May 3, 2012

Types of Gardens

By looking at Wikipedia's comprehensive List of Garden Types, it's obvious that the word garden encompasses more than just an area in the backyard designated to flowers and crops. There are many types of gardens that vary in popularity depending on location, preference, popularity, and other factors. With so many different types of gardens, nobody should be without a hobby. From flower gardens to container gardens, there's something for everybody in the form of a garden.

Let's start with the more common types of Gardens

Vegetable Gardens

Vegetable Gardens are what usually come to mind when you hear someone talk about or mention gardening. While it is probably the most common form of gardening, it is not alone in the gardening world.
Vegetable gardeners are among the most pleasant people you will ever meet. I think one of the biggest reasons people have a vegetable garden is because of the endless rewards they bring. If you've never grown your own salad, you can't begin to imagine the satisfaction that it brings. Vegetable gardening is a passion, to be sure.

Flower Gardens

Flower Gardens are also very popular, and for obvious reasons! What's better than garden filled with bright colored blooms every Spring? Each flower has a personality, and you will probably have to care for a flower garden of your own in order to really understand and appreciate that. Flower Gardens are great for all ages but, like Vegetable Gardens and others, require lots and lots of TLC. Rose Gardens are another type of garden that might fall under this category.

Container Gardens

I'm not 100% sure, but I think container gardening has really boomed in popularity over the last few years. My mother had hanging and potted plants, which falls under this umbrella, but it seems container gardening has become something more than just porch plants. People garden in jars, plant stuff in Cinder Blocks, Wheelbarrows, and anything else you can think of. It's amazing what people come up with. Container Gardening really focuses on creativity and imagination which, in my opinion, is why it can be so appealing and is growing in popularity.

Raised Gardens

People usually implement Raised Garden beds because their ground soil is not the best quality. But, a lot of people prefer raised garden beds in certain situations because they can be extremely attractive. Raised garden require much more structure then typical gardens, but they are well worth the article and can, like container gardens, stretch the imagination. Here are some neat examples of raised garden beds.

Organic Gardens

Organic Gardening is a very broad term. I debated if I should even include it in this list of garden types but I figured I had better because an Organic Garden is special. It doesn't use pesticides or other inorganic material. A true Organic Garden contains compost from a carefully [not sure if that's the right word] constructed Compost Pile. Organic Gardeners set themselves apart from inorganic gardeners in a very important way. Not that they're necessarily better than gardeners that choose to use pesticides and herbicides, but organic gardeners are unique and deserve to have their own little spot in this post. Wouldn't you say? Or do you disagree?

Less Common Types of Gardens

These are gardens that you may or may not have ever heard of before. Or, are just not as popular as the above garden types.

Japanese Gardens

I have to admit, Japanese Gardens are probably my favorite. They are so cool looking! In fact, there's a reason why they're so good looking. says that Japanese Gardens are not like typical gardens that we are accustomed to in America. They serve a more scenic and cultural purpose. They are more a form of art than anything else. Isn't that just so cool?? Sure, if you're trying to feed your family, a Japanese Garden is an expensive dead end, but if you're trying to win some kind of award for having the most beautiful garden, they're a great way to go.
Some things you will find in a Japanese Garden are a bridge that goes over water, rocks or stone designs, a teahouse or pavilion, and a structure such as a fence or wall enclosing the garden. Cool, huh? I'm pretty sure a lot of Japanese plants wouldn't fly in my backyard but I do want to have a Japanese Maple someday.

Upside-Down Gardens

Upside-Down Gardens are very cool and above all else, unique. I've never actually seen an upside-down garden in real life but I want to start one sometime. Soon. I hear there are actually more "ups" than "downs" to growing your vegetables upside-down.
Tomatoes and cucumbers are the most common vegetables grown in upside-down gardens but there are a lot of plants that do well growing upside down.
Along the same lines of upside-down gardening are String Gardens.
Something about plants and crops hanging from the ceiling puts a smile on my face.

