Spring Is In The Air & It Is Time To Get In The Garden

7 tips for creating your room outside from 'the decor cafe'


When a garden is well designed to suit you and the way that you live, it can become the favourite room in the house, particularly during the summer. And so we have put together a few tips and tricks to help you to achieve it:-

1. If you are thinking of redesigning your garden it can be hard to decide what to choose. An easy starting point is to think about the style of other things you like. Look at the clothes that you wear. Are they classic, tailored, funky, colourful, bohemian, casual, on trend...? Once you have selected the words that describe your style, collect images of gardens that reflect them. Live with them for a while and then pick one or two that are your ideal. Use them as our anchor-point to refer to when making decisions about what to choose. What would fit in this garden and what wouldn’t?

2. The atmosphere of a room is enhanced by careful lighting, and the garden is no exception. If you have the budget, think about the lighting in exactly the same way you would an indoor room; highlight a main feature, apply task lighting where it is needed, perhaps along a path or patio and add atmosphere with decorative details such as strings of fairy lights in the trees or lanterns hanging from branches.

3. Urban gardens, surrounded by walls are a great opportunity to create a dramatic artwork. You can make a strong statement just by painting it a strong colour, or take it a step further and create an outdoor mural or graffiti – the choice of image and colours are entirely yours, and again will work best if they reflect your personal taste and preferences.

4. Pots full of plants can look lovely, particularly in small gardens or patios, but it is much more effective to have just one or two large pots than lots of little ones. If you do have lots of little ones group them together to create a defined feature. Another great trick for smaller gardens is a large mirror strategically placed to reflect back at you from the bottom of the garden – effectively doubling it in size.

5. How would you like to use your garden? It sounds obvious but a surprising number of people don’t think about themselves and what they need – they just follow what they think is expected. Much better to think of you and your family and don’t worry about the norms. Do you need a large area of grass? Would you like a space to entertain outside? Would you prefer a hammock for you and your book? Do you have a growing football team that would prefer Astroturf instead of grass? Would you like a decorative space with chairs covered in gorgeous printed outdoor fabrics?

6. If you would like to create a tranquil space with a spa-like quality simplify and declutter your garden, reduce the colour palette to natural greens, pale whites and neutrals.

7. Don’t make the mistake of designing just for the spring or summer. How will the garden look in the winter? It is important to make sure that there is a strong structure to the layout that will last all year, when the flowers and leaves have gone. This could come from evergreen plants or the garden art and architecture.

We would like to thank Rachel Merrick of Elemental Designs who gave a talk on garden design for the decor cafe at the beginning of the year and Karen Rickards who will be giving a talk on practical maintenance tips to get the garden ready for the summer on Tuesday 24 th April.

Debbie Blott

March 28, 2012