The greenery around an accommodation facility, although often treated as a “necessary evil,” is actually the showcase of your place. It is the customer’s first, visual contact with the facility, which largely determines their attitude and aesthetic perception as a whole. Take advantage of this element and the values it brings – a well-kept, orderly space gives a sense of security and a positive attitude towards the place, and characteristic vegetation or its functional use can become a symbol of your facility. The presence of a garden, a composition of trees, shrubs, potted plantings, green rest areas can also determine the choice of the facility, a repeat visit or a future recommendation.
This article is intended to introduce plant species suitable for particular uses. Those that find themselves excellently in a specific role, while filling the garden space with desirable greenery.
We recommend proven plants for hedge, slope reinforcement, shelter, sodding areas and for getting rid of inconvenient guests – mosquitoes.
Psychologically, the color green is the color of hope and freedom. A study conducted by the University of Illinois shows that just looking at this color significantly reduces stress levels in the body. In addition, being in a “green” environment allows better oxygenation of our body, making us feel relaxed and regenerated. There is a reason why we escape to nature during a vacation or a free weekend – this way we recharge our internal batteries – green has a relaxing and calming effect, which is, after all, what your guests are looking for. After all, it’s worth ensuring that your guests feel good not only in the comfort of a rented room, but – if you have the opportunity – take advantage of the benefits of nature.
Climbers are a group of plants that are undemanding, yet very versatile. In natural sites they climb trees, shrubs or rocks. In gardens, the situation can be similar, but wanting more control and a specific effect, we can prepare artificial supports such as arbors, pergolas, or trellises that will allow us to use their potential for our purposes. Their expansive nature will allow us to quickly cover up a not-so-glamorous wall of a building, get green screens to protect from the sight of curious people, hide less attractive places or objects in the garden like waste containers or a composter. With the help of climbing plants we will also create a romantic, secluded place somewhere on the edge of the plot in the form of a gazebo wrapped in greenery.
An excellent competitor in this category is the grapevine – the most popular climber. These are plants that can reach 20 m in length and have no special requirements for the position. They are characterized by extraordinary vitality and very fast growth. In a few years it will easily cover an entire wall, and the only maintenance it requires is regular pruning after it has outgrown the limits we set for it.
Grapevines have been successfully used for years to cover up unrepresentative buildings, as well as to soften harsh concrete urban infrastructure.
Number one is the five-leaf grapevine (Parthenocissus quinquefolia). It climbs on buildings and fences thanks to its clinging whiskers provided at the ends with so-called clings – suction cups that help it climb over rough surfaces. It is a very expansive climber, perfectly tolerating pruning. It forms a dense, green carpel impressive throughout the growing season, and in autumn it takes on beautiful fairy-tale colors in shades of red and purple.
The second, equally common variety is the three-lobed grapevine (Parthenocissus tricuspidata). Slightly slower growing but with a more noble and decorative appearance than the five-leaf variety. Its downside is that it is less frost resistant, the advantage – the characteristic tile-like arrangement of leaves tightly covering the surfaces, thus protecting them from rain. In autumn it shimmers in shades of yellow, orange and red. In June, inconspicuous flowers appear on the grapevine, from which purple, spherical fruits develop in autumn. When the leaves fall their visibility is greater – also for birds for which they are a delicacy.
Another green form we can introduce into the garden space is a hedge. Its main function is to set boundaries, but this is not the only role it can play in the garden. As a natural form of fencing in areas bordering forests or fields, it is a safe barrier for wild animals such as roe deer or wild boar, which can cause damage to lawns or vegetable gardens. Hedges can also perfectly separate functional zones in a space, such as playgrounds, parking lots, (outdoor gyms) or divide the guest area from the private area.
With its help, especially in the lower form, traffic routes are emphasized, while in the higher form they successfully prove themselves as natural barriers to reduce the level of pollution, which works well for objects bordering the roadway and protection from the wind. However, let’s not forget that green walls are also a decoration and a beautiful background for colorful shrubs and perennials, and the more persistent can make it an additional attraction in the form of labyrinths.
