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ONLY FIRST 10 PAGES (REVIEW)
20 September 2019 (21:54)
Thanks for all the books you share. I am Horticulture student so will u send me more book related to my field of study...
Thanks for all the books you share. I am Horticulture student so will u send me more book related to my field of study...
22 January 2020 (16:20)
thanks . i like all of books.
09 May 2020 (21:52)
This book is out of your imagination to explain simple way.
10 December 2020 (20:15)
very good.thank you very much
18 June 2021 (19:28)
Version up now has 361 pages (not a 10pg review). The ISBN10 is not in the frontispiece. There is an index, acknowledgments, and list of suppliers and designers. Looks like a clean copy (from quick scroll through).
29 August 2021 (16:10)
Thank you z library for letting me get free books.
16 September 2021 (17:25)
Thanks ~e. Looks good.
23 September 2021 (14:58)
>8I;<E ;<J>E GC8EE@E>#9L@C;@E>#8E;GC8EK@E> PFLIG<I=<:KFLK;FFIJG8:< <;@KFI$@E$:?@<= :?I@JPFLE> >8I;<E ;<J>E >8I;<E ;<J>E <;@KFI$@E$:?@<= :?I@JPFLE> LONDON, NEW YORK, MUNICH, MELBOURNE, DELHI EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Chris Young CONTRIBUTORS DESIGN ASSISTANT AIREDALE PUBLISHING PHOTOGRAPHERS ILLUSTRATORS PLAN VISUALIZERS JACKET DESIGN PICTURE RESEARCH PRODUCTION EDITOR PRODUCTION CONTROLLER Zia Allaway, Andi Clevely, Christine Dyer, Jenny Hendy, Richard Sneesby, Fiona Wild, Vicky Willan, Paul Williams, Andrew Wilson Zia Allaway Joanne Doran Christine Dyer, Diana Galligan, Caroline Reed, Sarah Ruddick, Fiona Wild, Vicky Willan Rebecca Warren Vanessa Hamilton, Vicky Read, Alison Shackleton, Pamela Shiels Francesca Gormley Ruth Prentice, David Murphy, Murdo Culver Peter Anderson, Brian North Peter Bull Associates, Richard Lee, Peter Thomas Joanne Doran, Vicky Read Mark Cavanagh, Alison Donovan Lucy Claxton, Mel Watson Maria Elia Mandy Inness MANAGING EDITOR MANAGING ART EDITOR PUBLISHER ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER ART DIRECTOR Anna Kruger Alison Donovan Jonathan Metcalf Liz Wheeler Bryn Walls SENIOR EDITOR SENIOR ART EDITOR EDITORS US EDITOR DESIGNERS First American Edition, 2009 First published in United States in 2009 by DK Publishing, 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 RD106 March 2009 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1 Copyright © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited Text copyright © 2009 Royal Horticultural Society and Dorling Kindersley Limited Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. Published in Great Britain by Dorling Kindersley Limited. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Li; brary ISBN 9780 7566 42747 DK books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk for sales promotions, premiums, fund-raising, or educational use. For details, contact: DK Publishing Special Markets, 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014 or SpecialSales@dk.com. Printed and bound by SNP Leefung Ltd, China IMPORTANT NOTICE The author and the publishers can accept no liability for any harm, damage, or illness arising from the use or misuse of the plants described in this book. Discover more at www.dk.com Contents 6 FOREWORD Chris Young, Editor-in-Chief 10 HOW TO DESIGN A comprehensive guide to the principles of garden design, and how you can apply them to create a design of your own. First principles 20 Choosing materials 52 Designing with plants 72 Assessing your garden 90 Creating a plan 100 Design case study 118 126 CHOOSING A STYLE From formal and foliage to Modernist and Mediterranean, explore the history and key ingredients of these major design styles and ﬁnd inspiration for your own garden. Garden styles explained 128 Formal gardens 132 Cottage gardens 140 Mediterranean gardens 148 Modernist gardens 156 Japanese gardens 164 Foliage gardens 172 Fusion gardens 180 Productive gardens 188 Family gardens 196 Sustainable gardens 204 Urban gardens 212 Country gardens 220 Concept gardens 228 234 MAKING A GARDEN All the practical information and step-by-step guides you need to bring your garden designs to life. Building garden structures 238 Planting techniques 256 268 PLANT AND MATERIALS GUIDE Expert advice to help you choose the perfect plant for any situation, and the right materials for your design. Plant guide 270 Materials guide 330 Index 342 Acknowledgements 352 Suppliers 358 Designers’ details 360 7 Foreword HAVE YOU EVER SAT—just sat—in your garden, thinking, looking around, taking in the view? Not really looking at anything in particular, but thinking about anything and everything to do with your garden, asking yourself, “what if I planted a tree there?”, or, “if I moved those slabs, what would I put in their place?”. Whether you were aware of doing this or not is, in a way, immaterial because what you have been doing is visually making this piece of land your own, and coming up with thoughts and ideas for improving your outside space. Welcome then—whether it be for the ﬁrst or ﬁftieth time—to the world of garden design. The concept of garden design is nothing new: when Man ﬁrst cultivated land, and enclosed his arable crops and livestock, he was delineating usable space to its best advantage. This may not be design as we understand it now (obviously, aesthetics were of no practical value then), but he was making spatial relationships based on need. He was designing his environment to suit his individual daily, monthly, and yearly requirements. Since that time, the process of creating a garden has evolved according to style, fashion, prowess, skill, aptitude, wealth, travel, experimentation, and history, but it can all be distilled down to that ﬁrst need. In essence, it is all about a human being exerting some level of control over his or her own surroundings. And, really, that is all garden design is today. As is set out by my fellow authors in this book, creating a garden can be an intricate and time-consuming process, but the fundamental starting point is to remember that garden design is about creating an outside space that you WELCOME IN Successful garden design is about creating usable, attractive, and well-made spaces that suit the owner’s personal needs. (or your client) want. Many discussions will ensue after that initial thought— from what style you want, to working out how sustainable your garden might be, but don’t let the detail bog you down too early in the process. Of course detail is essential for a successful garden, but holding on to that vision, that 8 FOREWORD desire, is a key part of the process. This book will help you, not only with the nuts and bolts of garden making, but also to focus the vision and, I hope, help make it become a reality. So why is there a need for such an encyclopedia? In truth, because designing a garden can be something of a lonely experience. Even though we are constantly bombarded with images, suggestions, and information (too much choice, one might say), it is rare to be able to look in one place for everything —from plant selection to gravel color, from fence posts to tree heights. The very nature of having so much choice can render the designer/gardener/client more than a little confused as to what they actually want from their garden. The activity of making a garden can also be inﬂuenced from so many quarters—from horticultural collections to urban material manufacturing— that a designer needs a refuge of sorts, where questions are answered and problems resolved. I hope this book will be that refuge in an ever-crowded, information-obsessed world. i PLAN YOUR PLAN Putting your ideas onto paper, or computer, is an essential step when designing your garden. k GOOD FORM Successful designs use ﬂower color, leaf shape, and tree stems to create a balance of color and form. PERSONAL SPACE Good design should reﬂect the wishes, likes, and dislikes of the garden owner—regardless of the country or climate. FOREWORD In many cases, deciding on what you want your garden to be like is initially the hardest, but then the easiest part of the process. It is translating that vision into a reality that takes the bulk of the time: working out how parts of a garden can sit together, how planting interest throughout the year can be sustained, deciding on hard landscaping materials that will work in all weather conditions, and so on. These are the stimulating—and at times frustrating—aspects of the process, but they make the difference between an unusable piece of land adjoining your property and a beautifully designed garden. The chapters in this book take you through these very stages of garden design, helping to demystify the unknowns and clarify the unclear. I sincerely hope you enjoy it and, as a result, make the best garden you possibly can. CHRIS YOUNG CONSIDERED STYLE Successful spaces are created when planting colors and combinations complement the hard landscaping materials. i URBAN JUNGLE Using foliage plants of different types and heights can help to provide privacy from neighboring views and offers useful shelter. k SENSE OF SCALE When creating a plan, working to a scale allows you to be sure that all structures and details will work well on the ground. