Having a garden is one the most fundamentally important elements in a home for some. It is a way to remind ourselves, that despite our modern lives, advances in technology and busy schedules, that nature is still there. Unfortunately, plot sizes are shrinking, which means the available space is being sacrificed for larger living rooms and bedrooms, so much so, that even balconies are being reduced, if not disappearing all together. Whether or not you have a green thumb is irrelevant, it is a basic human need to want to be closer to nature. Just remember those days you spent out at the farm, or running around the park: you always left these situations feeling recharged and renewed—an emotion that only Mother Nature herself can bestow upon us.
So, today, we want to take the time to look at some basic garden ideas. From petite courtyards to generously sized lots, we have a myriad of ways available to inspire you to redecorate, re-plan or even renovate all together! Let's take a look…
A rooftop terrace, like pictured, is coveted by many home owners, and it's not hard to see why. Simple in design, yet oozing with grandeur and class, this terrace with luscious potted garden and elegant seating, was put together by Patricia Fox from Aralia. It is, quite simply, the perfect spot to enjoy inner city life. Whether you fancy a cocktail under the stars, an extended brunch, or to read a book in the fresh outdoor air, in a space like this, all is possible. The designer was faced, and overcame many of the challenges we spoke about in the introduction, one of those being size constraints. Surpassing expectations, this private oasis in London is enclosed, modern and serene - the perfect words to describe a terrace! It comes as no surprise that this terrace was given the Gold Award by New Homes Garden Awards for the best Rooftop Terrace. Bravo!
Just like greenery, humans like to be near water too. Aside from being a sign of health and vitality, water injects an aura of calmness and serenity that cannot be artificially replicated by any other source. The soft trickle, or gentle flow, is enough to put our minds and bodies at ease, and help us to relax and rewind after a busy day. In Japanese landscape architecture, and as evidenced in this example by Cornus Garden Design, stones are a traditional element that are said to aid meditation and create the notion of Zen. It is not uncommon to see water and stones together in design, and this comes as no surprise. If replicating nature exactly as it was, stones and water are an unbreakable couple, found together in streams, lakes and brooks. When used in conjunction, these two features together also help to regulate temperature, meaning your garden will always feel like a little piece of paradise during the warmer months.
Mike Walker, from Native Landscape Design, has found a way to bring contemporary modern design, and a love of cultivation and gardening together. Here, we see a modern take on a traditional garden, which has the perfect amount of space provided to grow seasonal vegetables, fruit and herbs. Lining the outdoor area, the planter boxes add a touch of green to a space which is quite woody in appearance, injecting a bold flash of colour. Nature presents us with a huge palette of colours, in fact, it is the very place that humans found the inspiration for such a thing. Flowers in rich red, pink, blue and purple, are coveted not only for their scents, but also for the walls of our homes as a feature! Practical plants too, which may not grow pretty posies and blooms, are beautiful too in their own right. And as shown, can really add a totally different depth to your garden!
If you are blessed with a bigger outdoor area, you have the freedom to divide up your space, which results in multi-purposes areas like pictured. This peaceful raised patio, was created by the team at Gardenplan Design, and was designed to act as an outside extension to the indoor kitchen space. The levels provide a wonderful scene for the eye—not only do we see contrasting colours, but also a variation of height and proportion. These are key design principles coming into play to the best of their ability. You can just imagine entertaining for hours on end, lounging around with a cool drink, or even sunbathing under the warmth of the sun. Just be wary—you may end up being the favourite destination for parties and get-togethers!
Sometimes the most simple decorations are often the best. If you aren't the type to tend to a growing garden, or prefer courtyard living, you can always add simple details, like the pot pictured to liven up your outdoor space. This large terracotta beauty, placed ingenious by Viridian Landscape Studio, is riddled with detail in its own right. The effect caused by the lines, creates an interesting three-dimensional feature, providing additional texture and colour to an area that is largely leafy and green. The pot, can also double up as a water feature, if you want to inject another sensory aspect to your garden. This is actually quite easy to achieve—these pumps and basins can be purchased from your local hardware store.
We hope you like this ideabook, and feel confident to re-design, or enlist the help of an expert for your next garden caper!