Outdoor 'rooms' give you atmosphere in an instant
FOLLOWING a cold and wet winter, the first snow drops are popping up, so it seems like gardens are already beginning to wake up. Now is a good time to start planning and coming up with ideas for your garden, so it is ready for summer. Although it's great to revamp the whole garden, a few touches here and there can give a garden a new feel.
Recently in a Bristol garden, we added a couple of new features that totally transformed a patio seating area. To form a backdrop and a boundary with the neighbour, we built a timber shelving unit (pictured left). The idea was to have a place where outdoor speakers could be placed when parties were held in the garden. The shelves were also a great place to put lights and candles, giving the garden a special ambience in the evenings. Above the seating area, we built a timber pergola. The structure instantly gave the garden some much-needed height and acted as a focal point. The pergola was softened with climbing plants and a chandelier hanging from it.
There are plenty of other ways to quickly change a garden. Planting an attractive tree can instantly provide a focal point that will last for years. Placing a tree in a front garden means that you will see it every day and it will improve the look of a street. Also, selecting an area of a garden and concentrating a lot of colourful new plants there can add a blast of vibrancy.
Having a large lawn and long borders can be uninteresting, so if you're up for a slightly more adventurous project, try dividing your garden into "rooms".
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Creating separate spaces gives a garden personality and, as you move through from one section to another, the atmosphere changes.
In another Bristol garden (picturedright), we divided the space into three rooms. The first space had stepping stones running through a lawn. To one side we planted a deep bed with lots of plants with hot colours. This bed led on to a rose-covered arch, with a low picket fence either side that spanned the width of the garden.
The arch and fence were planted with climbing plants, but there was space enough to draw the eye through to the next section. This included a heavily planted area on one side and a grass mound seat on the other.
The last section had a large pond with a bridge over it that led to a seating area.
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