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER Sometimes, beautiful design expressions can be created by mirroring shapes, like this sculpture and round-ﬂowered Allium. 9 HOW TO DESIGN 12 HOW TO DESIGN What do you want to do in your garden? Your garden is an extension of your home and it should provide a place for you to enjoy life to the full. When thinking about any changes that you may make to the yard, it is important to consider how you propose to use the space, not just now but in the future. This can range from keeping very busy, to doing as little as possible at the other extreme. Ask yourself a series of questions about the yard’s many roles. Do you want a space for entertaining, a play area while the children are young, or do you get involved ENJOY THE PLANTS AND WILDLIFE THE ACTIVE GARDENER Digging, sowing, and planting bring great rewards as plants grow and change throughout the seasons. Colors and textures evolve, and there is something new to see each week. Plants attractive to birds, bees, and butterﬂies bring borders to life. ENTERTAIN AND HAVE FUN THE ROOM OUTSIDE Gardens are often described as “outdoor rooms”, and can be planned as extensions of the house. Ensure continuity with features such as stylish furniture, screens, painted walls, canopies, and planters. An open-air room can be used for entertaining and socializing in much the same way as the interior, while also offering children space for energetic play. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO IN YOUR GARDEN? simply want a peaceful but beautiful yard in which to relax when you have free time? Bear in mind that your needs, and those of your family, are likely to change with time, and that it may be more difﬁcult to make signiﬁcant changes to the garden in the future as it establishes and matures. Ideally, come up with ﬂexible ideas that can be adapted. A range of different requirements might suggest the creation of separate and possibly hidden areas within the same yard. rest APPRECIATE THE PICTURE RELAX AND UNWIND A PEACEFUL SPACE One of the special joys of having a garden is that you can simply sit, doze, read or do nothing in the open air, surrounded by the sounds and scents of plants and wildlife. Gardens designed for this purpose can provide the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life. SIMPLE SOLUTION Gardens for busy people need to be easy to maintain, but they can still be lovely to look at. They require simple design solutions with a strong overall concept and a pleasing layout for long-term appeal, allowing owners to sit back and enjoy the view. 13 14 HOW TO DESIGN How do you want to feel? Gardens stimulate emotions. Immediately upon entering a garden we respond to our surroundings. When planning a new design, you may choose to be bombarded with sensory stimulation, a riot of vibrant color, textural diversity, or striking features to excite and energize the spirit. Or you might want a place for quiet reﬂection and contemplation, or even a space for therapy and healing, such as a calm, simple garden with evergreens and a reﬂective pool. If you have enough land, it energized EXCITED AND UPBEAT REJUVENATED REFRESHING SPACE The presence of water, creating sunlit reﬂections and offset by natural plantings, can help to evoke a feeling of energy, growth, and rejuvenation. Soft colors and a wide variety of materials enhance the mood. These are places for “recharging your batteries” after a long, hard day. THE DYNAMIC GARDEN Exciting, stimulating sensations can be created using vibrant, hot colors, spiky plants, sharp lines, challenging artwork, and varied textures, while water introduces movement. But, be warned: strident gardens can be overpowering. HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL? may be possible to demarcate different areas for different moods by making effective use of screening or tall plants. Creating a new design for a garden provides an opportunity to change or enhance the atmosphere of each area through layout, distribution of paths and spaces, and light touches of detail and decoration. Color, shape, fragrance, and foliage will also affect the tone, and by using these elements you can help to foster positive moods and emotions. relaxed A SENSE OF WELL-BEING PEACEFUL AND CALM RESTORING HEALTH These gardens should be private, unchallenging spaces, and are often characterized by culinary, therapeutic, and medicinal plants, such as herbs with their appealing scents, or healthy crops such as fruit trees. They provide a reassuring, relaxed, and restorative environment. CONTEMPLATIVE MOODS Cool colors, simple ﬂowing shapes, delicate scents, and restricted use of materials and planting will create a calm and peaceful mood in the garden. Simple focal elements, waterfalls, and carefully chosen lighting help to enhance these uncluttered spaces. 15 16 HOW TO DESIGN What will your garden look like? Garden visits, shows, and plant nurseries, as well as magazines, books, television programs, and websites, will provide anyone wishing to change their garden with a wealth of inspiration. But remember, the key to successful design is not collecting ideas and trying to combine all of them into one space. Rather, it is a process of reviewing and editing a range of ideas, with the aim of developing a coherent overall appearance for your garden, whether you are revamping a mature plot or starting traditional FILLED WITH FLOWERS GROW YOUR FAVORITE FLOWERS Your garden can be a horticultural extravaganza, or a setting for favorite plants. These gardens are seasonal and offer change and continuous involvement. Try to work to a clear overall concept in terms of color, texture, and structure. A TROPICAL RETREAT SCULPT WITH PLANTS Bold-leaved plants bring a sense of the exotic and can be used to create a lush, enclosed garden with a subtropical feel. Choose plants carefully to ensure that they will not get too big and are suited to your site’s soil and climate. SUMMER ESCAPE RECREATE A SUMMER VACATION Why limit your vacation to a fortnight, when you can pretend to be on a summer trip all year? Adapt ideas seen on your travels: for example, fragrant lavender beds and window boxes brimming with ivy-leaved geraniums for echoes of southern France. WHAT WILL YOUR GARDEN LOOK LIKE? with a blank canvas at a new house. A good way of approaching this is to have a clear image of the look you are hoping to achieve and to carefully select elements, features, materials, and plants that combine to produce a uniﬁed composition, rather than a jumble of parts. Make notes, collect pictures, sketch ideas. Some starting points are given below, from the traditional to the modern, to the imaginative and quirky. Use them as a prompt to see which style suits you best. contemporary A SPACE TO REFLECT MAKE A SANCTUARY A tranquil setting, characterized by straight lines, simple shapes, subtle lighting, and a coherent layout, provides a comfortable space for retreat from modern-day life. Avoid clashing materials and keep planting manageable. CHIC AND MINIMAL CUT OUT THE CLUTTER Restrict yourself to no more than three complementary materials and a muted color palette, but combine them beautifully. A large, dramatic water feature or sculpture adds a dynamic quality to a pared-down design. FUN AND FUNKY SHOW YOUR CREATIVE SIDE Perhaps better suited to show gardens or temporary installations, these quirky gardens are attention-grabbing but require artistic ﬂair and conﬁdence to be successful. Not for the shy or retiring, but they can be great fun while they last. 17 18 HOW TO DESIGN How much do you want to do? The amount of time you have to devote to your yard on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis should be a major consideration when thinking about an overall design and its future maintenance. Unless you have a very simple, easy-care garden, with hard landscaping and evergreen planting, the list of tasks normally changes seasonally, with less to do in the cooler winter months. In a high-maintenance garden with mixed ﬂower borders, lawns, fruit