The New England Landscape
New England homes have historically gone through many phases of the landscape. From the practical homestead in the 1700’s to the lush, wild romance of gardening in the 1900’s. These phases are quintessentially New England, especially for homes in Western Massachusetts.
An Idea to A Plan
Regionally, the landscape in the Berkshires and Western Mass varies from in town, the woods, rivers, and lakes. These regions lend to the aesthetic of your garden to match and enhance your home. Also the build of your home helps to figure out the elements for your landscape.
The overall lush green New England landscape can be created with trees, larger shrubs, and foliage. The gardens close to the home have intimate borders with flowering perennials, aromatic shrubs, and bulbs with stone walls or picket fences.
Hardscape elements for your New England are structures like walkways, walls, fencing, and patios. These create an outdoor room with your gardens near the home with the background drop of the lush New England landscaping. In Western Mass stone walls are prevalent in the historical makeup of New England. Stepping stones allow a fanciful trail through the garden to the home. In general you will want to incorporate materials such as wooden fences and gates with stones and veneer with cooler tones.
Softscape elements are the plant materials you use for the landscape. The choice softens the lines of the hardscape of stone walls and fences. Softscape can also be hedges instead of fencing to create borders or walkways. Lilac and Forsynthia hedges offer a spring color with a long green shrub while evergreen shrubs like Hemlocks, Boxwoods, or Yews provide permanent verdent hedge.
The cottage style have smaller defined beds with lush flowering perennials quite intimate with a cozy atmosphere. Victorians tall and bright need large Hydrangeas with its big blooms; Shasta Daisies, Daylillies, Geranium flowers and one large old tree, brightly colored fence of course adorned with climbing Roses or hanging Lilac bushes. Rustic cabins in the woods have the lush large Rhododendrons, tall Firs with Mountain Laurels and textured Ferns. Raised ranches or Modern homes call for clean lines and maybe one funky topiary shrub; a Japanese Maple tree with bold red, chartreuse colors; or a monochromatic color scheme.
The Right Plant for the Right Place
Choosing the right plant for the design boils down to sun exposure and soil requirements. Watch the daylight on your landscape and see where the sun is hitting and for how long, if at all. All plant material have tags at nurseries where it says if it likes full sun, part sun, or shade. The tags also say if they prefer well-drained soil, moist soil, or wet soil. Check to see if your soil is rocky, sandy, loamy, or clay. Ask Greenhouse staff at your nursery if you have any questions if the plant will work in your space with its soil and sun exposure.