Deciding on a Specialty Garden

Thinking you would love a garden this spring and summer, but don’t have the first clue about what kind of garden and what you would need to do to start it?  There are a variety of types of gardens depending upon your space, climate and needs. Gardens are such a great hobby in that they are a mood booster, provide physical activity and are cost-effective!  Let’s look at several types of garden that may fit your environment.

Things to Consider –

  • Space and Function – Before you decide on what type of garden you would like, consider how much space you have and why you want a garden. Gardens can be cultivated in many different spaces including: in pots on a porch or patio, on a roof deck, in raised planters, in a greenhouse or in your backyard (no matter the size). Gardens can have many different uses as well. Some are made simply for beauty and relaxation, while others are planted primarily to provide food, to build communities, or for environmental benefits.


  • Hardiness Zone – Once you have contemplated the space and use for your garden you will want to evaluate the “hardiness zone” of your future garden.  This refers to geographically defined areas in which certain types of plants are capable of growing. These areas are defined by climatic conditions, including a plant’s ability to withstand the minimum temperatures of the zone. Find your zone using  the Department of Agriculture online mapping tool.

Now that you have a definite view the function, size and hardiness of your garden you can decide on the type of garden you may want.  Read on to see the many varieties you have to choose from. . . .

  • Wildflower gardens – Wildflowers can be grown in sun or shade depending on the plants and climate. These gardens can include prairie gardens as well, filled with a variety of native grasses.
  • Shade gardens – A shade garden can fill dark, vacant areas with bright, beautiful plants. In fact, many plants not only tolerate shade but also thrive in it.
  • Butterfly gardens – Plant flowers that butterflies will love. For a list of flowers butterflies love read more.
  • Water gardens – If you enjoy aquatic plants and fish, a water garden might be your style. Learn about backyard ponds and aquascaping.
  • Container gardening – You can enjoy plants around your home even if you don’t have a lot of space. Growing plants in containers can be fun and easy.
  • Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs – You can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables by growing them in your own yard–even if you live in an urban area.

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