trees, and a vegetable plot, spring and summer are very high maintenance THREE TIMES A WEEK ONCE A WEEK REGULAR UPKEEP Most small yards will not need attention more than two or three times a week at most, although a yard ﬁlled with lots of pots will require daily watering in hot, dry spells. Generally, larger gardens with lawns, mixed borders, a diverse range of plants, and productive growing areas will take up more time. THE WEEKEND GARDENER This is possibly the most common category, especially for people who only have spare time at weekends. Lawns require weekly mowing and edgetrimming in summer, and weeds need to be kept in check throughout the garden. HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO DO? busy seasons. Lawn-mowing, hedge-trimming, pruning, and feeding fruit trees, sowing and transplanting vegetables, plant propagation and ongoing cultivation, all take time. This may be the garden you want, but be realistic about how much time you can spare to keep it looking good. Working in your garden, watching it mature, and admiring the results, is immensely pleasurable, but do plan for maintenance in advance, and budget to bring in help if necessary. low maintenance SIX TIMES A YEAR TWICE A MONTH KEEP IT PRACTICAL Most shrubs, climbers, and perennial plants require attention at intervals. Seasonal pruning may be required in spring and fall, borders need weeding and feeding, and ﬂowering plants such as roses should be deadheaded regularly (left). Lawns are impractical in this category, although meadows are an option. MINIMAL MAINTENANCE Gardens requiring only infrequent attention will exclude lawns and hedges. Plan for “low”, rather than “no” maintenance, to avoid a sterile look. Many trees and shrubs only need an annual tidy-up, and hard landscaping, just occasional attention. 19 21 First principles DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN is all about Whatever the problem, ﬁnding solutions. It can seem daunting, but an understanding of how if you start with a clear idea of your aspirations to use lines, shapes, height, and practical needs, your basic design will structure, and perspectives soon start to take shape. will help. You can also employ a range of Begin by pulling together, in a scrap- or notebook, all your inspirations and ideas. These techniques to lead or may include plants and landscapes you love, and deceive the eye, creating perhaps furniture or art you admire. To help an illusion of space in clarify your thoughts, you could then draw A strong pattern unifies different materials. a simple bubble diagram that identiﬁes areas for attention to focus on speciﬁc features. different activities, such as eating and dining, seating, or play space for the children. The routes of paths, shapes of structures, and a small garden, or diverting When it comes to creating atmosphere and mood, the colors, patterns, and textures that you choose have a powerful impact. Color also the spaces between elements all have an impact affects the impression of size and space in the on the look and feel of a design, and need to be garden—cool blues and whites tend to make considered before you draw up a ﬁnished plan. an area feel bigger; warm reds and yellows For example, sinuous paths and organic shapes make spaces appear lively and more compact. combine to create relaxed and Pale colors and white reﬂect informal designs, whereas light into gloomy plots. Texture straight paths and symmetrical can be used to great effect, too, layouts convey a formal look. creating exciting contrasts by combining rough with smooth, Every site will have its own or shiny with matt. particular challenges, whether There are no rights or wrongs your garden is on a steep slope in the world of garden design, and needs terracing, or if it is tiny or an awkward shape. Plans help you to organize design ideas. so have fun and experiment. 22 HOW TO DESIGN Understanding plans A plan is a two-dimensional representation of a threedimensional garden and provides a useful thinking tool. It allows you to develop and share ideas easily with others about how your space can be organized and where various elements should be located. You can produce a simple sketch or a more detailed, scale plan to illustrate your design; the plans shown here explain the different types and how to use them. WORKING PLANS These plans don’t need to be accurate or drawn to scale, but they can be used to experiment with ideas, especially the relationship of horizontal surfaces (built and planted) with the locations of walls, screens, trees, and other main features. They can also include connecting elements, such as paths and views. THE FINISHED GARDEN The designer, Sara Jane Rothwell of Glorious Gardens, produced both an overhead and a planting plan (opposite) to show the clients her new design. Explore how best to create perspective by siting elements such as trees PLANTING DINING Think about whether you want to replace existing elements, like this fence WOODLAND LAWN Consider whether vertical features, such as a wall and steps, will work well OVERLAID PHOTOS Perspective drawings are difﬁcult to master, so cover a photo of your garden with tracing paper and sketch ideas on top to give a three-dimensional view of the changes. GARDEN PLAN SYMBOLS These common symbols for plans form a visual design language that enables builders and other professionals working in your yard to read the plan quickly and understand what is being proposed. The symbols illustrated here are those that are most often used and most widely understood, and can be reproduced in black and white or color. BUBBLE DIAGRAM A basic bubble diagram helps you explore relationships between areas within the garden. It is an ideal way to experiment quickly before drawing a more detailed plan. PLANTING LANDSCAPING New tree Fountain Water around rocks Brick – herringbone Uniform paving Square-cut stone Brick – stretcher bond Decking Granite blocks Random-cut stone Cobbles or pebbles Gravel Rough grass Mown grass Conifer Wall shrub Climber Still water Brick – basketweave Existing tree Bulbs WATER Simple labels provide a quick reference point for more detailed plans Explore suitable sites for the different areas of the garden Shrubs Perennials Hedge UNDERSTANDING PL ANS FINISHED PLANS Plans that have been drawn to scale and show accurate arrangements, locations, and dimensions of proposed elements and features are known as ﬁnished plans (see pp.102–109 for how to draw a plan). These plans are intended mainly for construction purposes and will need to be read by builders or contractors who use them to measure areas and lengths (for costing purposes), and to identify exact locations on the ground. Changing ground levels are shown as separate cross-sections, or by annotating the change of level on the overhead plan. OVERHEAD PLAN Include the site boundaries and any relevant buildings, doors, and windows on your plan An overhead plan should show the correct sizes and locations of all proposed elements, such as horizontal surfaces, areas of planting (topsoil), locations and alignments of linear elements (walls, fences, screens, hedges), and singular components (trees, specimen shrubs, pools, stepping stones, steps, lights, drainage points, and so on). An overhead plan needs to include the correct materials and measurements of all hard landscaping features ADDING THE DETAILS In small-scale overhead plans, the individual materials can be shown; larger scale plans usually illustrate these materials more symbolically (see also p.106 ). PLANTING PLAN A planting plan is important for calculating the correct number of plants in the garden and identifying their exact locations. It also shows the position of larger specimens, as well as groups or drifts of the same species. This plan is most useful, and needs to be most accurate, when planting is being carried out by a contractor without the designer present. If you are doing the planting, a plan can help you accurately calculate the number of plants you’ll need and show how to set them out prior to planting (see pp.110–117 for more on creating a planting plan). LAWN Link shrubs of the same type with rules When including new plants and trees, check how far they are likely to spread and indicate this on your plan, so you can space them out accurately DRAWING UP A PLANTING PLAN Garden plan symbols can be reproduced by hand or by using special design software (see also p.109 ). If you are less experienced in reading planting plans, you may prefer to reproduce these symbols in color. CROSS-SECTION If you have a sloping garden and want to make changes to it, you may need a plan to show the impact of these alterations. For steeply sloping yards, hire a land surveyor to draw a cross-section, or elevation plan. This will show the signiﬁcant levels before and after any changes. More complex slopes may need additional plans. There is no symbol for a lawn, so label the areas that you want to be turfed on your plan Garden plan symbols (see opposite) ensure that the planting plan is as precise as possible This plan shows the elevation of the garden and the side view of the boundary wall CROSS-SECTION PLAN A cross-section must show existing and proposed levels so that the differences are easily located. 