Inspiring ideas / RHS Gardening
The elements within your chosen garden style are helpful for reinforcing its overall look. Here are some ideas to get you thinking
Containers are excellent for adding a dash of seasonal colour to areas close to your home. It’s easy to ring the changes, keeping the garden looking fresh whatever the time of year. Use them for shrubs, bulbs or annuals or topiary. Many pots are also perfect for fruit and veg – a great low-maintenance alternative for grow-your-own beginners.
More on containers
With the addition of furniture, your garden can become an outdoor room, which, weather permitting, provides more welcome space. Choosing the right style is important – furniture can enhance the garden style you’ve chosen and blend with the surrounding scene, or become a focal point. There’s a bewildering choice available to suit most pockets.
Maintaining garden furniture
They’re not just for marking out your property’s boundary. Use hedging as a backdrop for other plants or water features, as a focal point in its own right – think clipped box topiary in either quirky or classic shapes – or to divide areas of your garden and so create interest. Another bonus is their use as a wildlife habitat and nesting site for birds.
Mixed borders are a chance to show off your flair in the garden and can look spectacular, especially through summer. They could be jam-packed with herbaceous perennials, colour co-ordinated in contrasting or complementary colours, or more restrained areas of a calming mix of greens. Experiment with different plant combinations and enjoy the results.
Paths and patios
All gardens need pathways to link different areas, but their purpose is not only practical. A path made of beautiful stone or other paving can be an essential part of the overall look, or a gorgeous feature in its own right. Shape is important too – clean, straight lines or meandering curves, the choice helps you create the mood.
Maintaining hard surfaces
Trees are the backbone of the garden, adding height and a permanent framework within which to create your outdoor space. Evergreen or deciduous, a mighty oak or a flowering cherry, there is one for every garden, however small or large. When well cared for, trees can also be grown in containers. Even if your garden is a tiny courtyard, a tree can enhance it.
Selecting trees for small gardens
Walls and boundaries
Stone, brick, glass, iron, concrete… your choice of materials for walls is almost endless, depending on preference and budget. Like hedging, walls need not only be used as property boundaries. Use them to delineate areas and as a stylish backdrop to plants. You can even grow plants ‘within’ the wall – vertical green walls are increasingly popular among designers.
Creating a green wall
Be it a cascading waterfall, a bubbling fountain or a glassy, still pond, the addition of a water feature to your garden adds an appealing focal point, creating lovely reflections and sounds. Water is also the single most important addition to a garden if you want to attract more wildlife. If space is limited, consider a bubbling millstone or trough filled with water and aquatic plants.
The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Inspiration from our Neighbors: 7 Great Garden Ideas from the Edmonds Garden Tour — Seattle’s Favorite Garden Store Since 1924
I had the pleasure of attending the Edmonds Garden Tour this month and I came away filled with inspiration and excited to try out some new ideas in my garden. It may seem like “tour-worthy” gardens are unattainable, but the garden tour taught me that incorporating the fundamentals of good design and adding a dash of personality can really bring your garden to a new level.
Here are seven of my favorite ideas that you can adapt to your own gardens. Enjoy!
Low maintenance does not mean sparse or boring
Not everyone wants to spend their every free moment weeding and watering their garden. If less labor and more enjoyment is your goal, rest assured that a low-maintenance garden with low-water-use plants can feel lush and look stunning. Thoughtful garden design can help conserve water and diminish runoff as well.
The Basile-Witt Garden is the perfect example. After years of nurturing lawns and flower gardens, they wanted a low-maintenance landscape and a mid-century modern look. They chose drought-tolerant plants such as Cistus (Rockrose), Yucca, Sedum, and ornamental grasses, as well as dark-leaf Japanese Maple and bright Barberry to add color to the garden.
Subtle garden art adds interest while not overwhelming the landscape. The long, sinuous lines of the birds are echoed in the shape of the Miscanthus gracefully arching overhead.
A cement patio surrounded by gravel and a selection of containers makes for a relaxing spot to enjoy the garden. Choosing drought-tolerant plants and keeping containers to a minimum can help cut down on watering. In fact, the Basile-Witt Garden only needs deep watering about once a month now that the plants are well established.
