Choosing Garden Styles – Contemporary vs. Classic
Getting the most out of your space can seem a challenging task, especially for smaller gardens. A garden can be designed to appear and feel just like an extension of your indoors; a refreshing green escape for entertaining, relaxing, and enjoying. They also offer an excellent opportunity to break several gardening rules, become creative, and use a couple of clever tricks to turn your modest outdoor space into a paradise of bliss.
- Why Choose Contemporary Garden Style
Today we are seeing a growing trend toward the simple, contemporary garden. This is particularly appealing if your space is smaller or if you prefer an easy-care sort of garden. They can be the ideal option if you love simplicity in your garden.
1. Symmetry and Geometry For a well-executed contemporary garden, symmetry must be spot on. Clean, crisp lines form an integral part of any contemporary garden design—whether your garden is large or small. Equally important for this garden style are the use of geometric layout and the absence of excessive clutter.
2. Formal Water Features Water is an excellent feature for the majority of garden styles. In contemporary style, water is best when contained in a structure that has symmetrical edge design. It can be according to the size of the garden and of different shapes to suit your garden shape.
3. Focuses on Repetition in contemporary garden is something you can use to draw instant interest. It’s an excellent visual trick that gives the impression of a much elongated garden, making your space feel and look larger.
- Why Choose Classic Garden Style?
Essentially, classic gardens are formal. Formal gardens can be both timeless and chic. They are largely defined by crisp lines, clean geometry, and symmetry. The style is often neatly manicured, accented by topiaries, walkways and distinct edges. The focal point is often a fountain.
1. Balanced Design Symmetry Formal or classic gardens have a clear floor plan and balanced design symmetry. Their landscaping will generally have a geometric structure that is built around a central feature such as a pond. The crisp forms and bold symmetry of the classic garden can become powerful tools in the hands of any garden designer.
2. Bilateral Symmetry Classical garden styles make use of bilateral symmetry. This is where forms and shapes of equal size are positioned opposite one another along an axis or at a point. The outcome gives a sense of order as well as a feeling of balance. Classic symmetrical gardens have a calming effect as they don’t jar a visitor’s eye.
3. Promotes Garden Cohesion Classic garden styles give more focus to neatness, right angles, circles and straight lines. Balanced proportions are central to a well-designed classical landscape design. Repeating forms across the entire space can help in bringing design cohesion.
Everything about classic gardens is balance and symmetry. A classic or formal garden never goes out of style and uses natural materials. A contemporary garden uses artificial hardscape of concrete, and stone, with the inclusion of bold architectural plants. In a contemporary garden, containers, sculpture and water features are important with fewer plants adding to the scene drama.
Gardening has the potential to be a fun and rewarding experience. On the other hand, there are also times when you can become downright frustrated at an overall lack of progress. It is very true that a “green thumb” is normally required to enjoy a great deal of success. However, it can also be argued that the commitment aimed towards this pastime is equivalent to the happiness that you will ultimately enjoy. The trick is to find a balance between knowledge and for lack a better word, love. Let’s take a look at how this can be accomplished.
Step by step
Never believe that you will become an expert overnight. Whether referring to a patio installation, planting fruit trees or adding shrubbery to the perimeter, the fact of the matter is that there is normally a steep learning curve if you expect to make progress. Take baby steps and be patient. One way to accomplish this is to only attempt projects that you can handle. Many make the mistake of trying to transform their garden in one fell swoop. Break your tasks down and think through any project in your head before you pick up a rake or shovel.
Your Garden, Your Personality
In order for you to love your garden, you should always strive to make it reflect your unique tastes. This is important for two reasons. First, you will be able to approach any task with enthusiasm and verve. Such attitudes will provide you with the motivation necessary to complete even the most challenging of tasks. The other point to be made here is how you emotionally feel when in your garden. This area should boast less of a pragmatic design. Instead, it is associated with a place of refuge and relaxation. In this sense, think a bit outside of the box if you feel that conventionality does not fit. When you begin to personally identify with your garden, you will quickly learn that anything is possible.
Learn Your Speciality
There can be many different areas that you wish to eventually address. Some common concerns include: Masonry, Landscaping, Growing fruits and vegetables, Privacy, Ambient lighting…
Never believe that you will be able to master each discrete subject. Instead, focus upon a specific task that you feel the most comfortable with. Part of loving your garden is realising that there is nothing wrong with enlisting the help of a trained professional when required.
Get Family and Friends Involved
A final way to become immersed within your garden is to enlist the aid of family and friends. Not only can this provide some much-needed help on occasion, but you might even find that others have some unique ideas that are perfectly applicable with your desires. Always remember that a garden is meant to be a social gathering place. Asking others to become involved will imbue any project with a sense of collaboration. Without love, your garden will simply be another small plot of land. Much like your home, this area should be viewed as an extension of yourself and those around you. If you keep these suggestions in mind during your next project, a sensation of love and oneness will not be far off!
Whatever you want from your garden, it should be a place to enjoy that brings you pleasure throughout the year. Before embarking on your garden project, look in books and garden centres for inspiration, or even take a non-intrusive look at gardens around you! Here are some ideas to get you started.
What do you want from your garden?
Will it be a safe haven for relaxing in or a working garden providing you with a source of food? It’s worth finding out what type of soil you have, especially if you are thinking of planting vegetables as you may need to give it a boost with certain composts or fertilisers to get the best out of it. There is something very satisfying about eating your own home-grown fruit and veg and you don’t need a lot of space to do this successfully. Tomatoes can be strung along fences, potatoes can be grown in big tubs, and even the smallest garden can host a tasty range of hardy herbs which will thrive year after year.
Notice where the garden gets most sun to ensure shade-loving plants are not dehydrated and those that thrive in full sun are planted accordingly.