23 24 HOW TO DESIGN Gathering inspiration How do we ﬁnd ideas for our outside spaces? For most of us, inspiration may initially come from other gardens, whether they are our friends’ or pictures we have found in books, magazines, newspapers, or online. While this is a good starting point, and probably the best stimulus for anyone who is still developing their conﬁdence in making design decisions, it can ultimately constrain the creative process. Most successful designers look outside their own discipline for other inﬂuences to help develop their concepts and push the boundaries of design, so seek inspiration from a variety of sources or select a theme. You can then create a “mood board” of appealing ideas to help you develop your own unique design. FINDING INSPIRATION By focusing on aspects of experiences that we like—for example, the places seen on vacation, natural landscapes that we love, the work of favorite artists or architects, interiors, or even particular programs on TV—we can build up a picture of a garden we will enjoy. Collate these inspirations in a notebook, together with the names of plants you favor, and you will soon build up the ingredients for your garden design. MAIN INSPIRATION An inspiring vacation by the sea will provide a wealth of ideas. Here, the light through the trees adds a romantic ambience. CASE STUDY: A SEASIDE THEME VACATIONS Relive the excitement and pleasure of a vacation with particular colors or textures. SCULPTURE Fine art and sculpture can inspire more abstract layouts and details. A coastal theme is a natural choice for anyone who has been inspired by a vacation by the seaside. Study scenes, plants, and other features while you are away, and start compiling a sourcebook of ideas, photographs, and even pressed ﬂowers that capture the essence of the garden you want to create at home. Also look at colors, shapes, and materials that reﬂect the location. These may include the turquoise water, local costumes, or landscaping materials used for houses or walls. However, remember that developing a design is not about copying exactly what you have seen elsewhere, nor is it combining all your ideas into one busy area. Good design evolves when a theme is carefully adapted to suit a planned space. So consider all the elements that inspire you and see whether they work together well before you draw up your ﬁnal plan. You may also ﬁnd it useful to sketch a bubble plan (see p.22), marking the different areas and functions you are planning for your new garden. Then ﬁle your inspirations under those headings, as shown here. COASTAL ACCESSORIES If you want to evoke a seaside theme with some nautical accessories, choose just a few small elements that will blend in with your planting plan. It is best to avoid too much clutter in a garden, which could look messy and clichéd as a result; try instead to strive for a clean design. Conceal any trash cans and equipment away in timber boxes. THE NATURAL WORLD Patterns and plantings from nature are a good source of inspiration when planning a design. Here, bluebells make perfect underplanting. NAUTICAL TOUCHES A few well-chosen, strategically placed nautical accessories can add delight and interest to a dark corner of the garden, or to a bed of plants. GATHERING INSPIRATION PLANTING IDEAS INSPIRING FURNITURE Plants that have evolved to grow well in coastal areas—where typically they are exposed to sun and salty air—will thrive in a garden if it has a similar microclimate and soil. These plants often favor a particular set of growing conditions, so check which plants will suit your garden and take this into account in your design. Choose outdoor furniture that will enhance the theme and style of your design, and perhaps pick up on a particular color or texture that you are using elsewhere in the garden. If you have the opportunity, you could try to buy authentic items while you are on vacation and bring them home with you. These will help to make further visual connections and reinforce the overall look, but take care not to over-ﬁll the space, or you may end up restricting your outdoor entertaining or relaxation areas. i BEACH EFFECTS Tall, spiky Agave succulents mingle here with lowgrowing plants, such as Armeria maritima and dark drifts of Sempervivum. Crunchy gravel and wooden posts that echo beach groines complete the natural effect. a SEASIDE PLANTING SOURCES Recreate coastal shallow soils and drought conditions— for example, with gravel borders—to mimic the environment in which these plants would naturally grow. a SEASIDE FURNITURE Furniture that is in keeping with the overall mood, such as these casual deck chairs, helps to create a coherent look, as well as providing a welcome area of relaxation. p GARDEN STORAGE Hide any equipment, tools, and other garden items in timber boxes that have been painted in bright colors to mimic seaside staples, such as these beach huts, or other coastal buildings. Ice-cream colors may also work well. DEVISING PLAY AREAS p SUN AND SAND A practical play area Sand and water continue the seaside theme, combined with an organic and are obvious magnets for children. A layout and seaside plants makes a delightful feature. microenvironment that includes these elements not only makes a great play area j SWINGING IDEA that will provide children with hours of fun, If you have room in your it also looks attractive when not in use. If you garden, allocate a space have very young children, you may prefer to for a swing. Use recycled, avoid the potential danger of open water and hardwearing rope and driftwood for the seat, install just a sand box. If you are wary of vast and cover the ground quantities of sand ending up in the pool (or beneath with bark chips. in your house), substitute small, rounded pebbles to make your “beach”. 25 26 HOW TO DESIGN Shapes and spaces Choosing the basic ground shapes for your plot is a good starting point for a design: one simple shape is best for small gardens, but larger areas can accommodate a variety. How you ﬁll the spaces between the shapes also determines the ﬁnal look. HOW TO USE SHAPES When choosing squares, rectangles, or circles for a design, also consider the size, shape, and location of the surrounding buildings and boundaries. Experiment with different options: try layouts based on existing features, the structure of the house, and the way the garden will be viewed and used. In general, shapes with straight sides are easier and cheaper to build than circles and ovals. RIGHT-ANGLED SHAPES A variety of these straight-sided shapes easily divide the garden into separate areas, provide a strong sense of direction, and exploit both long and short views. A long axis running down the garden will lengthen it visually; a diagonal layout creates more interest; blocks laid across the plot foreshorten the garden and take the eyes to the sides, making the space feel wider. CIRCULAR SHAPES Circles are unifying shapes, and while combinations can create pleasing effects, they do leave awkward pointed junctions that can be difﬁcult to plant or designate. Work with geometric principles: for example, a path should lead you into the center of the circle; if set to the side, the design will appear unbalanced. Ovals have a long axis, providing direction and orientation. Large planting spaces for trees or shrubs Planting may not work in narrow areas The full width of the garden is defined by the tilted shapes STRAIGHT LINES This design has a strong linear axis. The shapes and planting spaces are simple and uniﬁed. THE LONG VIEW A diagonal layout directs the eye towards the corners. The overall design evokes energy. Large spaces for planting or use as a practical area Moving circles to one side allows for a larger planting area Dominant larger circle could be either lawn or hard surface Awkward area needs to be taken into account DIAGONAL LINE The three overlapping circles are aligned along a diagonal to provide a strong design axis. C-SHAPED CURVE The