I often get asked about garden design – particularly by people who have new build properties and have to design their garden from scratch. Lucky them! So when Puma Landscaping in Edinburgh got in touch with me to ask about a collaboration on my blog I was really keen to get their ideas around different ways to design a garden. In this article, James Allan from Puma Landscaping gives us his expert ideas on some fundamental garden design concepts. Enjoy!
“When decorating and furnishing our homes, nearly every one of us do so with some sort of plan and overall design theme. But what many people fail to do is link their indoor space to their outdoor one. Designing your garden to reflect the rest of your home creates a seamless move from the indoors to the outdoors that can help to ensure that you making the most of both. In this article we take a look at some common garden types and how they can perfectly reflect your home.
“Many people are attracted to properties that are designed in a minimalist fashion. With the hectic pace of daily life, many of us now crave a serene and comforting place where we can retreat to after a long and stressful day. Minimalist properties strip away the layers and banish excess clutter, making every space simple and straightforward. It results in more open space, greater natural light, less fuss and ultimately less stress.
“If you enjoy a minimalist style indoors, you’re not going to want a lavish outdoor area, rather something simpler, plainer and low maintenance. Lawns are pretty minimalist and low maintenance, but if you’d prefer not be regularly mowing through summer, then this should be replaced with gravel or artificial grass. A simple patio area is also a good idea, as is decking – perfect for creating a place to enjoy the sun or have a barbecue. In terms of plants and flowers, plant with hardy evergreens such as Buxus or Yew and durable perennials such as geraniums.
“If you live in a country cottage or other rustic-style home, then a simpler, linear and basic modern looking garden simply won’t ‘fit’ with the look. Therefore, a more traditional looking garden is required – and thankfully this is not too difficult to achieve.
“One of the best ways to do it is to add rustic architectural elements to your outside space. Think about creating paths with old cobble stones or bricks, and use reclaimed wood for projects such as benches or signs. Plants such as purple hyacinths (or any other that suit your chosen colour palette) can look great in rustic containers such as galvanized tubs, livestock feeders or old watering cans.
“If you love to grow your own fruit and veg, then adding a kitchen garden area to your cottage garden is a great idea. It may not be as pretty as the rest of your garden (although architectural plants such as globe artichokes look fabulous) but it will be so rewarding when you can simply walk from your kitchen and pull up some flavoursome carrots and cook them with pride. They’re always tastier than anything you can buy! To start your kitchen garden area, think about using raised beds to control drainage, decrease weeds and keep pests away.
“If you’re someone who loves to surround themselves with flowers at home, then it makes sense to turn your garden into a flower garden, the inside of your home segueing perfectly into the outdoor. The great thing about flower gardens is that there are no real rules, simply mix, blend and contrast a colour palette of flowers that complement each other. Flower gardens are both fun and pleasurable to look at as well as providing you with cut flowers all through the year. They’re also a hive of activity, attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to your garden.
“If you live in a modern, contemporary property, then a rustic, chintzy garden really isn’t going to be in keeping with it. With contemporary homes, less is more, but not quite to the extent of a minimalist garden. Contemporary gardens are best kept clutter-free, with lots of straight lines, neat borders and geometric shapes.
For a centrepiece, patios work well, as does decking and so too does a water feature, although this should be subtle rather than spectacular. Contemporary gardens should fit seamlessly with their indoor counterpart, so unlike rustic or cottage gardens which may showcase a plethora of plants and flowers, you should aim for simple green foliage and structured topiary. Bamboo, euphorbia and grasses also work well, giving the garden a nice, airy feel.”