How to make the best of your outdoor space
A garden is a planned space usually outdoors for the arrangement, cultivation and enjoyment of plants and nature. There is nothing more relaxing than spending some time in your very own garden after a hectic and stressful day. A garden can serve as a showcase of your talent as a horticulturist. A garden can serve as your own private space for entertaining or as a playground for your children.
There are several types of garden that you can adapt for your own. There are actually three general types of gardens: according to plant groupings; according to styles i.e. Japanese, English, tropical; and then there's under usage such as a botanical garden, butterfly garden, a greenhouse and others.
Whatever your garden type is, you still need to have a theme for your garden in order to unify its design. How do you picture your garden? What kind of flowers and plants are you partial to? You can go eclectic up to a point because having too much variety can be distracting. If you want varied themes in one garden, why not form distinct garden "rooms" for each theme that you want and have the design transition flow from one area to another.
Aside from the plants and flowers, you can incorporate the use of garden ornaments to enhance and make your garden more interesting. You can also add some outdoor furniture for comfort and convenience.
Choosing the right garden furniture
Before you plunge ahead and start buying new garden furniture, look for extra seats and tables in your home. There might be a couple of spare seats in the storage that you could use. If you intend to have an eclectic set of garden furniture try to unite the various styles of furnishings by using a particular shade of colour in the cushions or paint used.
If you intend to have a formal garden, then buy the appropriate garden furniture to compliment the formal setting. There are wrought irons and teak wood furniture suitable for formal gardens that you get at any outdoor furniture shop.
If the garden is for a children's playground, choose multi-coloured plastic table and chairs as furnishings. You can even add a hammock at one side for you to relax as you watch the kids play. If the garden is for entertaining friends and for dining al fresco, choose a large capacity set and add several other chairs to match the primary set of furniture.
You should consider the area to be furnished. If the seating area for the garden is quite tight, don't choose bulky furniture. It is best to go for streamlined and linear furniture as they are more versatile. If the garden space to be furnished is exposed to the elements, pick furniture appropriately. An example is a garden set made of artificial stone. You can also opt for plastic sets as they now come in a variety of colours and style though their lifespan is a short 2 years. Aluminium and wrought iron are all right though a bit pricey.
A garden is not complete if it lacks "accessories" or ornaments. There are several classifications of garden ornaments and the choices are quite extensive. Your choice or ornaments should in harmony with your overall garden theme.
- Water Features -If you have a Zen-like garden, a good complementary ornament would be a water fountain. There is a sense of peace and tranquillity with the sound of water. A water feature can be as elaborate as a man-made pond or waterfall and could be as simple as a ready-to-plug water fountain. Having a bird bath in the garden would also be a nice touch. You can get any water-feature that will match your garden. If you have a man-made pond in, installing a bridge would be a nice touch.
- Garden Structures -These are great additions to a garden. The structure could be a gazebo or a tree house. There are garden structures that are available in the market, ready to install. Some of these garden structures are: trellises; garden gates, pergolas, and arbors. If you are into formal gardens, there are replicas of classic columns available in home construction supply shops.
- Weathervanes - These are no longer confined on top of roofs. Garden weathervanes can be hooked up on top of gazebos, mounted on a garden pole, even on garage rooftops. They come in a variety of styles and designs that will surely match any garden style that you have. There are designs to make your garden look whimsical and elegant.
- Wind Chimes - The sound made by wind chimes coupled with the sound of softly trickling water is so relaxing after a day of stress from work or from household chores. There are numerous types and makes of wind chimes. Every culture has its own version. Hang one or several wind chimes in your garden. Make sure that the wind chimes are so places that they would actually be nudged by a soft wind so that they could "chime".
- Hanging Decors - This type of garden ornament could take on the form of a wind spinner, a glow catcher, a twirler or even a feeder. They come in a variety of designs that would surely add points of interest and accents in your garden.
- Bird Feeders - There are the free-standing bird feeders, hanging bird feeders, mounted bird feeders that come in all makes and sizes.
Other garden ornaments that you can incorporate in your garden are: sculptures, sundials, wading pools, hot tub, garden gnomes, decorative garden stakes and more. When designing your garden bear in mind that the garden should conform to the style of your house.
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"My husband and I have been avid gardeners from the time we were first married 25 years ago, until now. I find enjoyment through decorating the garden and making it beautiful, while my husband likes to do the hard work required. It's a good match for us. Every year, I purchase a new set of decorative garden stakes to organize the plants we grow. They're such a small, inexpensive addition to the garden, but I find that they add a lot. I'm always looking for new ideas, so thanks for sharing!"