restricted access and pleasing asymmetry of this design create an enticing space to explore. MIXING SHAPES Combining various shapes creates more interest, but throws up problems when a curve and a rectangle meet, or different materials connect. Generally, keep the layout simple, experimenting with scale and proportion to work out how many opposing shapes can be employed. Planting can be used to “glue” the shapes together, and to blur the joins between awkward junctions. Several large, interesting triangular spaces for planting A focal point here will draw the eye down the central axis Planting separates the different shapes CLASSIC MATCH A traditional symmetrical layout, mirrored along a central axis, is the basis for a formal design. Use planting or a focal point to provide a visual full stop Planting partly obscures the different areas SIMPLE APPROACH Changing the size and orientation of a shape delivers a dramatic and imposing layout. SHAPES AND SPACES USING SPACES CLEAN LINES Interlocking, steel-edged rectangular “trays” are the basis for this simple design. The metal cladding on the building creates a focal point and an effective visual boundary. Larger planting areas are limited A narrow access creates intrigue FULL WIDTH A series of parallel divisions, with offset gaps for planting or practical structures, forces movement and views around the garden. The design draws you in. Large planting pockets Long axis directs the eye SMOOTH FLOW Using ovals instead of circles adds a smoother ﬂow to the layout, because the eye is taken along their lengths, rather than in all directions as in a circle. The path connects and unifies the spaces Access could be via a patio or terrace SECRET CORNERS In this mixture of rectangles and curved hedges, only one part of the garden can be seen at any time. This allows the hidden areas to have different themes. Densely planted spaces, using height and ﬁlling the garden’s width, will create a cocoon, while sparse, airy planting hugging the boundaries gives an open, spacious feel. Spaces can also be used to disguise the size and shape of a garden. For instance, a jungle effect in a small garden can imply the existence of more space by blurring the edges, whereas exposed boundaries may make it appear smaller. Conversely, in a large country garden, open spaces can blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, making the plot seem even bigger. Consider, too, existing planting and structures and work with the spaces they create. OPEN ASPECT A narrow space between tall boundaries will be oppressive and claustrophobic. Here, in a design dominated by a lawn or hard landscaping, low vegetation creates an area exposed to more light, longer views, and a connection to the sky above. It will feel open, but intimate areas may be lost. A central flat area draws the eye down ENCLOSED FEELING The same space ﬁlled with vegetation of different heights will be darker, much more enclosed, and with no views to the sides. The path will appear as a corridor through the center and can lead to different parts of the garden, divided by the planting into separately designated areas. BALANCED APPROACH The same path now moved to the side also creates a corridor-like effect, but this time views are allowed under the canopy to the right, across a narrower strip of planting into the brighter space beyond. To the left, secret, intimate places can be created with a pergola or arbor among the mixture of high and low planting. MIXED MOODS This garden is densely planted by the house, allowing close inspection of the ﬂowers and plants, and then opens up on to a spacious lawn, creating two moods. Trees create an overhead canopy A wooded glade creates a more intimate area Low planting allows the surroundings to become integral to the design Planting of various heights will mask areas and invite exploration Trees with light canopies open up the aspect 27 28 HOW TO DESIGN Routes and navigation The location, width, pattern, and choice of materials of your path network will affect the way the garden is used. The routes determine how the area is navigated, as well as revealing views and framing spaces. Not all paths have the same role: some, the primary routes, will dominate the vista and dictate the garden plan. The secondary routes are used occasionally, guiding you off the main thoroughfare to access areas hidden from sight, whether for practical or design purposes. PRIMARY ROUTES The main route or pathway through the garden not only links together the different areas, but also determines the basic design. For example, a main path laid straight down the center suggests formality, while a curved route snaking through the garden creates the template for an informal plan. A wide path offers an open, inviting entrance, welcoming in visitors, and a narrow winding path, CENTRAL PATHS Paths converge in the center ﬂanked by tall planting that obscures the view, adds mystery. To punctuate the end of the route, use a focal point, such as a bench, statue, or container, to create a visual boundary. By its nature, a primary route will be heavily used, so materials need to be durable as well as complementary to the overall garden style. Consider, too, how the shape and appearance of path edges ﬁt into the design. WINDING PATHS A container provides focus CLASSIC LAYOUT A formal design is often built around a series of geometric and symmetrical paths. They are used to frame planted areas and meet at a speciﬁc focal point. There is usually no opportunity to deviate. Path skirts a feature, possibly a pond Path leads to a destination— for example, a summerhouse or seating area ENTICING CURVES Routes that snake through the plot add a ﬂowing sense of movement and an air of intrigue. They can be used to move around or join up key elements, as well as provide a few unexpected surprises. DIAGONAL PATHS The straight path lengthens the plot A circular patio adds contrast ILLUSION OF SIZE Setting a path on a diagonal allows the garden to be viewed along its longest axis, thereby creating the illusion of greater space and depth in small spaces, drawing the eye away from the back boundaries. ROUTES AND NAVIGATION SECONDARY ROUTES While primary routes determine the style of a garden, secondary routes should be less intrusive and subtly incorporated into the design. They can be both practical and ornamental, providing occasional access to a seating area, shed, or compost heap, or leading you off the main path on an intimate journey to view a concealed corner. They can even cut through large ﬂower beds, allowing you to experience colors and scents up close. Access routes need not be as durable as main paths, and can be created from softer, organic materials, or mown through an area of grass. ROAM FREE Random paving with planted crevices creates a slightly erratic, informal design. With no deﬁned route, the eye—and body—can move in several directions across the whole area. CIRCULAR PATHS ACCESS PATHS While helpful in offering access to other areas, plan secondary routes carefully and use sparingly to avoid a maze-like confusion of paths that make the design look muddled. They can be obvious (as right), or hidden in some way, either deliberately behind planting (see below left), or concealed within the design (see below right). Path to shed Path to patio A pond, for example, is framed by the path PRACTICAL SOLUTION A path tucked away at the back of this formal design is not obvious, but it provides a practical, hard-surfaced route to the shed and compost bins. HIDDEN APPROACH The gravel to right and left of the path, while part of the design, also provides a direct, hardwearing pathway to the garden’s seating and play areas. SECRET WAY Visually, it appears as if the main pathway stops at the lawn, but concealed behind low hedging, a side path takes you off to a secluded area of the garden. SUBTLE LINK A path laid in the same paving material as the main circular route links the off-set dining area without impinging on the cleanness of the design. The circular path draws you on CONTINUOUS FLOW A circular path takes you on a journey around the garden. It can be planned to provide alternative views of key features and different elements, depending on the direction in which you travel. 