When it comes to deciding what to do with your garden space, it can all be a bit overwhelming. You might think that you’re limited to just grass and flowerbeds. But in reality, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of things you could do with your garden space. Think of it as a natural extension to the indoor living space (which is decorated and arranged according to your preferences, and full of things that bring you joy). It’s something you can tailor to reflect your unique needs and personality fairly easily. The question then becomes – how do I work out what garden design suits my lifestyle?
Where to Start?
This is the most difficult stage – staring at that blank slate and trying to work out what to do with it, or how you could possibly design a garden that reflects your true personality. You’re not alone there – most people will prefer to design an indoor space than work with outdoor plants and spaces. But it’s important to remember that, unlike interior spaces, your garden doesn’t have to be perfect right away. It can grow, evolve and reshape itself over time. Nature is much more forgiving than paint!
When you’re ready to start, we have a few points that can help you form the basis of your garden design:
- Think about how you can use your garden to enrich your lifestyle. Would you benefit from a quiet space to relax and meditate in, or would an open entertaining area be more appropriate for you?
- What kind of planting naturally draws your attention? Do you prefer a formal, clear-cut garden, a playful cottage scene or a wild, untamed jungle feel? Flick through some pictures and mark the ones that really catch your eye. This helps you discover your natural preferences and shapes what kind of garden you might like to plant.
- Remember that your garden doesn’t have to just be plants. The type of materials you use, decking areas, water features and even beautifully crafted furniture can all play a part in your gardens final design.
- Consider including an open space in your garden for your favourite activities – whether that’s sunbathing in the afternoons or playing football with the kids.
- Introducing art into your garden is another way to create a truly unique space. You might want to use naturally occurring elements in their untamed forms – like boulders that can double as seating – or you might want to go for a bold sculptural piece, or lots of little artistic features.
What Do You Want to Use It For?
Another of the most important elements to consider is what you want to use your garden for. After all, you could create the more beautiful landscaping and design space in the world, but if it doesn’t work for you, then it’s useless!! So, take out a notebook and pen and write down what you want to use your garden for. Whether your priority is a kitchen garden, a dining space, or a specific, sport-related area, you need to identify key dedicated function areas that are important to you and your family. The more practical and useful the spaces you create in your garden, the more likely it is you’ll feel encouraged to tend and nourish that garden.
Some Styles To Choose From
If you’re still struggling to work out what your ideal garden design might be, then why not try out one of these popular styles?
Low Maintenance: Perfect for those who want an outdoor space to enjoy, but don’t have the time for pruning, mowing and tending that some gardens need. A low maintenance garden created an inviting, relaxing space with minimal upkeep. Large sections of lawn are replaced with gravel or AstroTurf, and patios are replaced with decking that’s perfect for barbeques or sun loungers. Plant wise, flowering and evergreen shrubs mean that there is no yearly re-planting, while hardy perennials can provide a burst of colour. You’ll often see big stone planters scattered around, along with sculptures, bird baths and other attention-grabbing features that don’t require constant attention.
Contemporary: Less is definitely more where contemporary gardens are concerned. Here you will see a lot of straight lines, meticulous boarders and geometric shapes, all designed to give a very modern, chic feel to the garden. You’ll see a lot of green sculptures, topiary and water features, but the space won’t feel cluttered at all. This kind of garden is often designed with soft tones to create a calm, uncomplicated and contemporary finish. Ideal for people with a hectic lifestyle who just need somewhere to stop and take a breath.
Cottage: Love the feel of a quaint, quiet country cottage garden? This one is for you. Cottage gardens are all about being relaxed and romantic, often designed to make you think of that rambling English countryside with a hint of ‘secret garden’ wildness. This kind of garden design tends to be very informal, with an abundance of vibrant plants. But the cottage garden isn’t always an instant win – it takes time for the planted beds to evolve and snowball into a wild concoction of bright flowers that obey no boundaries. They are charming and great for anyone who wants to ‘get back to nature’ in their own back garden.
Mediterranean: If you love your annual holidays to Spain or the South of France, then you might want to create a garden design that brings all of that back for the rest of the year. Mediterranean gardens are all about warmth, cosiness and afternoon siestas. The focus is usually a set of dining furniture, which is then surrounded by a rich terracotta canvas, with large paving tiles, planters and mosaics. You also see a lot of more Mediterranean planting choices, including grapevines, figs and lots of leafy palms. A good choice for anyone who loves dining and entertaining in the warm weather.
Eclectic: The eclectic garden is just that – eclectic. These kinds of gardens are a bit like your own blank canvas – just waiting for you to stamp your personality all over it. the idea here is to take a completely blank slate, and create your own unique garden landscape design that brings together things that represent you in a number of focal points (without it feeling cluttered or overwhelmed). Eclectic gardens tend to feature lots of upcycled furniture or artworks, spaces for specific parts of your lifestyle (like a ‘kids corner’ complete with mud kitchen for little ones, or a herb garden for your cooking). You can literally wing it as you go along, and end up with a unique garden area. Ideal for the rule breakers and free spirits out there.
At DPM, we love creating unique garden landscape designs that suit your personality. Whether you’re quirky and eclectic or a cottagey-homebody wanting their own honeysuckle garden, we can help you take your garden from standard suburban fare to a unique and special space you really want to spend time in. If you would like to find out more, just get in touch with us today and book your free consultation.