Create a Landscape Perfect for Outdoor Living with Cleverly Designed Garden Rooms
Make An Entrance: Want to create an outdoor space where you can welcome your guests? Consider a small room at the front of your landscape. Lined with lush container gardens and featuring salvaged cobblestones and a beautiful wrought-iron gate, the partly shaded spot definitely attracts attention. Garden Tip: You can use any number of items - or even mix - to define your outdoor rooms.
Pay Attention to Details: Don't overlook little details for the big picture when it comes to your garden. Here, a salvaged sphere creates a lively contrast to a chartreuse clump of Japanese forestgrass. Garden Tip: Salvaging old materials can be a great way to give your garden a sense of age - as well as feature unique architectural elements. Visit demolition sites and get to know builders - if you can make it convenient for them and arrange the transport, many times they'll gladly give it to you for free.
Embrace Texture: Gardens don't have to be all about flowers (but it sure is nice). Here, they created a striking vignette with mainly foliage: a boxwood hedge surrounds a planting of feature reedgrass, purple South American verbena, and white cleome. A weeping spruce casts a dramatic presence and creates a corner for you to look around. Garden Tip: If you like the idea of using lots of texture but don't love the all-green look, consider variegated plants as accents. Many variegated plants offer leaves marked with purple, pink, burgundy, gold, yellow, white, and silver.
Enjoy Fresh Flowers: You can make the most of an average sized yard. Off the side of the garage, they've added a cutting garden filled with lilies, phlox, iris, and other favorites. They don't have too many of any one plant and the variety gives them fresh cut blooms from spring to fall. Garden Tip: As you'll see in several upcoming pictures, you can help your landscape feel large by creating curves and other tricks to help keep you from seeing the entire garden at one time.
Choose Outstanding Plantings: Add a number of specimen plants in your landscape, including this silver Korean fir (Abies koreana 'Horstmann Silberlocke'). Adding a few dramatic and eye-catching plants that stand out of the crowd will help give your landscape more depth and interest. Garden Tip: Evergreens such as this fir are particularly good choices in northern climates because they keep their foliage all winter. Look for evergreens that have great shapes or colors, like blue, silver, or even golden yellow.
Pick a Garden Style: Consider a formal, traditional style in your landscape that repeats throughout all your outdoor rooms. The result is a garden that feels cohesive and put together. Garden Tip: While the room may be very small and simple, it can be beautiful thanks to well-chosen elements. A weeping spruce creates a dramatic shape and contrast to the paving materials and white gate. Your garden doesn't have to be full to make a big impact.
Be Creative: An old stone became a charming birdbath in this shady garden room. Almost a hidden game, it features a few dramatic elements such as this bold purple-leaf elephant's ear. Garden Tip: Shady areas of your yard don't have to be barren. Select shade-loving plants to fill it with color and texture.
Work with What you Have: As you can see, they were able to salvage a lot of granite for this landscape - it's only natural to use it as garden accents. Here, an old granite slab creates another birdbath. Garden Tip: this is a perfect way to attract birds to your garden. They love water and they also love having trees or shrubs to dart into if something scares them. Be sure to provide cover for them to feel safe if you want birds in your yard.
Leave a Spot to Sit: This bench looks out over a cutting garden, but feels secluded thanks to the granite wall behind the bench. Garden Tip: The seating area feels extra special because its' framed by a wrought-iron arbor. Watch for ways to frame different elements of your yard to create works of art.
Employ the Unexpected: A granite wall becomes something extra special thanks to an interesting opening. The opening creates a charming view beyond, making it feel like there's a lot more yard to explore. Garden Tip: If you're not lucky enough to have a granite wall like this, you can still create the same effect by cutting and framing a hole in a privacy fence. Or, if you don't have a great view beyond, affix a mirror to your fence and frame it with vines to give the illusion of a portal.
Live Outdoors: Were you wondering what was on the other side of the wall? Here they added a little patio. The wall helps give the patio a note of privacy, as do the beautiful container plantings. Garden Tips: You can create a stunning patio, even if all you have is a concrete slab. Install wood or stone over the top of it to create a high-priced look without the work of having to start from scratch.
Enjoy What you Have: With hard work and ingenuity, you can create a yard where you can comfortably spend lots of time outdoors. Garden Tip: With a handful of well-placed plants, you can create and help an area feel more comfortable.