29 HOW TO DESIGN Creating views and vistas Your garden may look out over countryside or toward an apartment complex, but either way, the views within your space can be enhanced with careful planning. A combination of framing and screening, using barriers, archways, and pergolas, can create a memorable experience as you move through your plot, glimpsing the next view as you go. PLANNING YOUR ROUTE While one ingeniously planned vista can be very gratifying, developing a sequence of changing views is even more inspirational. Different views can be devised by varying the sizes of open spaces, using screens to mask changes of use, and adding focal points. Designing viewing positions, for example by adding a seat, or orientating a path along a vista, will also focus attention in particular directions. Remember, too, that the view looking back from the end of the plot should be considered, as well as the main view from the house. The secret is not to reveal everything at once. This plan for a long, thin family garden, by designer Fran Coulter, shows you how these ideas work in practice. ➂ THE TOOL SHED The slim shed on the patio is both decorative and functional, adding a focal feature to this area of the garden. ➃ LOOKING THROUGH PLANTING From this angle, looking across the planting to the seats beyond, the pergola looks quite different and the garden takes on a more organic, less formal appearance. The bubble pool draws the attention to the side of the main path ➂ ➃ ➁ HOUSE 30 ➀ Circular table and chairs for outdoor relaxation and entertaining The paving here is also used for the path through the garden, providing continuity ➀ VIEW FROM HOUSE This is the most important view in the garden and dictates the layout. The pergola reinforces and frames the view, and the inclusion of a ﬂower-ﬁlled container as a focal point in the middle distance draws the eye forward. ➁ EATING OUTSIDE The table and chairs are near the house, and are set against a simple green hedge, which creates a comforting sense of seclusion. ➅ ➄ ➄ WATER FEATURE A glance to the side reveals another eye-catching feature. Hostas and grasses frame a discreet, low bubble pool. From a second, more secluded seating area, the eye is drawn towards the bubble pool CREATING VIEWS AND VISTAS BORROWING BEAUTIFUL VIEWS If you can see the surrounding landscape from your house, try connecting it visually to your own garden. Consider framing a key view, or opening up your garden, using a discreet barrier, such as a low hedge or picket fence, to link it to the wider landscape. Think about the view in different seasons and consider what it will look like in winter when trees and hedges are more open. You may also need to adapt your own garden planting to blend it into the landscape. p BLENDING IN ➅ SHADY CORNER Beyond the pergola, the garden is more open and has a different character. This area is hidden from the house, and quite shady, providing the owner with an opportunity to use a different range of plants, such as leafy hostas. ➆ RELAXING FAMILY AREA This swing seat is tucked around the corner, just beyond the pergola and faces towards the brick circle and the shade garden. The play area is almost hidden from the house by judicious screening Here, there is no clear boundary between the garden and the land beyond. One becomes the other, and the garden seems to stretch as far as the horizon. i FRAMING A VIEW This window to the outside world is perfectly focused on a tree-topped hill. Garden office ➇ ➈ ➆ Not all views are good. Within a garden, especially a small one, there will be areas of utilitarian clutter, such as sheds or garbage cans, which are not especially attractive and may need screening. Neighboring houses may overlook the property, spoil the view, and compromise privacy. Tall planting or screens can help to hide eyesores, but if these are not an option, try adding an attractive focal point elsewhere in the garden to distract and lead the eye away. A container of white-flowering roses stands on this brick circle, drawing the eye down the garden from the house ➇ FOCAL POINT Circular features break up and soften long, straight lines. The pot is a focus for this space and can be viewed from all sides. DISGUISING UNATTRACTIVE VIEWS ➈ PLAY AREA The play area is hidden behind a semi-transparent screen, which separates it, both physically and visually, from the rest of the garden. a COVERING AN OLD SHED Garden sheds are often unwelcome focal points. This rambling climber is a good summer disguise, less effective in winter. KEY p SCREENING NEIGHBORS route through the garden direction of viewpoint The tall bamboo screen blocks the view to the neighboring property and provides an attractive backdrop to the planters. 31 32 HOW TO DESIGN Geometric designs Small, symmetrical, rectangular-shaped plots, often found in towns and cities, are ideal for geometric layouts, although some large rural gardens are also highly geometric. Most are based on simple combinations of rectangles and squares, with linear elements, such as walls, screens, hedges, and steps used to reinforce the formality of the design. DESCENDING PLANES A progression of levels, low block walls, rectangular beds, strip lighting, and matching recliners produces a series of parallel lines, giving this contemporary garden a dynamic feel. The planting is simple, so it does not detract from the strength of the overall design. LAYERING SHAPES By adding a variety of layers above ground level to offer different views and experiences, gardens can be made more visually exciting and functional. These layers can be set directly above the ground pattern, or angled so that the shapes above eye level have a different, but complementary geometry. Pergolas, clipped-tree canopies, and roof-like structures all offer opportunities to layer your design. Canopies provide shade and create a layering effect Raised decks are quick and easy to build Screens and hedges provide height Hard-wearing paving is best at ground level OVERLAPPING LAYERS The arrangement of elements in this small garden breaks up a dull rectangular plot, and creates different spatial effects. CIRCULAR DESIGNS Layouts based on circles, arcs, and radiating patterns help to create spaces that are full of movement. However, they are difﬁcult to build from hard landscape materials, and getting the geometry wrong will look unattractive. Organic layouts (see pp.36–37) should be considered as an alternative, if this is likely to be a problem. LEVEL CHANGES To create visual interest, introduce subtle changes of level using a range of different materials, including water. Dominant shapes can be softened by planting Circular shapes draw the eye to the center of the garden The converging lines of the patio connect the house to the lawn o FORMAL APPROACH A central lawn surrounded by a radiating pattern of low beds and clipped hedges combines a sense of order with rhythm and movement. a DIRECTIONAL DESIGN This simple design focuses the eye on the center of the garden. A container or sculpture could be used as a focal point. GEOMETRIC DESIGNS SHAPES ON A DIAGONAL A classic design trick for long, linear, and narrow plots, is to rotate a rectilinear geometric pattern so that it is orientated along diagonal lines. These layouts on a bias draw your eye down the garden and encourage views to the sides. DYNAMIC ANGLES The diagonal lines of staggered beds, patchwork wooden decking, and a raised pool make a bold statement, and direct visitors through the space. TWISTS AND TURNS A diagonal path with steps traces a zig-zag line through the garden, providing areas to linger and enjoy the wide beds and colorful planting. Triangular beds provide depth for a range of planting Angled rectangles offer diagonal lines and views Different materials add interest and break up the space DEFINING SHAPES Here, rectangles of hard landscaping, set side-by-side and edged with planting, make the garden appear wider than it is. 33 34 HOW TO DESIGN Symmetrical layouts Throughout the world (except in the Far East), from the middle ages to the early 18th century, gardens were not only geometric, but also symmetrical. Inspired by Islamic and classical designs, they transformed the landscape into a controlled work of art. These formal layouts complemented classical architecture and reinforced the belief that beauty derives from order and simplicity. CONTEMPORARY SYMMETRY Contemporary layouts can adapt classical symmetry to meet the requirements of modern living, such as creating space for outdoor entertaining or for growing herbs and vegetables. Good design also involves an understanding of a wide range of hard landscape materials and the way in which they can be combined to make a simple and elegant framework for the planting. p PERFECT HARMONY This sophisticated garden illustrates classical symmetry and demonstrates the importance of proportion and scale. Create a striking central feature to accentuate design symmetry COOL CONTROL A checkerboard