At the Dawson Garden, a dry riverbed curves through the garden, facilitating drainage and creating a visual path. The riverbed is planted with Daylilies, Hakonechloa (Japanese Forest Grass), Mukdenia, hardy Fuchsia, and a small Ginkgo (center).
Small details make a big impact
No matter the size of your garden, it’s the little details that sometimes make the biggest impact: the perfect pot, a pop of color, a creative flourish… Each garden on the tour offered up delightful details that made me stop and take notice.
Decorative glass adds impact to a wooden screen in the Dawson Garden. The Dawsons added lots of fun details to the garden beds, including this vintage pole with twine for beans to climb.
At the Harter Garden, neutral cement pots were elevated to extraordinary by their unique shapes and brightly colored succulents.
The Porters found an original way to hide an unsightly meter, transforming a palette into a piece of succulent wall art.
Whimsical details abounded at the Porter and Laue Gardens, including this Caladium-filled planter nestled amongst ferns in the shade and an adorable hanging planter with mini ferns and sedum.
Mixed groundcovers transform this stairway into a focal point in the Porter Garden. Choose groundcovers that bloom at different times for extended interest or try a mix of colors or leaf shapes.
The Dawsons said they are always on the hunt for unique garden décor. Flea markets and thrift stores are excellent sources, and even items that aren’t officially for the garden can be used in new ways – let your creativity run wild.
The unique details of individual plants are always a source of joy. The striking colors of this ‘Princess Diana’ Clematis and this variegated Sweet Pea stopped me in my tracks. I’ve since planted two Princess Dianas in my own backyard!
Don’t be afraid of color
Whether the garden was formal, eclectic, or naturalistic, I spotted a trend of using bright colors in innovative ways. Some gardens embraced a mix of colors with open arms, while others were more selective, adding just a pop of color to accentuate a focal point or bring out contrasting tones. Red was especially popular throughout the gardens.
The Laue (rhymes with Maui) Garden sits on the site of an old Edmonds farm. The Laues restored the machine shed, making it into a workshop painted a dramatic red brick that brings out the fresh, spring-green tones of ferns and a Japanese Maple. Along the front of the workshop, the bright yellow flowers of a Black-Eyed Susan Vine contrast brilliantly.
Several gardens opted for bright borders in a mix of colors. The Porters framed one side of their front yard with a romantic border of poppies, foxgloves, daylilies, roses, and dahlias in shades of pink, red, peach, and yellow.
At the Dawson Garden, bright color was a dominant theme, with red, orange, and purple tones attracting attention from visitors and hummingbirds alike. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ played well with the lavender flowers of a compact variety of Verbena bonariensis and bright green leaves of Amsonia, while a bed of Echinacea, Kniphofia, and ornamental Sage form a riotous rainbow.
A trick for adding pops of bright color without overwhelming the garden: add colorful annuals to containers. Choosing neutral tones for the containers allows the plants to take the focus like in the photos above.
Subtle color palettes are always in style
Color minimalists and the monochromatically inclined, take heart: subtlety is never out of style! While bright colors were a trend, the use of nuanced shades of green and restrained color palettes delivered soothing landscapes with just as much design power as their colorful counterparts.
The Thompsons excelled at layering shades of green to create lush, naturalistic designs for shade. The bright, lime-green foliage of Aralia ‘Sun King’ was planted with similarly toned Hakonechloa and the cooler green tones of ferns and hostas.
The white and green leaves of a Cornus controversa ‘Variegata,’ also known as the Wedding Cake Tree, positively glow in the sunlight and contrast with the surrounding dark green maples and shade perennials.
With less variation in color, the textures of plants really come into play. The cascading sword-like leaves of Miscanthus are a dramatic contrast to the deeply cut leaves of this Japanese Maple.
The Laue Garden
Not only do the leaves of hardy Fuchsia, Heucherella, and Hakonechloa at the Laue Garden complement each other, but the delicate, starlike flowers of the Heucherella and the pendulous pale pink blossoms of the Fuchsia produce an ethereal look.
If you enjoy color but want a sophisticated look, try limiting your color palette. A planting of Phormium (New Zealand Flax), Gaura, Mukdenia, Cotinus (Smoke Bush), gold-leafed Spirea ‘Ogon,’ and burgundy Eupatorium at the Dawson Garden offers up a variety of leaf forms and the perfect mix of gold, pink, and bronze tones.
