It's time to vote on our 2017 photo contest! Vote for your favorite photos of the year here!

My idea of the perfect garden is:

There are a total of 580 votes:

relaxed and casual with lots of flowers for arrangements
(181 votes, 31%)
Red dot

tranquil and serene, with harmonious color schemes and calm patterns
(117 votes, 20%)
Red dot

formal and traditional (clipped hedges and straight paths)
(6 votes, 1%)
Red dot

full of bold and dramatic foliage and flowers
(126 votes, 21%)
Red dot

an exotic, tropical retreat
(71 votes, 12%)
Red dot

seamlessly blending into surrounding natural areas
(79 votes, 13%)
Red dot

Previous Polls

Blyth, ON(Zone 5b)

Bold and dramatic for sure! Dahlias, castor beans, bananas, canna and calla lilies - all the things a zone 5b garden should have ;-)

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

I voted for 'tranquil and serene with harmonious colors'-- but that really isn't quite what I like--

I do like to work with color complements and shadings and that was the closest I could find.

I remember the old 'color echoes' threads and found them so interesting here on Dave's. We should do them again!

Evans, GA(Zone 7b)

I had difficulty voting on this one ... a lot of the options had appeal ... relaxed and casual; tranquil and serene; blending with natural areas. Possible to have all three of those in one garden.

New Hampshire, NH(Zone 5b)

I voted tranquil and serene - but I could second Artgal's comment of blending relaxed & casual; tranquil & serene; and blending with natural areas.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Relaxed & casual for sure.
I don't have the foggiest idea what these others even mean.
When I get my whole acre of lawn covered with flowers I will quit!

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

Relaxed and casual here too. Not enough patience for consistent and structured.

Central, LA(Zone 8b)

I voted tropical but I also think my garden is tranquiel and serene.

Thumbnail by jeri11
(Zone 8b)

I liked relaxed and casual and tranquil and serene but I opted for the latter because no matter how many blooms I have I can't bear to cut them! The exception being sweat peas because the more you do the more they bloom.

Fate, TX(Zone 8a)

i like lots of flowers but also love bold foliage and flowers. all about the flowers. i call my scheme "wild abandon" but that wasn't a choice.

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Voted casual, lots of flowers... but DID look for "all of the above!"

Sydney, Australia

Bold and dramatic ...I love it to take my breath away!

Fitzgerald, GA

I voted for tranquil and serene. I like the idea of being able to sit in a garden of serene surroundings and feeling closer to nature and God.

Bensalem, PA(Zone 6b)

I voted for tranquil and serene - this reminds me of the many wonderful gardens I've seen over the years traveling to the Far East. Japan especially has some beautiful Zen gardens to relax and ponder life's questions. Vietnam also has some really beautiful gardens and some very peaceful surroundings.

Thumbnail by usaveteran
Circle Pines, MN(Zone 4b)

I have some of each - except the formal gardens.

Katy, TX(Zone 8b)

Eclectic is what I would call my garden. To me an unstructured garden is the most tranquil so that an untrimmed plant looks as right as a dainty lily and anything goes. Nature does not choose colors or rows or heights but everything goes where it should.

(Zone 1)

^_^ I voted for the exotic tropical retreat although I love all kinds of gardens so it would be really hard to choose a favorite.

The only one I would not choose is the formal and traditional. While I sorta like traditional for interior decorating, I do not like formal style with clipped hedges and straight lines in my garden.

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

I vote tropical because that would be my DREAM garden. It's difficult to achieve that when you live in NYS, and that's why most of my gardening is indoors. I liked what plantladyhou said and that's more my approach to outdoor gardening, too. I live between folks who go for manicured and the English manor gardens but I like the unstructured look myself.

Questa, NM(Zone 5b)

I voted relaxed and casual. If I cut flowers or not, it's no biggie. I've got a hammock and my iced tea. Ahhhh...

I love that we all love gardening so much! It's wonderful reading everyone's posts here.