Hornbeam (Carpus betulus) is a suggestion for a perfectly dense hedge – it is a pleasant plant to grow, undemanding, and can be easily pruned and formed.
It forms an excellent shield from the wind, and can be kept natural or cut – it all depends on the character we want to give to the space, as well as the size of the land we have. Hornbeam grows quite quickly, and the best time to plant it is autumn. It is a tree with perishable leaves, but they do not fall only wither for the winter. They turn brown in autumn and fall only in spring (when new leaves appear). This is its additional decorative value responsible for more complete protection from the wind in winter.
The second suggestion for a dense hedge, but this time evergreen, is the intermediate yew ‘Hicksii’ (Taxus x media). Yews are shrubs very often used in hedges due to their low requirements and ease of cultivation. They grow almost anywhere – even in the shade, tolerate pruning extremely well and are not afraid of low temperatures. Regularly pruned, they form very even and straight hedges, and their deep green is an excellent year-round background for flowering plants. Among the listed advantages is the fact that it is a conifer that does not lose its dark green color all year round.
It should be noted, however, that yews are divided into male and female specimens. This is important from the point of view of children because female specimens have small red fruits, which are quite a treat for birds in the spring, while for humans the seeds inside the red matrix are poisonous. For a yew tree to bear fruit we must have two different specimens on the plot: a male and a female. Having a yew of only one sex, we will not live to see red decorative fruits.
Often in gardens there are places that receive a lot of sunlight or are heavily shaded, where lawns do not maintain themselves thus not looking presentable. Other places, on the other hand, are difficult to access and their care is very troublesome. Here we are helped by ground cover and ground cover plants, which will partially inhibit the growth of weeds, protect the soil from drying out, and at the same time green up and decorate the unattractive part without much care on our part. These plants creep and spread sideways, forming a dense flower bed after some time. They are not only practical, but also attractive to the eye. Many of them bloom beautifully or are ornamental with their leaves.
The group of groundcover plants includes both perennials and shrubs. They are divided into those that do well in sunny places and those that feel better in the shade.
Therefore, we will present an item representing one and the other group – a perennial groundcover for shade and a groundcover shrub for a sunny spot.
One of the more popular, green carpet-forming perennials is the common periwinkle (Vinca minor), often found, if only in parks. Its ornamental, leathery leaves shine beautifully even in heavily shaded areas, and white or blue-purple flowers appearing in spring cheer up dark corners. Periwinkle is a fast-growing, spreading plant, and its strong, long stems root which allows it to expand more. It tolerates pruning well, so keeping it in a bed is not a problem, it grows in any soil and tolerates periodic dryness very well.
The second plant on display is a groundcover rose of the ‘The Fairy’ variety. This seemingly delicate plant, not associated with a groundcover function, can surprise us a lot! Groundcover varieties are such a “superhero” among roses – they are hardy, resistant to pollution, tolerate pruning well, and at the same time cover the planted area very quickly and densely. The groundcovers also spread decumbent, through the so-called root suckers, which means that in addition to tight sodding, they strengthen the ground, so they are also used for planting slopes (about this later in the article). Unlike other very demanding and delicate varieties of roses, species of ground cover roses do not require special care or special preparation of the ground, and their natural beauty of thorny shoots, sprinkled densely with small flowers of warm colors delights everyone. Their greatest advantage is their long flowering period, which begins from early summer until the first frosts.
The slope in the garden is a very picturesque and impressive accent. It is the result of the natural relief of the land or an element created during the construction of the building, combining two different heights of the ground level. They differ primarily in the degree of slope, that is, the ratio of height to width. If we have to deal with its small degree, we can sow grass on it or use plantings of perennials and shrubs whose task – in addition to decorative – will be to strengthen and stabilize the ground against erosion. Slopes with a steeper slope, such as 30% and more, require a suitable reinforcing structure, such as a retaining wall. Depending on the length of the slope, we can do this with one height of wall or divide it into several smaller ones, thus forming stairs. They can also be the place of green plantings breaking the non-trivial construction.