Several of the most striking plant combinations on the tour involved four colors or less. Two beautiful examples of a restrained color palette are the green, purple, and white color scheme of a bed planted with Ferns, Violas, and various groundcovers at the Luque Garden, and the interplay of warm pinks and purples with bright, golden greens at the Kimbrough Garden, where Hydrangea and Astilbe frame a Sumac tree.
Embrace the elements
The four elements of matter – earth, water, air, and fire – can be highlighted in creative ways throughout a garden. Whether they are represented literally or metaphorically, they complete the landscape and delight the senses.
The soothing sounds of water were featured in many of the gardens. The Laue’s dug a small pond and creek where they can enjoy the reflections of maples on the water’s surface.
A more formal option is a fountain, either as a centerpiece or tucked into a planting bed. At the Kimbrough Garden, a formal stone fountain was modernized with a whimsical selection of low-maintenance succulents instead of water.
Using stones to construct a dry riverbed is another way to represent water with the added bonus of helping to reduce rainwater runoff. The Harter Garden used large stones to outline the structure of a Japanese garden, with a dry riverbed crossed by a decorative bridge.
The Thompsons built their garden around a natural water source, restoring a series of cement ponds constructed in the 1930’s to harness a creek running through the property. Planted with ferns, hostas, and other shade-lovers, the natural, woodland design is breathtaking and offers ever-changing reflections on the surfaces of the ponds.
The element of air was emphasized in a moon garden with a beautiful arch and bells that sway in the breeze, while the sound of the wind through a grove of Himalayan Birch in the Thompson’s front yard offers a peaceful welcome to visitors. Both the Laues and the Dawsons used owls to represent the air element (and possibly scare off marauding birds and mice as well).
Earth & Fire
A stone patio is the perfect spot to relax around the fire pit on a chilly PNW evening. The angular lines of the Adirondack chairs are echoed by square trellises and softened by the rounded shapes of the patio and fire pit.
At the Basile-Witt Garden, the clean lines of floating pavers and a large decorative rock accentuate the deep brown of perfectly mulched and weeded garden earth.
Landscapes, especially larger ones, benefit from the creation of “garden rooms” to break up the space. Peek-a-boo views are also a fantastic way to spotlight treasured plants or areas.
Both the Kimbrough and Laue Gardens use a framing technique to produce a “window” onto a special plant or area in the garden.
At the Porter Garden, “rooms” were created with whimsical seating areas and fencing. A vibrant sweet pea wall separates a seating area and a dog run. In another spot, planter boxes with a built-in bench offer a peek-a-boo view of the vegetable garden.
A mature climbing Hydrangea frames a small patio seating area and provides welcome shade in the summer.
Follow the path
A well-defined garden path leads the eye as well as the body. Both straight lines with clean angles and sinuous curves can be effective, depending on the style of the garden. Many of the gardens on the tour used elaborate hardscaping to create a specific look.
Curves and straight lines harmonize in both the Dawson and Kimbrough Gardens. The curved brick paths were a labor of love for the Dawsons, who hand cut the bricks to form patterns throughout their garden.
A curved gravel path gets a clean edge from grey brick at the Kimbrough Garden. The path is lined with gorgeous flowering plants like Phlox, African Daisies, and Hostas. Curves like this lead the eye further into the landscape, hinting at treasures to come.
Woodland gardens call for more rustic pathways. This meandering path of irregularly shaped stones, partly hidden by the graceful leaves of Ferns and Solomon’s Seal, is a great fit for the Thompson Garden.
To accentuate the entrance to a woodland moon garden, a swept dirt path leads to an arbor, where a stone walkway takes over, marking the threshold. Another naturalistic path is made of tiles embossed with leaves and surrounded by Rhododendron, fern, and Hydrangea.
I hope this virtual garden tour has given you some inspiration for your own gardens! Remember that Swansons Nursery is always ready to help with plant suggestions, design advice, and more. Come in and ask us about your space, email us, or give us a shout on social media with #heyswansons.
To learn more about the Edmonds Garden Tour and other events, visit edmondsinbloom.com.
