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Michael Cooke's home and surrounding garden

Michael Cooke's home and surrounding garden

TIME TO READ: 4m 30s

If you’ve ever dreamt of having the ideal garden design, you’ll know that it’s easier said than done.

Garden Design – 7 ideas for the ideal outdoor space

You want to turn your back yard into a garden oasis, a place you can retreat to and relax outdoors – a space that’s easy on the eye. But are there so many hurdles to jump, right?

Not necessarily. If you break down the process, it’s not such a frightening prospect.

With the right mind-set and advice, your idyllic outdoor space can be achieved.

We’ve been talking about the blurring of indoors and out for years but most of us want to create a whole new kind of living space for ourselves that reflects the way we live outside.

So, whether you’re considering a make-over or starting your design from scratch, we’ve put together some easy hints and tips to help achieve that dream garden décor.

Garden with Twill Etch concrete paving used as borders and stepping stone pathway
A more traditional style garden with clean lines fits the classic aesthetic of this home

Marry Your Garden To Your Home

When considering any new landscape design, you should think about the important relationship between your garden and your house.

Think of your garden and your home as like an orchestra and a conductor. Taken on their own, they’re both fine and have their merits. But when they’re working well together in harmony, the results can be spectacular.

The same is true of your outdoor space and your property. Neither should be looked at in isolation, but instead they should bring out the best of one another.

stone garden steppers
Stone steppers used as a path make any garden design feel natural and organic

Let your garden path take you on a journey

Paving can give your garden a style identity, as well as leading you through your outdoor space, highlighting different aspects of your garden design.

Always remember to use paving that ties in with your planting and compliments its colours. For example; grey and white stone look beautiful when paired with purple and white blooms, while golden hues work with floras that have soft tones such as pink, lavender, and chalky yellow.

Stone steppers used as a path make any garden design feel natural and organic and are ideal for walkways across a lawn or grass space.

Bed Down With An Array Of Colour

Flower beds are a fantastic way of adding alluring colours and texture to your garden.

Mix complementary types of blooms to ensure the colours and patterns are in harmony.

Any garden design worth its socks should have a carefully-considered colour palette and, as English writer James Henry Lee Hunt once said:

Colours are the smiles of nature

Using straight-edge beds and planting in a tidy pattern will give your garden a more formal feel but, if you’re like us, and prefer a more natural look, then using curves and irregular planting will give a sense of nature.

And remember to use planting that compliments your paving stone texture and colour.

Place emphasis on making the garden an interesting place to be in.

stone retaining wall
A landscape design by Harrison Landscaping with Howqua Free Form stone retaining walls

Stone Can Rock Your World

Using natural stone as kerbing around your flower beds can also make your garden design feel grounded in its natural surrounds while keeping everything looking in place.

The addition of stone pebbles or rocks as mulch gives a sophisticated look that is easy to maintain. Feature walls are another garden design element that can inject a wow factor.

 

Alpine dry stone walling pool water feature
Alpine dry stone walling pool water feature

Add A Splash of Fun

Incorporating a well-considered water feature can instantly transform your garden design into an oasis. Small wildlife ponds can be an affordable way to add water and highlight the design aesthetic of an intimate space.

A wall water blade feature flowing into a pool can give your garden design a resort feel and add a sense of prestige and drama to your outdoor space.

Light It Up

A garden design that lacks lighting is like a sky without stars – and is missing out on lots of potential ambiance in the evening.

Even from the inside, looking out onto a garden that is well lit can be visually stunning and avoids having an under-utilised space.

A fire pit can be the perfect way to enhance the atmosphere of your outside. Not only do fire pits bring warmth, they can be seamlessly incorporated into your garden design, adding another layer of texture and interest within your outdoor space.

Illuminate pathways with flickering candles in enclosed lanterns can add a charming feel. Use lanterns that can be spiked straight into the lawn or garden beds, then add soy candles or battery-powered alternatives for safety.

Ever The Entertainer

Everyone loves to host and entertain family and friends, especially when those people come together in a beautiful outdoor space.

When thinking about an outdoor entertaining area, it’s important to consider what your settings will be used for, how often and by who.

If you’d like to create a striking outdoor terrace, then low-maintenance flooring is your friend. Dark-coloured pavers make the ideal base for an outdoor entertaining space. When choosing your pavers, consider a colour and finish that suits both the style of your home and the requirements of the space.

Another great addition to an outdoor entertaining space is an outdoor kitchen. This will save you running in and out of the house when you’re serving guests.

The next item to consider is outdoor furniture. To begin with, outdoor furniture design should also consider comfort, functionality and craftsmanship.

Fit your outdoor furniture to the size and space of your outdoor area. If your garden has a modern, contemporary look, then modular furniture shapes will work best. Round tables and chair settings are more suited to classic and traditional landscaped designs.

You also need to consider outdoor furniture that not only looks great and fits in with the overall aesthetic of your outside space but pieces and settings made from materials that will withstand the harsh outdoor environment all day, every day.

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