Garden design starts with layout and functionality
Great garden design ideas consider what the space needs to deliver for the family. Would the family like a pool, a trampoline, storage or lawn areas to kick a ball. These type of basic requirements provide the framework from which to develop a considered family garden design.
Pools area a great addition to family gardens. Consider underwater bench seating, lighting and heating for optimal year round enjoyment. Consider locating lawn areas outside of the confines of the pool area to maximise use, especially for young families.
Entertaining areas such a patios, pergolas and BBQ and kitchen areas should consider their location relative to the entertaining areas of your home. You may consider a small built in BBQ and bench seat for a terrace style or inner city courtyard while a large pergola or shade structure with built in kitchen and wet room may be more proportionate and practical for larger family gardens.
The general rule is to take a lead from the architecture of your home and surrounding landscape.
Hard surfaces provide the practical solution to high traffic areas in family gardens. Vitrified or porcelain tiles can provide a very durable contemporary surface where natural stones such a travertine, basalts and sandstone provide a warmth in a way only natural products can.
The level of detail in paving will be led by the shape and size of the space with patterns having room to repeat and flow in largers areas. Smaller garden areas are often best addressed with restraint in tile size and pattern.
Retaining walls should reference the home whether it be rendered and painted masonry walls, natural blocks of sandstone or cladding. The more prominent the walling is in the landscape will often determine the style of wall. Sandstone and rendered walls provide great features while treated pine sleeper walling offers a structural solution that can be hidden with planting and is often more cost effective to install.
While hedge planting often provides the necessary screening it also provides the structure and backdrop for which to apply layers of infill planting. Contrast in leaf shape, colour and form provides the interest in garden design. Consider styling your new garden space with pots, furniture and cushions or items you can swap out easily.
Considered placement of lighting will allow you to enjoy the garden into the evening, even when you’re not in the garden. Palm trees, Jacaranda and bamboo are all great plants to light from below as the light will dance around the branch structures and leaves. Practical lighting for transit areas is best achieved with down lights, casting a light down over steps, paths and dining areas. It’s also very effective for creating interest over large lawn areas or pools which cast down through the branches of a tree forming patterned shadows over the space. Create depth in a night garden by highlighting hedges such a Lilly Pilly, Viburnum or Murraya. Remember, you always want to see the light but never the source.
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