of white paving and emerald grass against a dark hedge offers a modern interpretation of a traditional format. FORMAL FRAMEWORK A combination of rectangles with block planting gives a strong structure that works well in a contemporary setting. INFORMAL PLANTING Use a focal point to draw the eye to the end of the path Symmetrical layouts are often less obvious when viewed from eye level, especially when taller plants are used. A variety of forms, textures, and colors will also soften hard lines and sharp edges. The combination of formal design and more relaxed, informal planting is a tried-and-tested formula, but requires skill and discipline if it is to work well. The balancing effect of a restricted color palette and repeated plants, perhaps mirrored along a path, help to develop and reinforce the symmetrical theme. MIRROR IMAGE In a symmetrical garden, dominant shapes are repeated and guide you through a sequence of harmonious spaces. Lush planting can be used to soften edges a SOFTENED LINES The subtle haze of herbaceous planting spills out onto the path and contrasts with the formal garden layout. p REPEATED PLANTING Leading the eye through the garden, this long, airy avenue of grass demonstrates the compositional power of symmetrical planting. SYMMETRICAL L AYOUTS TRADITIONAL AND FORMAL Traditionally, it was the symmetrical pattern on the ground, such as a parterre of low hedging laid out around a central axis, that dominated garden layouts. These geometric designs are still popular in vegetable and herb gardens today, where they allow easy access to tend the beds. In the classical gardens of large estates, a sequence of focal points, such as ornamental pools and fountains, dramatic sculptures or large urns, were added to enhance key points and to make the pattern more interesting from eye level. Nowadays, when many planting styles are used, the geometric approach works best when the overall design can be viewed from a terrace or house above. Planting can be changed seasonally for different effects Crossing paths lend themselves to Islamic-style gardens Planting edged with dwarf box hedging reinforces the formal pattern VISUAL JOURNEY Well-positioned focal points, such as this nautilus sculpture, create a strong sense of direction. The domes of box and clipped yew lining the path accentuate this effect. PERMANENT PATTERNS This formal layout of box-edged beds is inﬁlled with spring ﬂowers, which will be replaced as summer approaches. CIRCLES AND SQUARES Reminiscent of a Celtic cross, this layout divides the garden into quadrants with a central focal area, ideal for an ornament. 35 36 HOW TO DESIGN Organic shapes As a general rule, organic shapes and layouts work best in larger gardens and are especially suited to rural and semi-rural locations. They are characterized by ﬂowing lines, soft curves, the sympathetic use of landscaping materials, and relaxed planting designs. These naturalistic gardens also evolve over time as the lush planting matures, blurring the original layout. INTERLOCKING CIRCLES SIMPLE CURVES Generous curves, wide beds, and the addition of a pinch-point draw the eye around the garden. The top of the garden provides an open expanse for a lawn or area of gravel Developing two areas of the garden, separated by a pinch-point, leads the eye from one space to another, and offers both open and enclosed areas. The organic layout provides a setting where some shrubs and trees can be allowed to grow to their natural size, creating a backdrop for lower plants at the front of the beds. The narrow space between the circular forms can also be used to bring color and interest into the center of the design (right). This ﬁgure-of-eight layout makes the garden appear larger, as all areas are not visible from a single vantage point. Where the lawn narrows it draws the eye to the center SMOOTH OUTLINE Use ﬂowing lines for an organic and natural design, and avoid fussy ripples or sharp corners that will interrupt the continuity. FLUID LINES A simple device to draw the eye along the garden, and to give the illusion of movement and space, is to adopt an S-shaped design. Two circular areas are connected by a single ﬂuid line, which can be developed into a snaking path or a ﬂowing lawn. If used as a path, the spaces at the top and bottom are ideal for planting, a seating area, or an ornamental feature, such as a pool. If these two areas are different in size, the path may be tightly coiled at one point and then more relaxed, providing contrasting experiences. o SERPENTINE PATH A coiling stone path leads through robust planting to a cave-like chamber in this children’s play garden. An ideal spot for a pool or feature to be viewed from a winding path i CURVED DECKING The sinuous lines of the deck and lawn complement the subtle shades of the surrounding foliage. MEANDERING ROUTE This curvaceous shape provides many different views and vistas as you move through the garden. ORGANIC SHAPES SWEEPING CURVES Curved lines may be placed to avoid an obstacle, such as a tree, pond, or building, or added to make a path that leads to a particular destination. These are the ﬂuid lines found in the natural world and lend an organic character to shapes and forms. They are frequently used to create calm, relaxing, and unchallenging garden designs. BOLD STATEMENT Curving around a bench, this dynamic raised bed adds color and momentum to a paved circular terrace. Use gravel or bark for a soft organic look GENTLE ARC Wide curvilinear paths create generous space on either side for deep planting beds or expansive water features. CONTINUOUS JOURNEY This C-shaped gravel path guides the visitor between still water and soft planting. The view around the curve is partly obscured, which adds a sense of mystery. 37 38 HOW TO DESIGN Multilevel layouts Sloping sites provide an opportunity to create beautiful spaces full of movement and drama. Working a plan around the site’s natural slope will create a more natural effect, while terraces offer structure and shape for formal and contemporary designs. Drainage is an important consideration, as any changes to slopes will affect the movement of water (see pp.94–95 ). TERRACED SLOPES Terracing makes a dynamic statement, and p STEEP TERRACE Tiered wooden beams can be used to extend the architecture of a low wall provide buildings into a sloping landscape. Retaining behind perfect conditions for walls and steps are solid, permanent sun-loving plants. additions and a long-term investment. Measuring and building them are skilled jobs i TREE PLATFORM Decked platforms are at both the design and construction stages. easier and less costly to Wooden decking is a cheaper solution; build than terraces, which materials are lighter, but not as long-lasting. involve major earthworks. GENTLE SLOPES Gentle changes of level in a garden offer visual interest and depth to the design. For practical purposes, gardens with only a slight incline can be treated as a ﬂat site. However, if completely level areas are needed, for example, to accommodate a table and chairs, it will be necessary to level the ground and carefully consider the route between changing elevations. A combination of walls, steps, ramps, and terraces can be introduced as required, to suit any design. GRADUAL PROGRESS Shallow steps, with space for decorative pots, bridge a small pond and provide an easy route up to the seating area beyond. MULTILEVEL L AYOUTS DESIGNING WITH STEPS When building steps, the proportions of the tread (horizontal) and riser (vertical) are both important. Generally, they are more generous outdoors than inside a building, with treads 12–20 in (300–500 mm) deep and risers 6–8 in (150–200 mm) high. Materials should complement those used elsewhere in the garden, especially adjacent walls. retaining wall STEEP STEPS These are a good option if space is limited, or when more drama is required, but they hinder fast movement and can be dangerous, so install a handrail too. tread riser SHALLOW STEPS Although they take up more space, shallow steps allow a relaxed progress through the garden. The depth of the treads also provides space for decorative pots. STEPPED RAMP A stepped ramp is easy to negotiate and, if shallow enough, can accommodate wheeled transport. It can be useful where there is not enough room for a ramp. NATURAL HILLSIDE The best advice when dealing with a hillside garden is to change a natural slope as little as possible. The soil is likely to be shallow and held together by the existing vegetation. Drainage will be complex and removing the native plant material may result in soil erosion and landslides, as the soil-binding roots are lost. Try to work with the unique contours of the landscape and make small, thoughtful interventions over time rather than signiﬁcant alterations all at once. NATURE’S WAY Uneven, weathered stone steps meander romantically up through a secluded and naturalistic woodland setting. SAFETY ISSUES For safety reasons, any surface higher than 24 in (600 mm) above surrounding levels should be enclosed by a barrier 36 in (900 mm) high; railings, walls, or fences are suitable options. Decorative restraint CONTINUOUS RAMP Invaluable for wheelchairs, bikes, etc, ramps also provide a useful route for wheelbarrows. They need seven times more horizontal space than steps. ADDING A LANDING A landing is desirable at the top of a ﬂight of steps, and to provide a resting place every ten or eleven steps within a long ﬂight. It is also required when there is a change of direction. 