Needs | Function
Plants can be dangerous – poisonous, sharply spined, or just badly placed where the unwary might trip.
The garden can be made enjoyable for every user. Smooth, firm surfaces and gentle slopes for those who find it hard to get about; safe play areas for children; comfortable shade for the elderly (and the fair-skinned!); raised beds for those with difficulty in bending; scented plants for the blind.
The garden has an important ornamental function, providing pleasant surroundings for the home, an attractive scene for the passerby. Leisure uses are an important function – sitting out, sunbathing, strolling, entertaining, children’s play, even sport like tennis, or swimming (if you have a pool!)
The garden can be used for keeping pets – cats, dogs, fish, even bee-keeping in rural areas. The production of fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs can be considered an important function for the garden; cut flowers for indoor decoration may be required.
The garden may be required to hold a hobbyist gardener’s collection – alpines, roses, bonsai and many others. There is also the opportunity for self-expression, arranging plants to achieve desired effects of colour and form.
Practical functions like the clothes-line, fuel tank, tool shed, compost heap, and possible septic tank must be taken into account and placed where they are convenient without spoiling the garden.