Whether planting, planning or building, we can help shift your perspective and inspire new moves
Garden landscaping can be as big or small a job as you wish it to be, and even in smaller outdoor spaces there can be great potential for transformation. Here at Refresh, we’ve worked on some fantastic garden renovations – and here’s some great ideas on how to do things a little differently at your property. Whether planting, planning or building, we can help shift your perspective and inspire new moves!
Garden landscaping is, essentially, the outdoors version of interior design; designing a garden rather than a room. Any changes made are known as landscaping, and this includes everything from planting flower beds to building terraces, walls or new buildings. The term ‘hard landscaping’ is used for any hard materials such as paving, decking or building, and ‘soft landscaping’ for flowers, grass or shrubbery.
A traditional garden has plants and flower beds at ground level, often around the outside of a green space. Mixing it up and instead planting at varying levels can draw the eye between spaces and create a more interesting aesthetic. In-ground flower beds can be cut into grass or tiled areas, climber plants set against walls and trees planted of different heights. If your garden doesn’t necessarily lend itself to more planted areas, try instead to fill pots with plants and stack these wherever they fit.
Working with different levels (creating them, if required) can help ‘zone’ a garden in the same way you would an interior space design. You also can soften the transition between hard and soft landscaping by adding in a new level of different (complementary) material.
Gardens are perhaps not as limited by a single theme as internal spaces and so the opportunities to benefit from a variety of different materials are vast. One material need not be used throughout – instead consider mixing and matching several. The wood used for a path may not be the same as that on decking, and stone types can be used complementary to each other across different surfaces.
Recent years have seen an increase in demand for reused and reclaimed materials, with more sustainable materials available now than ever. It may even be that during landscaping you recover materials that can be used elsewhere in the garden; and a Refresh Renovations landscaping consultant will be able to advise you of any such opportunities.
Playing with the scale of items throughout a garden can be beneficial for smaller spaces as it helps shift the eye’s focus. Large, oversized containers can be used to house different mixes of trees, perennials and shrubs to create oasis-type areas. Choosing plants known for attracting wildlife can help these feel even more impressive as they come alive with insects and animals.
Don’t forget to mix colours and textures too, to create more interest and give the impression of more ‘going on’ in the space.
Garden seating often seems to default to a bench or white plastic chair, but there’s so much more than be opted for if you understand the choices. The key to choosing the right seating is to have a good idea of the use intention for the garden. If you love to entertain, then building seating into the walls or raised beds can help provide various spots around the space for perching. In smaller gardens, purpose-made seating with integrated (weather/water-proof) storage may be the best use of space. If you’re looking to keep everyone in the garden together, a seating unit that works in a part or full circle helps create a social focal point.
If your garden is on a slope or varying levels but you don’t want to break up the green space with too much hard landscaping, instead consider integrating grass-covered steps or ramps. These can be put in place of stone steps or paved paths with foundations built in the same way before grass tread is added in. This is a lovely way to achieve a soft feel to the garden but any accessibility requirements should be considered – perhaps line the steps with brightly coloured flowers to draw attention to them and ensure no trips or falls!
If your garden is in view from neighbouring properties or people, clever planting can be used to create some privacy away from them. Laurel hedging is often used for privacy planting but willow trees also make a great option, if space permits. If you can’t plant large trees or shrubbery where necessary to block prying eyes but need to do something, consider installing a trellis with a climbing plant as a clever resolution.
Green walls and roofs have become increasingly popular over the last few years across commercial properties – but there’s nothing stopping residential homes adopting them too! Planted roofs and walls soften the aesthetic of hard landscaping and create interest for the eye as well as help promote further biodiversity in the garden. Just about any unsightly surface can be improved with some clever planting, and a garden landscaping specialist will be able to advise of the right types of plants to try as well as the best method for their installation. If you’re unsure of what would work best, instead lay ready-seeded wildflower turf and wait to see what’ll pop up!
Every garden is different and every vision is different; but at Refresh, we can turn that vision into reality. Whether you need a family-friendly garden filled with play equipment, a planted butterfly haven or a social space for al-fresco cooking and dining, we can help. Get in touch with your local Refresh Renovations office today to start your garden landscaping journey.
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If you would like to find out how Refresh Renovations can support you with a high quality, efficient home renovation, get in touch today. Your local Refresh consultant will be happy to meet with you for a free, no obligations consultation.