What are special gardens? These are gardens with something specific in mind. Here you will find tips for the special needs gardener, gardening with children and those just starting out. In addition, you will learn more about growing specific types of gardens like xeriscape designs, color themes, seaside gardens, organic gardening, urban gardening and using containers in the garden. From how to design them to their overall care, these special gardens have something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for something specific, it’s likely here.

Planning what to plant in your special garden

When planning what to plant in your special garden, things to think about include:

  • what your favourite fruits, vegetables, herbs and other edible plants are – if you plant what you love to eat then you will be enthusiastic about your gardening project
  • sensory appeal – grow plants you like to see, smell or touch
  • which plants you need a small amount of, often – herbs are a good example
  • which edible plants are rarely found in the shops – perhaps there is a variety of tomato you can’t buy at the supermarket
  • the climate where you live – consider which plants are best suited to the local climate
  • seasonality – consider which plants will grow best at the time of year when you are planting. Seed packets or labels on seedlings will give you an idea, or talk to staff at your local plant nursery.

Flowers and herbs can be used in salads, can add flavour to cooked dishes, and can be made into teas or used as a garnish. Vegetables, fruits and many plants can be eaten raw or cooked. Examples of flowers, herbs and plants that are suitable for an edible garden include:

  • flowers – borage, carnation, chamomile, chrysanthemum, fuchsia, geranium, hibiscus, hollyhock, honeysuckle, impatiens, lavender, lemon blossom, lilac, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, rose, salvia and violet
  • herbs – rosemary, basil, chives, sage, mint, oregano, parsley and thyme
  • seeds and berries – blueberries, mulberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
  • vegetables – lettuce, tomatoes, silverbeet, corn, capsicum and beans
  • fruits – rhubarb (stems are edible, but the leaves are poisonous), kiwi fruit, strawberries and passionfruit
  • plants and trees – all sorts of fruit trees, including lemons, apricots and apples. Even the leaves from bay trees are great for use in stews and casseroles.