as well as flowers grown ideally for cutting to bring into your home. Using edibles in landscape design can enhance a garden by providing a unique ornamental component, with the additional health benefits. Careful planning and the judicious use of fruits, herbs, vegetables, flora, paths, trellises, pergolas, obelisks, lattice, benches, decorative pots, and other elements result in a yard that is flavorful, fragrant, practical, and visually pleasing. Such gardens can be designed in many variations, from English Cottage to a more formal design such as a Knot Garden.
The Herb Garden:
An Herb Garden is often a separate space in the garden, devoted to growing a specific group of plants known as herbs. These gardens may be informal patches of plants, or they may be carefully designed, even to the point of arranging and clipping the plants to form specific patterns, as in a Knot Garden. As with other edible gardens, Herb Gardens can be incorporated within an ornamental planting setting or integrated within a Scented or Healing Garden. Herbs are used to flavor food in cooking, for teas, providing pleasant scents, discouraging pests, and for medicinal and healing purposes.
The Culinary Garden:
Culinary Gardens are customarily made up of raised-bed frames, otherwise known as Box Gardens.
Landscapes Created by S.E.T. Designs
Because the gardens are self-contained and sit on top of existing soil or other surface, it doesn't matter what kind of soil you have.
Raised beds are more accessible. The soil level is elevated 12" or more, meaning less bending and squatting, which is gentler on your back and knees.
The organic soil blend we use in our beds is much easier to work in than the native soil most of us have in our yards. Our blend is loose, friable, and fertile, making it easy to work in. And because you never walk on it, it stays that way.
Raised beds require no tilling and very little weeding. The loose soil makes it easy to do any necessary weeding.
Utilizing trellises and intensive planting techniques makes raised beds incredibly productive. They're ideal for smaller backyards, patios, and decks.
The soil in raised beds warms up earlier and stays warm later than in-ground gardens, extending the growing season.
Raised beds are visually attractive and tidy—and easy to keep that way. They enhance property values while providing a bounty of homegrown.
When you factor in the health risks associated with genetically modified food (GMOs), salmonella, e-coli, and pesticides, growing your own organic garden significantly reduces concerns about food safety for your family.
The Scented Garden:
Scented Gardens are often incorporated into Healing Gardens and Therapeutic Gardens. Lilacs, roses, jasmine, gardenia, freshly mown grass, chaparral—depending on where you grew up, these scents probably conjure up some pretty powerful emotions and memories. Everyone can enjoy a memory sensory garden, but these gardens can be created and planned with features that will make them especially appealing to older adults and particularly those living with Alzheimer's or dementia. Smell is the strongest emotional memory trigger. For this reason, using plants with fragrant flowers and foliage is an important element in designing a Healing Garden. Because of their powerful impact, sensory gardens are especially beneficial in nursing homes, and other landscapes visited by people with memory loss. Scents that elderly people remember fondly—“old-fashioned” flowers like lilacs, honeysuckle, gardenia, mock orange, and roses—can evoke a personal connection, positive feelings, and facilitate conversations. Because our sense of smell often decreases as we age, strongly scented plants have a better chance of triggering a reaction than more subtle blooms.
• English Garden
• Monet Garden
• Healing Garden
• Cottage Garden
• Rock Garden
• Therapeutic Garden
• Wildflower Garden
• Perennial Garden