Guest article by Jelena Djurdjevic. Image graciously provided by Homebuyers Centre.
Though often overlooked as an art form, the best landscape design combines aesthetics, culture and functionality to create a pleasing outdoor space. As with all design work, it has changed with the times and adopted new styles and ideas.
A few relatively small changes to a garden area can completely change the look and feel of a house. The lighting, the plants, the complimentary or contrasting elements to the building – these can all build upon each other to create something really special. It can be done with less time and less money than you might perhaps expect, as well.
Ornaments for everyone’s taste
Garden items are usually what first attracts the eye to a landscape garden. These include things like water features, statues, bird baths, and other ornaments. Often one of these is used as a focal point – a fountain in the middle of a garden, aligned with a house, is not uncommon.
Water features are – probably because of their calming nature – so very popular that water feature design is a subject in itself. Some people choose to make their own clever piece for their garden, others splash out on intricate and spectacular designs.
Often these features can provide a home for fish as well, although naturally looking after the fish properly will take extra time and effort. But many people find a fish pond in their garden is the most relaxing spot around.
Water features aren’t the only popular focal point, however. Sundials, benches, and trees are all things that could also hold pride of place in a garden. This is the sort of thing that may be shaped purely by the personality and desires of the person whose garden it is. A statue of something significant to them, a table where the whole family can dine outdoors, even in some cases a climbing frame or swing for children – these are all perfectly valid focal points which can easily be made to fit in with the rest of the garden.
Modern garden Furniture
Garden furniture – the thing from which many people will view the garden from! – comes in many shapes, styles and sizes. Something that can be easily folded away in case of rain is usually a good idea, unless it’s kept under a little shelter of its own. Garden furniture can be created from wood, wicker, even concrete – it should never be a problem finding something that will fit in.
Hammocks, tree swings and cozy chairs are also popular garden items, and it didn’t take long for someone to create a clever combination of all three of them, either – the hanging chair, which either hangs from a tree or sits comfortably anywhere in a garden. They make a great talking point.
Most people will want flowers in their garden, and often brightly colored ones, as they add interest and color to a place. If a garden has a particular color scheme, flowers can be chosen that fit into it. Where to plant the flowers is sometimes a whole other question – there are many creative container ideas that could be tried. Wheelbarrows, old buckets or even children’s toys can all be made to work as flower holders – recycling is often a surprisingly essential part of creating a good garden.
Perhaps the most popular and most discussed aspect of a modern garden is the lighting features. LED lights can be used to create a pathway that winds through the garden at night, or bright lights can highlight an already existing feature of the garden. The energy spent on outdoor lighting is often a point of contention, but low-energy and solar-powered options are now available. Lighting features combined with water features are very popular, as are color-changing lights that can instantly make a night-time garden look warm and inviting.
Essentially the point of a garden is to be an outdoor retreat, and the overall style of this retreat is really up to the individual. A herb garden, a garden to sit and talk in, a children’s garden with bright colors and outdoor games – all can be done and made to look beautiful. Gardens made to look like the traditional gardens of a completely different place are also popular – Chinese gardens, for example, are based on hundreds of years of symbolism and artistry.
Regardless of what items, features and decorations eventually find a home there, a garden should never be just grass.