Tagged: garden tour, low water use plants, low maintenance gardens, flower gardens, woodland gardens, garden art, water features, fountains, garden design elements, landscape design, gardening trends, drought tolerant plants, shade plants, shade gardens
Garden Ideas – Landscape Design Blog
Today we’re going to talk about some garden ideas to help you focus on inspiring landscape design trends. After all, it is often enough for a person to find that small image, detail or landscape design concept that is suitable for him and his family, which will help to understand and reveal what he really lacked in his ideal image of his private household.
At such moments we can open up creatively, find inspiration and make our garden a truly unique and warm space.
Below are garden design options and ideas that our landscape designers have noted as the most popular and relevant in recent times.
, which is to allow plants to lose their ideal grooming and neatness.
In gardening, it’s all about control: when to use it and when to give nature more freedom. We have to constantly monitor the pruning of plants and mowing the lawn.
But more recently, in modern minimalist homes, the concept of natural style has become popular, which, at various scales, returns to natural habitats. Based on these principles, plants are selected that do not require constant and thorough care, are not demanding on the water regime of irrigation. And of course, this will not change the fact that we still have to deal with weeds and unwanted plants. The secret is to create a lively and natural effect without losing control of your garden.
This year more attention than ever before has been given to the restorative effect of nature and open space.
More and more plants are on the wish lists of our customers as a haven for birds and bees. This is in line with a trend called “rewielding” in which the earth is being returned at various scales to natural habitats that can provide water, food and shelter for all creatures, big and small.
As people in general have become more landscape aware, so have trends in gardening and landscaping. Nowadays, many homeowners hire landscapers to design gardens for them that take care of themselves and look more natural overall.
“Green zones inhabited by plants that can withstand strong heat and require minimal irrigation, become the most popular and in demand,” says Ekaterina Korsun, Horticulture Expert and Landscape Design of Emerald City
Open Life Vital.
As the climate in Russia gets warmer, outdoor living is growing in popularity. Searches on the Internet for “garden furniture” are increasing every year. People are expanding living spaces beyond their home, including with the help of quality outdoor furniture. According to forecasts, in 2 years the global market for the sale of outdoor furniture will grow by another 5%.
The combination of indoor and outdoor spaces and the arrangement of the outdoor living room is a key trend for the near future, and choosing the right furniture is an important nuance. Low sofas and benches add elegance and don’t obstruct the view of the garden, and adding cushions or throws can help soften the look.
By some estimates, by 2050 many of our cities will have a climate similar to that of today’s central Europe, and in the coming years and decades the trend towards outdoor living will become mainstream.
woven into almost all styles of open spaces. Whether it’s a vegetable garden integrated into the landscaping of a luxury cottage or simple herbs growing in pots on a balcony, the “grow your own” trend is on a strong upward trajectory.
The pandemic has changed our way of thinking, approach and priorities, people want to devote more time to the development of their territories, as well as their own knowledge – this is why growing plants from seeds has gained popularity this year and will undoubtedly continue to grow.
People are becoming more autonomous and self-sufficient. Vegetables, berries, fruits, grown with their own hands, bring great joy and satisfaction to our customers. Last but not least, it is important to ensure that the grown products are completely environmentally friendly and safe for health.
Also, for many, the creation of a zone for growing edible plants and caring for them is a way of awareness and connection with nature.
Landscaping ideas for a dacha
A dacha is a special place. A place where people traditionally go to take a breath, relax and gain new strength. In order to do this in the best possible way, you need to feel as comfortable and cozy as possible. This is the main idea of landscape design of a summer cottage. You can try to do this on your own, but still do not forget that such an undertaking is a complex and responsible business. The best solution would be to order landscape design from those for whom this is a favorite craft. Believe me, it’s worth it.
1 Landscaping of a summer cottage
2 Landscape gardening
3 Functional areas of a garden plot
4 Principles of landscape design
5 How to choose the style of the future landscape
6 Design of the main elements plot
6.1 Trees and shrubs
6.3 Ponds, fountains, pools
6.4 Garden figurines
6.7 Decoration of flower beds and flower beds
6.8 Dry stream in landscape design
6. 9 Gazebos and recreation areas
6.10 Benches and swings
7 A selection of photos with ideas for landscaping a summer cottage
Landscape design for a summer cottage
The main task is to create a single, integral, eye-pleasing and harmonious territory in every sense at the dacha. Choose a few compositions that you can do and that you really want to contemplate daily. Try to combine desires into a coherent and harmonious picture, draw a schematic approximate plan for the placement of the necessary elements. As soon as you visualize the future picture of your garden, the style, forms, and functionality will immediately be determined.
