How to create a unique look in your garden


Designing a garden can sometimes seem more challenging than designing a home. How should you lay it out for maximum benefit, which plants or paving should you have, and then of course, there’s the long-term maintenance. To be honest, each to their own, I say. However, even those of you less green-fingered, can create a stunningly unique look in your garden.

First, look indoors

How your home is decorated, can say a lot about your personal taste. Whether you’re a romantic, if you use a little or a lot of colour; do you have lots of personal effects and items in your living room or are you more of a minimalist type? Make your outdoor space an extension of your interior, by also personally designing your garden so you feel completely at home there, too.

Make a Mood Board

Whenever you go out to buy new paint, wallpaper or flooring, you go to a store for some samples, right? Otherwise, you might browse through various magazines or flyers for some inspirational ideas, for your home or garden. Start gathering pictures of plants, paving, garden furniture, accessories and gardens in general that you like. You can do this either digitally on Pinterest or go back to the good old days of cutting and pasting the images you have collected on to a large piece of paper. That’s how to make a mood board. You’ll get some great ideas and will soon find that you really know what you don’t want. This will make your decision-making process a whole lot easier as you proceed with your garden makeover.

Your Wish List

Would you like to change the layout of your garden? Then first, get your wish list together. Decide  on what you want to use it for and what the most important aspects are for your particular needs. For example, you could have a terrace, lawn, kitchen or floral garden, a pond, space for your family, pets, and so on. Once your list is compiled, give it, along with your moodboard, to a landscaper to design your ideal garden, or you could try to design it for yourself.

Garden design

If you would like to design your own garden, start by drawing out your garden to scale. On the Internet, you can find countless sources for free software, with which you can design your garden digitally. Of course, you could always just put pen to paper, too – whatever suits you. In your design, mark out any boundaries for fencing, and then add in details like where you’d like the paving, garden furniture and plants to be placed. If you don’t have the time, or patience, for all of that, then it’s best to leave it to the experts.

Some landscapers make bespoke designs, whilst others offer you a choice from a standard range of designs. For example, would you like a child-friendly or city garden? Some landscapers will adjust one of their standard designs to fit your outdoor space, as this can often work out much cheaper than having them create a whole new design from scratch.

Choosing your paving

In order to choose the right kind of paving, pay a visit to your local garden centre or tile store. Naturally, it’s important that the paving has the right colour and structure that you like. However, it is also just as important that it is made of the right material for your needs. Some types of paving can quickly discolour, become very slippery when wet or aren’t exactly eco-friendly. To ensure you of years of pleasure, be sure to seek professional advice before making any permanent or expensive decisions.

Choosing your fencing

If you would like your garden to have a natural appeal, then plant some bushes, hedges or trees along your garden’s boundary lines. Wooden fencing requires less maintenance, takes up less space and can be used in partial areas, such as near water, a terrace or dining area, where space and cleanliness are often of more importance. There are so many kinds of separators to choose from, so grab your mood board for some inspiration, if you’re finding it difficult to decide.

Decorating with garden furniture

During the warm summer months, it’s natural to want to enjoy as much of your free time as possible, outdoors in the glorious sunshine. Make it even easier for yourself by getting some maintenance-free garden furniture. Nowadays, simple lounge sets are available from just two chairs, so you can actually sit very comfortably on any sized terrace. Relaxing whilst sunbathing can be done in either an adjustable chair or on a sunlounger. Whatever you choose, the materials and colours can play a big part in setting the tone in your garden.

Round wicker gives your garden a romantic atmosphere, whilst flat wicker creates a more modern look. Lounge sets, as well as traditional garden furniture sets are available in a wide range of colours and materials. For a warm, homely feeling, choose cappuccino tones. Graphite can be easily combined with other colours, which comes in handy if you enjoy experimenting. Then, combine your garden furniture with a selection of fun and cheerful home-made cushions. To find out how, read my previous blog.

The right kind of ‘green’ in your garden

In your garden design, you will have outlined where the plants are to be placed. If you’re not the green-fingered type, then choosing the right kind of plants can seem the most difficult part of all. Fortunately, you still have your mood board to refer to, so take a look at it to see if you have chosen mostly green or blooming plants. To spend a relaxed summer with children in your garden, it’s best to avoid toxic plants such as holly and rhododendron.

If you have large planters, you can use them for small perennials or annuals. For those with more space for plants, then a planting plan can be a great reference point. Include details such as which plants should be placed in which parts of the garden, paying attention to the height, preferred placement, the colour and the blooming season. If you choose evergreen plants that bloom after each other, then you’ll get immense pleasure from your garden the whole year round.

Be sure to save the labels that are attached to the plants or pots, so you can better keep track of which plants need to be pruned and when.

Garden accessoires, the finishing touch

Candles, cushions and perhaps a fire basket or a barbecue. These are the items that truly finish your garden off. What kinds of accessories did you include in your mood board? Of course, you don’t need to buy everything brand new. Try swapping with your friends, pimp your lanterns with paint or beads or visit a local jumble sale or charity shop. Combine old with new to achieve your unique look.

How did you create your unique look in your garden? Share your tips on our Facebook page.

– Lorna –

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