We will focus on plants that – in addition to decoration – will protect slopes from landslides. These are species characterized by fairly strong growth, low soil and habitat requirements, resistant to drought and with an extensive root system that binds the soil.
Creeping junipers (Juniperus horizontalis) are an excellent plant species for strengthening slopes, with a wide range of varieties. One of the most interesting ones, fulfilling this condition and brightening up the surroundings with its color, is ‘Golden Carpet’ – an evergreen, creeping conifer with lemon-green needles. It has minimal growing requirements, is hardy and forms a beautiful carpet by which it protects the beds from weeds. It goes well with other coniferous plants of blue or green color, and when planted on slopes protected by a stone wall, it softens their appearance with picturesque overhanging shoots.
A suggestion of a deciduous plant for planting slopes is Dammer’s creeping yarrow (Cotoneaster Dammeri) of the cultivar ‘Major’. It is a low shrub with branches lying on the ground with time rooting which strengthens the slope of the slope on a larger plane. It tolerates all cultivated garden soils, positions in full sun and partial shade. It tolerates drought well and is resistant to disease and low temperatures. It has small, leathery and glossy leaves that do not fall in winter. Additional advantages are its white flowers appearing in spring and very numerous red fruits decorating the bush in autumn.
Among the plants whose task is to beautify the garden space, luring the more sensitive to their beauty guests, there are also those that are supposed to scare away the uninvited ones. We are talking about mosquitoes capable of spoiling many a holiday. This problem is faced on a larger scale by accommodation facilities adjacent to forests, lakes, ponds, ponds or wetlands.
Fortunately, nature comes to our aid, which has plants prepared for such a circumstance. The weapon that is directed at these insects is the scent emitted by the flowers or decorative leaves of selected species. Creating compositions of them in the beds surrounding terraces, walkways, rest areas or placing them, planted in pots in the garden area are an invisible shield to scare away intruders.
The most popular and effective plant with the above-mentioned properties is Plectranthus coleus (Plectranthus glabratus), commonly called mosquito plant. A perennial with small green leaves with a cream-colored border, it is treated as an annual in our country. It is often chosen to complement floral, potted compositions what owes to its dangling habit and brightening color. Note, however, that it feels best in partial shade, as the harsh sun parches its leaves.
A plant of flowering species that acts as a mosquito repellent is the geranium (Pelargonium), which is commonly used to decorate windows, balconies and terraces. It is easy to grow, available in many colors, and when placed as a decorative element at windows, it creates an invisible mosquito net.
Other flowering items in this category are narrow-leaved lavender (Lavandula), root marigold (Geranium macrorrhizum) and Fassen’s catnip (Nepeta faassenii). All of them belong to low-demanding and long-flowering plants. Planted in a larger group, they will create a beautiful bed attracting the eye thanks to their abundant flowering in different tones of blue color.
Growing mosquito repellent plants is, of course, one of the many ways to fight to make your summer vacation more comfortable. However, it will not provide full protection, it can only reduce the level of the problem naturally while increasing the attractiveness of the place.
Spring is the perfect time to establish a garden, modernize it or supplement it with new plant specimens. The passing winter and the lack of seasonal foliage showed places or objects in the garden space that would require enrichment, variety or cover with appropriate vegetation. Take a look at the garden and plan a form of greenery that will introduce freshness and enhance the aesthetics of the surroundings of the accommodation facility.
Trees, shrubs and flowers play a very important role today, giving character to a space by making it a great place to relax.
So take care of your surroundings and complement them with beautiful, vibrant green plants for yourself and your guests – because green is beauty and health!
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