It all starts with standard landscaping: a detailed analysis of the territory of the site, soil research and assessment of its condition. Even the geographic features of your garden need to be considered when landscape designing. Next, you need to take the time to detailed design, taking into account ideas regarding the design and improvement of the suburban area.
And then the fun begins – landscape gardening! In other words, the design of the garden itself. Perhaps you want to plant a live fence of blackthorn or other undersized ornamental shrubs? Or do you have a passion for beds of discreet tulips? If making a choice is still a difficult task, you can get inspiration by studying photo examples.
In addition to interesting plant solutions, pay attention to such aspects as arranging paths, creating ornamental ponds, and working with site lighting. You can choose any element of arrangement you like. Pavilions, bridges, paths and small ponds are considered traditional elements.
Functional areas of the garden plot
The main functional areas that are placed on your site include:
- Parade zone – an area for parking vehicles, the entrance to the house. I place it on the facade of the building, ennoble it with ornamental shrubs or flower beds.
- Recreation area — a gazebo or a dining area with a canopy, a fireplace (barbecue, barbecue) are placed here. In other words, it is a place for comfortable outdoor recreation.
- Green area. Fruit and ornamental trees and shrubs, vegetable beds are placed here.
- Household zone – accommodation of auxiliary buildings: barn, greenhouse, sauna, garage, summer kitchen.
- Play area – a separate area for children to stay outdoors. Here you can place a sandbox, a swing, a bench, a sports complex, a slide, a small house.
Principles of landscape design
Landscape design respects the principles of unity, balance, proportion, rhythm, contrast and color.
If you use conifers, then they should be combined in style with the design of the house. A wide variety of plants looks scattered and chaotic if it is not part of the author’s design.
The balance in the landscape gives a sense of regularity and calmness. In large gardens, balance is maintained using symmetry and repetition. These principles work together, have common correlations to create a single, well-maintained, thoughtful garden.
Match the proportions of elements. A small garden pond is not appropriate in a large open yard. Such a pond can be placed in a corner or on the edge of a large area. So, it will become a focal point, create its own element in the landscape.
The repetition of elements creates rhythm. Plants, flower beds, lanterns, benches, and other structures can be repeated in the landscape, this will create the desired dynamics.
Color adds saturation to the landscape. Using different shades, you can create an accent or influence the overall perception. Yellow, orange – bright, mood-improving and eye-catching colors. Cold blue, pastel shades visually distance objects. Monochrome colors work well for backgrounds.
How to choose the style of the future landscape
It does not make sense to list all the styles of landscape design, since there is enough information on the net with their characteristics and a detailed description. You need to focus on your abilities. Here are a few points to deal with “on the shore”.
- Is there time to keep the plants in shape regularly? Or do you have the opportunity to hire a gardener who will look after the plants and trim your bushes? Then you can decide on a garden in a classic regular style or arrange a French garden.
- How much time can you take care of? If you are an infrequent guest at your summer cottage, give preference to a landscape style or design a garden in an eco-style. There are more free lines here, some neglect will not be so evident.
- Don’t like to mess with different plants, but you are a perfectionist by nature – minimalism will suit you. It is distinguished by a meager variety of vegetation, free territories are covered with a lawn.
- You can’t imagine the space of a garden without sophisticated modern forms – pay attention to the Art Nouveau style. Often expensive and elegant elements are used here, so be prepared for immodest financial costs.
Design of the main elements of the plot
The general visual perception of the plot is built from individual elements. Therefore, they must be in harmony with each other, be performed in the same style.
Trees and shrubs
May be fruitful or purely aesthetic. The amount of tall vegetation should be directly proportional to the size of the site and occupy no more than 15-20% of its area. You can plant trees in front of the house, along the paths, in a remote area. Tall varieties are best planted on the north side so that they do not create excessive shading.
