Reminiscent of wild vegetation yet designed and cared for in a planned manner, gardens are great additions to any home. Their aesthetic value has been acknowledged since ancient times, as they are a source of delight, relaxation and class, a tidy garden being the mirror of owners' love for their natural surroundings. Expansive gardens are national treasures in any country, whilst the perfect symmetry, daintiness and flawless chromatic assortment of ornamental flowers has remained an inspiration for artists throughout time.
Most gardens are known to comprise a range of natural well as artificial features, the latter being used for landscaping purposes. Ornamental plants are the most frequent garden features, for their high aesthetic value, and can include native species or species brought from abroad, known to adapt well to the British climate. They are planted freely or in designated areas such as borders, under trees or along fences. Alternatively, they are kept in flower beds or other containers such as pots.
Aside for ornamental plants, many people nowadays plant vegetables and some even have orchards, if the space allows tree planting. Ornamental trees are common as well and are usually selected in accordance with the regional flora. Hedges are an archetypal feature of urban gardens, yet are seen in the countryside as well, where they tend to grow freely, known as hedgerows. In urban areas, they are customarily trimmed to fit between certain parameters of height and appearance. Tidy lawns are also associated with urban areas, many rural properties tending to comprise large patches of grassland with a natural charm.
Nowadays, many people tend to landscape and adorn their gardens with artificial features as well, such as water fountains, small ponds, paved alleys, sculptures, wooden arches and whatever their imagination can produce. Garden art and garden furniture are very popular at the moment, with the market on a constant rise. Wind sculptures, which are moved by the air flow, are particularly sought after, as well as traditional stone features. Stone water fountains, although associated with past times, are still loved and in demand today.
Bird feeders are becoming increasingly widespread, as well as feeders or bedding for other animal visitors, as people are starting to welcome wild animals onto their properties and actually accommodate them to ensure their return. Also, a lovely and exciting trait presently growing in popularity is the recreation of natural habitats in gardens, such as woodlands or meadows, by planting specific wild flora.