Plan your view
A good strategy is to look out of each window in your home that overlooks the garden and decide what you would like to see from there. From lower levels, you can get a good idea of how tall plants may obscure others further back or whether large shrubs or trees would block out light from ground-floor rooms. From upper storeys you can plan the layout, decide on pathways and which parts of the garden you may wish to accentuate with colour or furniture.
Low or high maintenance?
All gardens require a certain amount of work and commitment and if you have the time (and enthusiasm), that’s fantastic! A high maintenance garden is not practical or preferable for everyone though, and there are many ways you can create a beautiful garden design without needing to put in constant hours of labour. Herbaceous borders can be packed with plants which will take care of themselves and only require annual pruning to look tidy. Ground covering shrubs will keep weeds to a minimum and incorporating perennials and bulbs means you won’t need to plant out new borders each year. Clever use of pathways lined with attractive stone edging will create interest especially when bordered by ornamental grasses, and decorative paved areas can be used for displaying patio pots of flowers or garden sculptures to create a conversation piece.
Always try to plant some bee-friendly flowers in your garden. These vital creatures are in decline in many parts of the country so it’s important we encourage them into our gardens. Flowers with flat, open heads such as Echinacea are ideal as well as bell-shaped flowers like foxgloves or penstemons. A water feature will attract insects which in turn will entice an exciting range of wildlife and you don’t need to install a lake or a fountain for this! A tub-pond, stone basin or even a birdbath will encourage beneficial insects and birds to your garden which will not only be excellent for your plants, but also bring you many hours of pleasure.
If you are looking to find inspiration for interesting and innovative do it yourself garden ideas, then we can help. Below are some ideas to get those creative gardening juices flowing.
Create a mood board
The first thing that you can do is to create a mood board. Cut out clippings from magazines of the type of flowers that you like and add colours and textures that you wish to incorporate into your garden design. Then when you begin to plan your garden, you will have a point of reference.
The small garden
Many believe that the small garden is restrictive in terms of design and creativity, but this is not true. Make the small garden, or yard space, an extension of your home. Create an outdoor seating area or dining space. Line the birders with potted plants and create different levels to create a feeling of additional space.
The wildlife garden
If you love to sit in a garden and observe the wildlife then why not create a wildlife friendly space? Create features of bird feeders, add log piles, boxes for hedgehogs to nest in and even a bee house. Do a bit of research and find out what plants attract the native wildlife and source plants from your local nursery. Be inventive and have fun.
The Mediterranean themed garden
To bring the Mediterranean into your home, plant luscious green plants and vines around lattice structures. Lavender will look fantastic and create a beautiful scent in the garden. You could also incorporate olive plants and grow rosemary in tubs around a patio area.
Cool and contemporary
If you want to create a space that is neat and crisp then the contemporary garden is for you. Space is of the essence in the contemporary garden as are distinctive seating and eating areas. Create a decked dining area and then a separate seating area at the other end of the garden for pure tranquility. The choice of materials is also very important, with chrome, stainless steel or plain wood being the natural choice for planters and garden furniture.
Beautiful cottage gardens
No ‘do it yourself garden design idea’ would be complete without the cottage garden. This garden is packed full of wild flowers, herbs and patches where you can grow your own fruit and veg. This type of garden is very much a working garden that is fun for the entire family. Incorporate narrow paths, packed borders of colourful flowers and wooden chunky garden furniture to complete the look. It also doesn’t matter how big or small your garden is in order to create a cottage garden.
No matter what type of garden you choose to design, make sure that you incorporate all of the flowers and plants that you love and that the garden works for you.
There are many exciting garden design ideas which can transform your garden into your own private paradise. Even if you only implement one idea each year or two, ultimately it can end up being what you have always dreamed of.
A New Pathway
A new pathway design can make your garden look terrific. Try to find paving stones that are an inspiring colour, and make sure that when you lay the slabs, they are broad enough to make walking on them comfortable. If you are building a main path, aim for a width of at least 6 feet, that way two people can walk along side by side. In the case of smaller pathways and walking in single file, aim for a minimum width of 3 feet. If you are laying the pathway next to high structures or plantings, it can make the path space seem quite restrictive, so try to make it as wide as possible.
Space for Entertaining
Designing a new patio or deck is ideal if you would like an outdoor area for relaxing and entertaining. If you wish to use the space for inviting family and friends, consider how much room you will need. A good rule of thumb is to allow a minimum space of 4 square feet for each individual. There is some fantastic innovative outdoor furniture on the market at the moment, so see what you would like, and in order to give enough space for everyone to move about freely, aim to leave a perimeter of 3 feet of clear space around all sets of furniture.
Just like in idealistic Christmas cards, you too can have your own lovely archways with entwined roses, ivy, pergolas, arbors, or other suitable flowers and greenery. You will be surprised at how quickly it grows around the arch, and becomes so delightful. Be sure to leave sufficient headroom below the archways for tall friends, and to accommodate the growing plants which can hang down two feet or so. So a minimum of 8 feet is advised for the archway from top to bottom. Be sure to place your arch posts at least five inches on the outside of the pathway which goes through them so that you have sufficient width.
Adding some beautiful green lawn turfs can make the world of difference to your garden. A grass area is great for relaxing, and nice for children to play on. When you have decided on the part of the garden that you would like to turf, create a stunning counterbalance by making boarders on either one or both sides of the grass. Here you can add bountiful beds of colourful flowers with small to medium sized stones or large shells running along both sides of the bed. Ornamentation There is nothing more regal than outstanding ornamentation, something that is very commonplace in all the historic aristocratic mansion gardens around the country. When you design the layout of your ornamentation, look at where you will be putting the objects from all angles of the garden. A small fountain or lily pound would look good in the centre for example, as would a statue.