Multi-purpose coating for beautification or covering unoccupied areas. Learn more about how to grow the perfect lawn.
Reservoirs, fountains, pools
Artificial reservoirs on the territory of the site are equipped to create a corner of unity with nature. The murmur of a small waterfall has a calming effect on us. If you decide to build a pond, be prepared for the extra hassle of cleaning it and maintaining an attractive appearance.
On the other hand, installing a swimming pool is less troublesome. It is enough to choose a ready-made design of the required volume, connect a cleaning filter, use special tools to maintain cleanliness throughout the season. A good addition would be an awning that will save water from falling foliage and debris.
Whatever design you choose, the main thing is that it blends with the surrounding landscape.
Only use garden figurines where appropriate. They can become an addition to the composition, part of the architecture, an accent on a large area.
Fencing must match the style of the main building. It can be a blank wall that protects your life from prying eyes. Or a lighter version: euro fence, 3D mesh. Weaving plants will decorate the fence. Even a blank fence can be transformed using greenery inserts, thereby enlivening the fence.
Tracks are laid for comfortable movement around the site. They can carry a decorative function and serve for walks in the garden. But more often they indicate the trajectory of movements: between the beds, between different buildings.
The more important the path is, the wider it is and the thicker the base along it. For large and constant loads, the width of the track is 1-1.2 m. For laying, the soil is removed to dense layers of soil, a sand cushion is poured and rammed. Then crushed stone is poured and also compacted. Next, the tiles are laid on a dry screed.
Particular attention is paid to the front area. Here, both the material and the base are more thoroughly prepared. Usually choose tiles, it is durable and aesthetically attractive. It can be easier to arrange paths in the backyard and even be a mound of rubble.
Decoration of flower beds and flower beds
Flower beds occupy a worthy place in the landscape design of summer cottages. This decoration of the garden, its accent component. Flowerbeds can be vertical, consist of flowers of the same shade (monosad), be on a slight elevation (alpine hills).
Mixborders that combine decorative shrubs, coniferous plants and bright annuals or perennial herbaceous flowers with different flowering periods look very impressive.
The main thing is that the flower bed should organically fit into the surrounding landscape and be its decoration. To do this, regularly care for plants, carry out top dressing and pruning. Flower beds look more aesthetically pleasing when free areas are mulched with gravel or tree bark.
Dry stream in landscape design
A dry stream is not often developed in summer cottages. It takes a lot of time to take care of it and keep it neat. But if your free time allows you to create such an emphasis on the country – get down to business. This will become a real decoration of the landscape.
Learn more about how to equip a dry stream in a summer cottage.
Pavilions and recreation areas
Place the recreation area where you will feel comfortable, a little isolated. Provide convenient communication with the place of preparation of food, so that you can set the table without much effort.
Separate gazebos with their own small summer kitchen are a very convenient option. But they occupy not a small area and are not suitable for every site. The minimum size is 20 square meters.
For small suburban areas suitable arrangement of a shed or outdoor seating area directly adjacent to the house from the kitchen with a separate exit here. It can be a terrace, a patio, or just sun loungers under a large umbrella on a paved area. It all depends on the mood you want to convey with this corner and practicality for your family.
Benches and swings
Usually placed in the children’s play area. For comfortable observation of the game of children in the sandbox or on the sports ground.
Sometimes, in the absence of a full-fledged recreation area, a free-standing swing or bench can replace it. This is true for areas where it is difficult to allocate sufficient space for the relaxation zone.
Functional lighting is hard to do without. It is envisaged in the front area, gazebo, in places of possible evening movement – along the paths, next to outbuildings.
Decorative lighting is organized to maintain the overall style of the landscape, decorate the recreation area at night. It can be solar-powered lights, electric lighting.
Lighting of the site must be considered at the stage of electrical installation. If lines are not yet ready to be laid across the territory or land work is still completed, provide at least a supply, for example, to a recreation area. In the future, it will be easier to spread the lighting around the site from here.
A selection of photos with ideas for landscape design of summer cottages
Summer residents are different. Someone needs a cozy house, beds to “tinker”, and a flower garden to please the eye. Another is a work of art with a well-thought-out landscape design, a seating area to captivate guests. But the presence or absence of a dacha does not change the way of life.