6 small steps to garden heaven

Beth Cochrane Beth Cochrane
Kirchner Garten & Teich GmbH Modern garden
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We may be slowly edging into winter but your garden can still be an important space in which to unwind and relax. Cuddle up with enough blankets, perhaps around a fire pit or wood burner, and enjoy the nights under the crisp, clear stars. 

There are many ways in which to make your garden the most relaxing place in your home. After all, who doesn't love being surrounded by our own private slice of nature? Once you've decided upon your garden's theme there are then several important things to consider: Do you want a dining space? What can of seating should you have? Do you want a more industrial look or more traditional, covered with greenery and flowers?

Whichever way you decide to go, here are several ideas to keep in mind throughout the design process. 

1. Dinner plans

The heart of the home is always where friends and family can gather and share a meal so why not take this outside the kitchen and into the open air?

This gorgeous wicker dining table and chair set is exactly the ticket for those wanting to do so. Sturdy and chic, this is the dining set to weather out the winter in your garden, while simultaneously looking fabulous. Wicker has always been a staple in garden furniture and this particular smoky grey tone is perfectly infused in the material. Not only is it aesthetically top of the range, but it's also incredibly comfortable. Precisely what diners need in order to truly relax!

The seats are primed and cushioned, ready to be reclined into. The beautiful candle holders placed as centre pieces give this dining space an extra lair of style and flair; clearly a space tastefully designed and cared for. 

2. Comfortable cushioning

These swinging baskets are a more eclectic take on traditional outdoor seating. Light and bright basket material has been used to construct these two suspended seats, which come with a matching glass topped coffee table—the perfect resting place for your beverage of choice.

These hanging baskets offer cosy, cushioned seats for the lucky couple who manage to grab them first, giving comfortable and fun positions for the evening's conversation. Another great thing about this seating area is that it takes up less space, leaving more room for your flourishing flowers and foliage. Sit back, relax and swing along to the receding sounds of the day as you sway to evening song birds and sip a chilled glass of Chablis. You deserve it!

3. Fire pit

Not every garden can boast a fire pit of its own so why not make yours one of the few that can? Fire pits are a lovely feature of modern garden design; a focal piece of the garden where friends can huddle round, toasting marshmallows or simply watching the flames.

This particular fire pit works a little more differently in this garden as it's not surrounded by seating or paving, which is where they are more traditionally found. Instead, this fire pit mysteriously takes its timber away from the centre of the garden and instead entrenches it within the natural features of the garden; the plants, foliage and grass. But what makes this fire pit really memorable is how it seems to hover above the ground, appearing to be a floating fire—a design feature which really stands out as innovative and impressive. Having the timber stacked beneath the concrete top works beautifully in this more natural environment, allowing it to fit in with its surroundings beautifully. 

4. Lighting

A contemporary Surrey garden Forest Eyes Photography Modern garden
Forest Eyes Photography

A contemporary Surrey garden

Forest Eyes Photography

Lighting is a key feature of any garden, particularly as the sun is setting later and later each night. To make your garden a comfortable setting to hold your night time soirées, good lighting is absolutely essential—you don't want to go knocking over your neighbour's hot chocolate!

There are so many options for lighting your garden and this picture demonstrates miniature garden lamp posts, positioned at appropriate intervals throughout the pathways and plants of the garden. They keep the light low to the ground, allowing those walking through the garden to not be dazzled but still able to find their footing and appreciate your garden at its finest.

Of course there are many other options, from wall lighting to larger garden lamp posts, fairy lights to candle light. The choice is yours!

5. Pathway

This Indian sandstone paving winds its way along the side of a koi carp pond and straight into the Tai Chi arbour at the end of the garden. Having a path to break up the garden's mass is a wonderful design technique, particularly those who embrace Zen inspiration as this garden does. It allows you the safe space to meander through your garden and really enjoy it to its fullest without the fear of trampling blossoming flowers or ruining the lawn.

The Indian sandstone works particularly well here, blending with the overall vibe of the garden; blissful, calm and at one with nature. 

6. Blossoming garden

What's a garden without flowers and foliage? For most people looking to design a garden, plants will be an essential feature. Flowers, trees, bushes and herbs… an endless list of choices. Don't let the choice overwhelm you, however, as the right plant life can truly bring a garden to life!

Here we see a myriad of multiple colours, from fuchsia to burnt orange, and a beautiful green backdrop framing everything. A garden like this may take a lot of work to maintain but, as we can see, is completely worth the time and energy.

Now all your garden missing is a garden shed. Fear not! 5 beautiful bespoke garden sheds.

Did any of these ideas leave you feeling inspired? Let us know in the comments, below.

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