A Planning Guide to the New Neogardens
So, you’re probably one of the hundreds of thousands of Neopians who have built a spiffy new neohome. And you’re probably also one of those new owners who has not moved in yet because you’re still struggling with wallpaper and floor tile problems. If not and you actually have already moved in, well, congratulations to you!
However, it seems that homeowners are caught up with not just interior decorating. For many new homeowners, it’s the outside that has posed a challenge to them. Most of these first time homeowners are young Neopians who are very excited in getting their own houses but are a little awed by the landscape.
“We had no trouble decorating the bedrooms and kitchen,” said a young Usul, “but I’m absolutely lost with the garden.”
A slightly bewildered Korbat had this to say, “It’s just...huge, you know.”
“Well, not really,” his Ruki friend piped up. “We had a lot of gardens in our old house and we were able to work on each of it plot by plot. But with our new garden, well, we may have to approach it in a new way.”
Exactly. So if you’re like one of these Neopians who have yet to take up the task of gardening, why not take a look at some basic suggestions listed here:
Fencing it in: This is good for demarcating your garden space and giving you privacy. Even if you live in Faerieland where the sky’s the limit literally, you may want to mark out your property from that of your neighbors. There are many types of fences you can use and can be bought with neopoints or neocash. You can also use plants, trees or flowers for that ‘not-really-fenced-in-but-still-private’ feel.
If you do decide to have fencing, take note that they are sold by piece so you have to buy the number of pieces you need. It is wiser not to buy too many at once or you might end up having too many pieces more than you will actually use. Remember that you can also do away with fencing the whole yard (although there may be a lot of people knocking at your door).
Watery spots: If you live in the Lost Desert, why not create your own oasis, or your own water reservoir in Kreludor or on the Virtupets Space Station? Even some of the folks who already live near the beach at Mystery Island or Roo Island still build their own pools. And if you live at one of the castle-like homes of Meridell or Darigan Citadel, a moat might be just what you need.
If you have pet Koi, Peophins, Flotsams or Jetsams, then having a pond for them to swim in is a must or why not just go all-out and have your neohome floating on a lake! Just don’t forget the bridge to take us to your front door. ;) But if you and your pets are not too fond of water, a fountain or a small spring can also suffice and add wonders to your garden.
Areas of interest: With all that space, don’t forget that you can also plan out areas in your garden for relaxation, activities, or showcasing additions to your neohome. Ideally, there should also be pathways leading to these spots so that your visitors can be guided to them. Here are some of the things that you can have:
Playground: What pet wouldn’t love to have space to play in? If your pets are very active or sports-minded, you can go for something like a tennis or basketball court. If they’re very young, you can stick to swings or seesaws or even a sand box. Whatever you choose, just make sure the area is built for safety (not so close to a lake!) and there is ample space for playing.
Picnic spot: Ah, a nice meal outside in the fresh air is always a great treat. You can opt for mats spread on the ground for either day picnics or campfire nights, or have tables and chairs (think of tea garden parties). If you want, you can surround the area with trees or shrubs for a cozy feel or leave the area open for a larger space.
Vegetable/Flower patch: Here’s a chance to show off your prized vegetables or flowers. They could be fenced in or arranged in all shapes whether in circles or squares, lined up prettily or in colorful bunches. Try for variety; intersperse those snap draiks with perfume mallows or potato plants with pink poppies. Almost anything will do, so don’t worry and use your favorites.
Places of retreat: This depends on what you consider restful. For some, it might be sitting on some comfortable benches or in a gazebo looking at a nice view like flowers, a pond, or a lava pit (huh?). For those who want wider views and more privacy, go for towers or a tree house. A place for a peaceful nap can be had with hammocks or mats with comfy pillows.
Items: A windmill. A telescope. A pirate ship. An airlock?! These are just some of the interesting items that you can build a theme on although most of these neohome additions can only be found at the NC mall at the present. If you got yourself a telescope, why not have your own observatory right in your yard. Get a pirate-y feel to your garden, even if you don’t live in Krawk Island, with a pirate ship and cannon. Just be sure to have one or only a few related items as the focal point in one area. Having too many items, especially unrelated ones, in the same area can look too busy and confusing.
Gnomes have it: Yes, why not let your gnomes have the run of the garden. You can be creative and not just have them standing in a line and welcoming visitors to your yard. Why not create a diorama using them. Have the gnomes use the playground, depicting various stages of playing and call it simply ‘Gnomes at Play’ (alright, I fail at titles) or if you have a snow pet, get her seven gnomes and tell your friends that you have ‘Snow Wocky and the Seven Gnomes’ in your very own garden! If you’re really up to the challenge, you can even tell a story by coming up with several connected dioramas, wouldn’t that be fun? I assure you, your garden will be the talk of the neighborhood.
And last but definitely not the least, Don’t forget the plants: Of course, what’s a garden without plants? Definitely an odd garden, I tell you! But before you start planting those blossoms, getting some fire bushes, or buying more rock trees, you might want to take into consideration a major aspect with these new gardens.
Ever wondered why a particular tree seems to look amazing in your friend’s house in Shenkuu but looks not so amazing in your own yard in Tyrannia? Well, just look at the land and you’ll know. It may have something to do with the theme of the land or the color of the land you have. Unlike the old gardens, where everyone has the same green plot, the new gardens have different colored plots depending on where your home is located. Below is a list of the dominant colors, the locations which have it and some suggestions on what plants might look good in them that could help you out. Keep in mind, though, that even if some locations share the same land color, they won’t have the same shade of it because of the type of “land” (in keeping with the location theme) it has, so do expect some slight variations in effect:
Green: Altador, Brightvale, Meridell, Roo Island, Shenkuu. These are probably the easiest to garden as almost anything can look great on these lands. To go for a dramatic effect, choose plants with fiery colors since the green background provides a perfect complement to reddish hues. Trees or tall plants are best to put here for a ‘forest’ effect.
Brown: Lutari Island, Kiko Lake, Krawk Island, Lost Desert, Mystery Island, Neopia Central, Tyrannia. Almost anything that can go in the green lands can also go here, but these lands have the advantage of showcasing green shrubs better. Middle-sized or small-sized plants, especially planted together for a garden patch will look nice in these lands.
Bluish/Grayish: Darigan Citadel, Haunted Woods, Kreludor, Maraqua, Virtupets Space Station. Now here’s a challenge! Brightly colored, large plants might look odd growing in these gardens, but it’s up to you. What would probably show to advantage here are stepping stones, especially the light-colored ones, so take advantage of using various pathways interspersed or bordered at the sides with small growing plants. Rock gardens will also look fabulous here and are safe choices. After all, rocks will not look out of place whether in outer space, underwater or in sinister-looking neighborhoods, right?
White: Faerieland, Terror Mountain. If you’ve always thought that anything can go with white, here’s something that can make or break your claim. The watchword with these lands is color and it seems that you not just have to have lots of it, but also a balance of it. While using only plants or flowers that have muted colors seems to be in keeping with the theme of these lands, your garden plants might run the risk of being “swallowed up” by the landscape. Conversely, having only bright or blazing plants may provide too much of a stark contrast with the land. A balance of having strong and muted colored garden items is probably your best bet here.
So has this helped you in planning your garden? I hope it did. Now get out those garden gloves and start gardening. :)