Contributed by Hannah Thomas
No matter the season, gardens are always in. They are the reflection of their homeowners and their idea of what this outdoor space means for them. Even if you or your guests are unaware of this, it’s somehow always in the back of their mind. The garden shows how we perceive our day to day life, maybe even more than our interior. So we offer some great little advice that can help tie in your garden’s look and make it feel like the safe haven it should be.
Define your space
Have you decided on what you’ll be using your garden for? Will it be a quiet oasis for meditation, a place for friends and family to gather, or a barbecue party area? Once you have a clear image of what kind of space you wish to create, it becomes much easier to visualize the kind of furniture, colors, and décor you’re after. A defined space will dictate the key centerpieces of the garden, the ones that will attract the most attention – whether it be a lounging swing, a barbecue, or a pond.
The fencing off of your garden doesn’t have to end with the outer edges. The idea of having a safe haven in your backyard is that it isolates you from the rest of your house, while still being a part of your home. Move all the furniture as far away from the entrance as possible, to get that idea of rural living. You can also add semi-transparent or bamboo screens to shield the view and contribute to the sense of privacy.
Level it up
One of the neatest little tricks in the book is decorating your garden in levels. This is achieved by placing some of the decorations on the ground level, some on low tables or steps, and keeping others hanging high from branches or your patio. This will keep the garden visually appealing and guide the observer’s eyes along the entire décor, without it being “in their face”.
Match with the home’s exterior
No matter the purpose of your garden, it needs to reflect your home. It doesn’t have to match the house’s interior in full, but you should consider keeping the common pieces throughout. As MUSA landscape designers advise, inspect your home and find what about it makes the interior design stand out. If you can’t replicate it in your garden, find the most suitable way to translate it into outdoor décor.
Beauty in textures
Texturing is actually a very good, subtle way to tie in the entire garden’s theme and purpose. Think about matching opposites for the full effect. For example, metal seating with soft cushions, or a concrete slab walkway with smaller plants running along it. The texture is hidden in plenty of things: woven chairs, hardwood, silk throws and even down to the terracotta of your flower pots. Get playful and don’t be afraid of mixing things up for the best effect.
Always go organic
Whatever you do, try your best to go organic. The backyard (or front yard) is a part of your home, but primarily, a part of nature. There is nothing attractive in an all-concrete ground that will not only heat up immensely during the summer, but also make the whole space feel sterile and cold. Use wood, concrete or stone slabs, bamboo, and terracotta, but all in moderation, and appropriate with the overall theme. Nothing is more relaxing that natural, organic materials.
Sometimes, to achieve the best effect with your outdoor space you need to work on details that might not be obvious at first. Hanging decorative lanterns and color coding is one thing, but there is a lot more under the surface. When you discover the purpose of your garden, the key decorations should dictate the others. Similarly, play with textures in the materials of your elements, and use leveling to your advantage. These are all subtle ways in which you can create the perfect garden without having to rely on overly visual details.