Leftover Gardens

I had never heard of a Leftover Garden until Mary Pellerito tweeted about it. She said:
How cool of an idea is that? I love the idea and would not be surprised if more people have been growing leftover gardens for years. I couldn't find much information about them online, but Mary said she'll be doing a post about them soon, so watch for that! If you have a leftover garden, please share!

Bird Gardens

If you've never heard of a Bird Garden, you would be surprised at how serious of a hobby it is. There is actually a science to attracting birds to your yard. I wrote a guest post about Creating a Bird Garden so you can read more about it there. Basically, Bird Gardeners do their research and depending on their native birds, they will plant specific plants to attract those birds. They also put out bird feeders, bird baths, bird houses, and even bird boxes. It's really interesting stuff and if you like birds, you would love bird gardening.

More Garden Types Worth Mentioning

Roof Gardens

Roof Gardens are cool but who actually has one? Like, do they really exist? Just kidding, of course they exist. But they are few and far between. At least in my town they are. I think they're fairly common in New York City. Wanna see a cool rooftop garden? Checkout this one in Manhattan. Now that is pretty cool.
Don't get me wrong, a roof garden is on my bucket list. I've always want to live in a suburb where there's a Pizza Shop in my basement and a garden on my roof.

Water Gardens

The description of a Water Garden is, in my opinion, pretty vague. Basically, if you have water included in your landscape, you've got a water garden. Whether it contains fish, plants, or has anything to with plants at all, it counts. If I ever have a water garden, I will definitely have fish involved. Fish are awesome and I think they would make friendly additions to any garden. Except maybe a bird garden.. hmmm.. I'd be a little worried that all the birds would try to eat my fish. So maybe those two gardens wouldn't do well with each other. Unless, of course, you left fish out of the picture. But what's a water garden without fish? I'm just thinking out loud here.


I've never been a Tea drinker so an Herb Garden does not appeal to me that much. However, herbs have many different uses and besides that, I know tea is somewhat of a celebrity among the garden community because every #GardenChat, #SoilChat, #GroundChat, #HerbChat, and all the other #Chats I tune into begin with somebody saying,

I just don't know that Herb and Tea Gardens are as popular as Tea itself. Probably not. But if you're looking for a new garden to try, Herb Gardening is supposed to be a lot of fun. Read How to Grow an Organic Tea Garden and let us know how it goes!

Rock Gardens

Rock Gardens?? Really?! Yes, really! Rock Gardens are actually quite popular. Like water gardens, rock gardens rarely consist of just rocks. There's always plants and other stuff thrown into the mix but you get the idea. I think the right assortment and arrangement or rocks can be quite beautiful. Like the picture above. I'm not a fan of hardscapes, but rock gardening is something that I could learn to love. I think it takes a great deal if ingenuity to make a bunch of rocks look like a thing of beauty. If you're interested, here's a pretty extensive guide on how to build a rock garden.

Wall Gardens

Wall Gardens are everywhere (especially on Pinterest.) They're awesome in a lot of ways. 1) They're extremely convenient for small space gardening and 2) they're downright sexy.
I've seen wall gardens be done in pots, tea pots, wooden pallets, chain link fences, and even on a wall inside a house. Mr. Brown Thumb shared a Living Wall Planted with Nastriums which is a fantastic example of an exceptionally done Wall Garden.
There are still many types of gardens that I did not mention, but this a great place to start if you are looking for a new project.
Let me know in the comments of other types of gardens I may not have mentioned or, if you have one of the garden types listed above, I'd love for you to tell us more about it!

Image Credits


Phil Goold is a retired landscaper of 30 years. He loves being outside more than anything else, except maybe pie. He enjoys connecting with other landscapers and gardeners because everyone brings something new and fun to the table. Connect with Phil on Twitter and Google+.

No comments:

Post a Comment