Does your house look like a showhome and your garden like a jungle? Or could it just use a little TLC and a quick tidy up for the summer? These days, outdoor living is an integral part of any summer lifestyle, so we take a look at how to ‘exterior design’ your garden.
This is a trend that works just as well outdoors as indoors. Any self-respecting Swedish-influenced interior will feature natural materials, minimalist rooms and plenty of open spaces, so it’s tailor made for your garden as well.
This is a very easy-care look, suitable for smaller gardens and reluctant gardeners! Use lots of natural wood, such as decking, fencing and divider walls. Invest in some minimalist garden furniture, made from wood, wire or metal.
Add large planters in different shapes and sizes, made from textured, interesting materials such as copper, wood and stone. Choose gravel over grass, and architectural, sculptural plants such as ferns over flowers.
Bright block colours
With the British weather not always on our side, the only guaranteed way to get a garden full of colour is to put it there yourself! Outside, you can really take the brakes off – after all, if you get tired of it you can always repaint!
Paint wooden garden furniture in several primary shades, not just one – for example, paint a bench with a green back, blue seat and red legs. Add bright, colourful outdoor cushions, and planters in primary shades.
Bedding plants are a cheap and easy way to add colour, or you can plant white flowers as a foil for the rest of the colour scheme. Put on your darkest sunglasses, and enjoy!
Plant a native garden
Just as we have with our food, we’ve become used to having a vast range of plants available to us for our gardens. This year, why not try planting a native garden, using only plants indigenous to the UK? You may discover plants you didn’t know, and also help to support local growers.
Planting native flowers also helps to provide a good environment for insects and other wildlife, while cutting down on transport miles. Your local nursery will be able to advise on what you should plant. You might also like to explore a ‘wild garden’ – leaving a strip of lawn or hidden corner of the garden to grow naturally. Plant some wildflower seeds, add a couple of hedgehog houses and watch the eco-system flourish.
In the night garden
A hot trend for 2017 is outdoor lighting, and there’s so much available now that your garden can look as pretty at nighttime as it does in the daytime!
Hang solar powered lights in tree branches – choose lights in the shape of dragonflies, flowers or lanterns if you want to see them in the daylight too. Real candles aren’t always a practical choice outside, so use battery-powered LED lanterns – they look like they contain candles, but are completely safe if you forget to turn them off!
Highlight favourite shrubs or garden features with LED lights on spikes in the ground. Plant night-scented shrubs such as jasmine, buddleia and honeysuckle for long summer nights in the garden.
Traditionally, Moroccan gardens are set in courtyards and have a wide, shady veranda offering sun protection. While most of us can’t plan a garden on quite that scale, it’s easy to introduce a touch of Eastern magic to any outdoor area.
Add low seating with brightly coloured cushions; evergreen, architectural plants in planters and lots of lanterns. Water is important in Moroccan gardens so adding some form of water feature will help to create the right atmosphere. Design your garden to be viewed from different points, not just from the house.