All gardens are very, very different, but nonetheless there are a few basic pointers that can be applied to all of them. Whether your garden is small and prim or a huge rambling jungle, there are certain features that will help make it into the additional room it should be: a space that can be used just as effectively as any of the others in your home, and one that is just as thoughtfully designed too.
All too often, particularly in the case of more compact gardens, the lawn becomes everything and the entire outdoor space is sacrificed to a stretch of unbroken green. This may look very neat and it certainly shows off a dedication to maintenance, but as a design choice it denies one of the main reasons that gardens are so irresistibly appealing in the first place: they are our own little section of nature, however big or small. It is therefore a great shame not to capitalise on the opportunity to include some of nature’s most beautiful offerings in your layout. There’s just no getting around it – flowers are lovely, and being around them makes the majority of people feel significantly happier. Not to mention that choosing your flowers is one of the most fun parts of garden planning, and probably offers the greatest opportunity to let your own personality shine. As shown here, it’s possible to give over most of your garden to flowers even if it’s not that big to begin with, so long as you have at least one area where it’s possible to sit and enough pathways to move comfortably round the garden.
Whatever your home is like, there is always the possibility of introducing some greenery. Is your garden far too large for you to manage? Fine, then pick just one small, prominent section of it and work at making it into your dream garden. Do you only have a narrow strip of cement-covered ground outside your home instead of a garden? Well then you could consider investing in pot plants, potted trees and a garden bench to bring the space to life. Or perhaps you live in a flat that just has a little balcony. As this image shows, that doesn’t need to be a barrier to creating your own little wilderness. Even if you have no outdoor space at all, you can still set up some window boxes, which can completely change the look of your home from the outside. Plants purify the air, look gorgeous and it’s proven that being around them makes us feel happier – so remember, where there’s a will, there’s always a way.
Many people don’t spend much time considering garden lighting at all, seeing it as something purely functional to prevent them tripping over their own feet in the dark. But as this picture demonstrates, lighting is absolutely crucial in creating an atmosphere. It’s particularly important to think about if you plan on having lots of parties and after-dark gatherings in your garden.
That’s why it’s a good idea to have an outdoors fireplace, preventing you and your guests from being driven indoors on chillier evenings. It will also look very impressive, as we can see here.
So if all else fails, invest in a hammock and you’re pretty much good to go.