I’m sure we can all agree it’s been a long winter, in more ways than one, and as the sun gradually starts to make its appearance, we are all feeling that little bit of joy that we’ve been searching for lately.
Our gardens are our summertime havens and if yours isn’t quite up to scratch then now is the ideal time to give it the makeover it deserves. Whether you have sprawling acres of space or a compact courtyard there is no reason that you can’t give your outside space some personality and make it an inviting and stylish area in which to relax. Perhaps your garden just needs a little spruce up or you’re looking for a full-blown makeover, either way it’s best to start by considering your budget and working out if you’ll need builders, landscapers, designers and regular gardening to keep it looking fabulous afterwards.
More importantly and, no doubt, the most exciting part of all (apart from completion of course) comes when planning the design as this is when you can allow your creativity to shine through. If, however, you aren’t the most creative of people and you require a little inspiration for your project, we’ve gathered our four favourite garden styles for you to choose from.
An ever-popular design choice, and for good reason! A Japanese design garden exudes serenity and style with calming, pretty features and rounded edges. The four main components to consider when planning out your Japanese garden are water, plants, ornaments and rocks and, when arranging these elements, you should take into account the main design principles, which include symbolism, asymmetry, balance, enclosure and borrowed scenery. This style of garden can be especially effective in a smaller area and you can use water to break up the space. Consider a little stream or strip of pond with a bridge crossing it, some gravel to section off areas and, if you have the space, a cherry blossom tree – it will certainly add the wow factor.
Neat and modish, a contemporary garden space is easy on the eye and even easier to maintain. Once the redesign is done the idea here is to be able to head outside with very little prep work after the winter and simply enjoy your garden while the sun shines. Perfect for the busy or the less-green fingered of us, the contemporary design uses a mix of tidy edges, varying levels, patio or deck space and greenery dotted about. You need some greenery to avoid the space looking stark in winter so opt for evergreens, tidy up your greenery into sectioned areas and consider a small grass area. A great option here is to use artificial grass from companies like Easigrass, meaning even less maintenance for this minimalist design.
English Country retreat
If you fancy a more traditional setting and you love to get hands on with a pair of secateurs, then perhaps a classic English country garden is the retreat you are lusting after. Typically encompassing flowering bushes, bursting with colour and endless greenery, this garden is best for those who enjoy gardening as a pastime as they take some effort to maintain. Grow yourself some David Austin roses, design a little herb garden and add a fountain into the mix to create this floral retreat, which will be a feast for the senses. Hedges and pathways are a great way to section off areas or ‘rooms’ of the garden, typically consisting of lawn area and, if you have the space, why not go all out and grow a maze?
Combining classic renaissance design with a theatrical flair, Italian style gardens are something of a masterpiece. These well-formed gardens offer symmetry, elegance and exquisite design and you can recreate this look too. Well placed columns, statues and busts are a must (pop a statement statue at the end of a walkway) while fountains surrounded by low hedge mazes offer a fascinating focal point. Planters brimming with geraniums and a citrus tree or two will add some life while small, neat lawns and sprawling pathways complete the look. Add in a pergola with climbing plants to offer some shade and bring the indoors out with a tiled, semi-enclosed dining area to dine outside in pure Italian style.