A naturalist garden is a type of landscaping that emphasizes nature over man-made structures. It is also known as meadow landscaping, and is less formal than pruned or managed landscaping.
A well-designed naturalist garden will reflect a designer’s understanding of complex relationships between plants and other living things. The goal is to recreate a particular type of habitat, and to work with the natural environment to minimize typical inputs from the garden.
One of the best ways to achieve this goal is by using the ecological principle of layering. In nature, layers of plant life are densely planted to suppress weeds and to create a symbiotic relationship.
By applying this same principle in the garden, you can enrich the biodiversity of your property. By planting native plants and other flora, you will create a habitat that provides essential food for birds and mammals. Additionally, you will also be reducing the effects of invasive species.
Using the right plants in the correct order is the key to a successful naturalist garden. There are several types of plants that are suited for naturalistic landscaping, including shrubs, grasses, vines, bulbs, and perennials.
Adding in a few low maintenance flowers can give your naturalist garden an instant visual boost. These plants only need an annual trim, and do not require deadheading or mulching. They can add color to your garden in the summer and provide winter interest.
Another key component to a successful naturalist garden is a water feature. Water features provide a source of clean water for insects and birds.