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

I think my mom will get a chuckle out of this: I voted for "manicured"...I love my English Gardens calendar: it is my "dream" garden style.

Now, does my garden look like that??? Uhhhh, no.

Lodi, WI(Zone 4b)

It all depends on the day! A garden is a place of mind reflected by the currrenty environment for me.

Chimacum, WA

This was hard to vote. None of them really fit my garden.
I voted relaxed and casual. But I also have bold and dramatic - in that I have very unusual and uncommon flowers. I do not cut flowers for arrangements for me, but do give them away. Seamlessly blending into surrounding natural areas also fits my garden some. My "lawn" in a small meadow in the spring, with lots of forget-me-nots in it. Also have a lot of Sweet Honesty. These two are free flowing into the surrounding area.

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

I voted for exotic and tropical. I picked the one that was as far from what I actually have as I could.

I'm not satisfied or happy with my gardens as they are now. I'm not feeling the love. Although, if we'd get a year with some adequate moisture, that might make them look a lot better.

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

Great thread! Isn't it wonderful we all don't have exactly the same gardening style? I enjoy reading what everyone else likes and does; the diversity in styles makes me feel as if WE are the garden!

Santa Fe, NM

I couldn't decide because I like them all! I have never seen a garden I didn't like, even if it is not my style. I think xeric cottage gardens are best for my area...but they can look very calm or dramatic or casual or blend with surroundings. Versatile gardens!

Champaign, IL(Zone 5b)

We plant toward having a totally edible landscape. Its more important to use that our plants serve a use: food, medical, or even to feed the wildlife. We always seem to lean heavily toward natives and hierlooms.

Howell, NJ(Zone 7a)

I voted for tranquil and serene because that is what I strive for in the garden and in my life. The reality is I am in the process of redoing 4 beds because they are an unorganized mess and not at all tranquil or serene.

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Tranquil and serene was my vote. As others have said a few elements from the choices given could be combined.

I enjoyed the color echoes threads, too, Tabasco!

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Joey in Conroe, TX(Zone 8b)

LOL where is the crammed and chaotic option?

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)


South Milwaukee, WI

I had to go with the bold and dramatic, as first choice, but they all sound great!

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

I garden for the relaxed casualness, but i also have a few unusual treasures. For instance, I have my Cornus mas, or corneliancherry, a dogwood relative blooming it's heart out right now. The flowers are small but bright yellow and they come out way before forsythia. I like it also because up here on my windy hill, regular dogwood doesn't do so well.
Here's a pic of the blooms.

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

This is a better picture of Cornus mas.

Thumbnail by gardenmart
Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

I think I have seen this growing wild on the side of my road and wondered what it was, gardenmart. If it's the same thing, does it have a nice fragrance? If yes, then that's what I've been seeing and smelling. Do you think a cutting would root easily?

Oviedo, FL(Zone 9b)

It is not fragrant, and it resembles dogwood a bit until the flowers bloom. It is like a dogwood without the decorative bracts. I expect it would be like trying to root Cornus florida, the regular dogwood. I have never done this so I wouldn't know about the ease or not of making a hardwood cutting. But you could try. It is over 8 feet tall now and there's plenty of wood to try it out on.

Southern Dutchess Co, NY(Zone 5b)

Thanks so much. I'm going to take a cutting when the rain here stops. Couldn't hurt!

New Braunfels, TX(Zone 8b)

I'm a newbie, my garden is hidden behind the fence because I am restricted in the neighborhood. So, my backyard is wild and naturalistic. The front is manicured by someone else. I love that each of us sees the garden as a reflection of ourselves.

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Pirl, LUV your color echo! Too cute! (-:

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Thanks. Even the evil Houttuynia matches!

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

I chose the last answer about blending in with the natural surroundings but I still want plenty of cutting flowers, too. Or..........maybe simplicity roses down the fence line as they are good for cutting, too!

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