The refined formal garden is developed through the use of various types of perennials and annuals. The same rules apply to the general maintenance of a garden of this kind that apply to the general maintenance of perennials and annuals. This type of garden however, unlike the other types of gardens, rock garden, wild garden, informal garden, etc., should, if developed, be perfectly maintained. A formal flower garden for its real success depends upon well-defined masses and definite major and minor axis lines. Extreme care should be devoted to the clipping of all hedges and the maintenance of the outlines of the definite masses of plants. All turf borders and walks should be neatly trimmed and carefully edged and little if any of the informal loose effect, so common to the informal garden and to the wild garden, should be permitted. The author attempts to discuss this question together with the question of maintenance pertaining to the other types of gardens in order to make clear that in the selection of the plants in landscape work the item of subsequent maintenance is one of the important factors in the successful development of the formal flower garden to an even greater extent than in other types of gardens.
The informal flower garden requires less maintenance care than the formal flower garden. It is not so essential that the masses of plants and the outline of walks should be as carefully defined. There is no garden, not even the wild garden, that does not require constant attention for the best results. The same questions of maintenance apply to the informal garden in the same way that they do to the maintenance of perennials and annuals. The only point which the author wishes to make clear is that from the very informal nature of the garden the question of maintenance cost is not as great as the maintenance cost of the formal garden.
Rock Garden. Many persons labour under the impression that the rock garden does not require constant attention. To successfully develop a rock garden planting requires more thorough knowledge of plants than the development of the refined flower garden or the informal garden. The reason for this is that those plants which succeed in the rock garden development are much more uncommon than the plants which succeed in other types of gardens and less opportunity is afforded for intelligent study of their habits of growth and flowering characteristics. The rock garden, like the wild garden, is often thought of as a garden in which plants enter into a competition for "the survival of the fittest." Quite to the contrary, intelligent maintenance must be applied in order to eventually develop the plan as originally intended. Most of the plants adapted to the rock garden are the dwarf, slow-growing types which continue to become larger from year to year. They must be kept within bounds by intelligent pruning which will not destroy their effect. Occasionally many plants are introduced into the rock garden planting which require much more attention on account of the water which is necessary for their normal growth. A rock garden is not a garden from which flowers are to be picked. The period of bloom is usually the period when the plant is most valuable for its effect in the garden and the flowers should not be removed at that time.