39 40 HOW TO DESIGN Using height and structure The plants or features that give height and structure to a design greatly enhance the way a garden is perceived and used. This is especially true of a straight-sided, horizontal plot, where introducing different heights will create movement and dynamism. There are certain principles to bear in mind, such as the rules of perspective, and it is useful to remember that the closer you are to a structure, the larger it will appear. Use hard landscaping and planting to create the effects you want. HEIGHT LEVELS A see-through trellis distracts the eye from a shed It is practical to think about height levels in terms of how they relate to the adult human body, which affects how they are viewed and experienced. Anything below knee height is viewed from above. Waist-high elements are seen at an angle, and form a screen, partly blocking views to anything immediately behind them. At shoulder and head height, dense or opaque elements (such as closely planted tall shrubs, hedging, or high screens) will completely block a view. Structures above head height, for example a tree canopy, can create a sense of seclusion as the sky and nearby buildings are obscured. Hard landscaping provides ﬁxed elements but all further interest comes from planting. Indeed, combining plants of different heights is one of the key aspects of a successful garden. Few built elements can compete with a mature tree for interest and drama. The tree lifts the gaze upward A painted, rendered wall forms the boundary Low walls double as seating The lowest plane is lawn Planting is repeated at intervals to provide rhythm An outer wall gives a sense of enclosure p VARYING HEIGHTS This multilevel design shows the clever relationship between the ﬁxed height of the parallel low walls, and the natural variations achieved with perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees. Stones add a change of texture i HEIGHT LEVELS EXPLAINED This diagram shows the relationship between the human form and height levels within the garden. Planting, hard landscaping, and screens have all been planned to vary viewing angles throughout. The three low walls interrupt the planting but do not obscure the view beyond. Above head height Head height Waist height Knee height Ankle height Planting at waist height is seen at an angle A see-through screen stands above head height Low walling around knee height punctuates the space An lawn area creates open space in the design Paving adds a different texture at ground level The highest element is the rendered wall, creating a backdrop Planting breaks up the flat expanse of wall USING HEIGHT AND STRUCTURE INTRODUCING HEIGHT TEMPORARY SCREENS A range of height levels gives variety and interest to a garden, whatever its scale. Elements that create instant height include barriers (walls, fences, screens, or trellis), overhead structures (pergolas, arbors, or canopies), and play equipment, such as a child’s swing. Planting options are varied and include trees, many shrubs, bamboos, climbers, hedges, and perennials for seasonal variation. Bear in mind that young trees and shrubs need not be expensive, but take time to gain height. Built structures cost more, but are quickly realized and make permanent features. While pergolas and other built structures provide height and solid overhead planes, they need support and can ﬁll small gardens with posts. If uprights would be a problem in your garden, consider suspending temporary canopy screens to create shade and make the garden feel more intimate. Sail-like screens are a good solution and they can be taken down when not required. They need to be attached securely, but can be an excellent way of creating privacy in a small garden. a CONTRASTS OF HEIGHT The stature of these elegant olive trees is given greater emphasis by the low planting below. p SHIELDING NEIGHBORS A combination of trees and shrubs behind trellis screens provides partial screening and privacy from neighbors. The painted frame adds height and structure to what would otherwise feel like a small space. NAUTICAL SCREEN A lightweight and elegant sail canopy provides shade, does not clutter the garden with posts, and conveys a feeling of intimacy to small urban gardens. USING PERSPECTIVE There are two important principles to consider when using perspective (the way in which objects appear to the eye). The ﬁrst is that parallel lines in the viewer’s sight appear to converge at a point in the distance, known as the “vanishing point”. The second is that objects nearer to the viewer appear larger than those further away. A large tree or work TRANSPARENT SCREENS of art, for example, may look too dominant placed in the foreground, but in proportion sited further away. By carefully positioning elements of different heights in the garden, the rules of perspective can be exploited. It is even possible to produce slight optical illusions, for example, by repeating motifs at intervals to make a garden look longer. Trellis, glass, and other transparent and semitransparent screens help to separate garden spaces, without diminishing light. They are useful in smaller plots, where they allow visual connections to be made, while breaking up the space, and adding a change of mood. Transparent screens also make attractive features in their own right. The sculpture at the far end makes an appealing focal point in the distance Repetition of this broad, shallow curve makes the garden seem longer and wider than it actually is TRICKING THE EYE The use and orientation of parallel lines, and the repetition of shapes, draw the eye forward to the sculpture, creating a sense of depth. VERSATILE TRELLIS The open latticework of trellis associates well with plants and climbers and may be left open or screened with evergreens. GLASS PANELS This patterned glass panel allows light through but slightly obscures the visual connection to the next area of the garden. 41 42 HOW TO DESIGN Choosing structural elements Boundaries are the frame within which your garden sits and form the backdrop to the space, especially in a newly planted garden. Screens allow you to divide the garden into smaller areas, and come in a variety of forms and materials, while some garden structures may even be works of art in themselves. BOUNDARY OPTIONS The main boundary choices are walls, fences, or hedges. Walls are an investment, making a permanent addition to the property, and can connect garden and house visually. Fences are cheaper but shorter-lived, so bear in mind that they will need replacing in time. Hedges take time to grow, and need clipping, but form a soft, natural boundary. p WOODEN SCREEN A trellis clad in clematis makes a decorative, inexpensive screen. j STRONG LINES The boundary here has strong horizontal lines, in contrast with the striking verticals of the bamboos. h BRIGHT SQUARES The mix of brightly colored opaque and transparent screens makes a bold statement. o GREEN COLONNADE An interesting alternative to a traditional continuous hedge, these tall, clipped conifers form a strong background feature. INTERNAL SCREENS Adding screens and panels within the garden divides it into smaller, more intimate spaces. They are especially useful in predictable rectilinear plots, where they can add interest and heighten mystery. Panels below waist height allow views across the garden; taller screens separate different areas, and gaps allow tempting glimpses of the garden beyond. Consider the effect of opaque and transparent screens and introduce colors and textures to add visual contrasts. Supports and other frameworks should form an important part of the design and, if well planned, will help to reinforce the overall composition. CHOOSING STRUCTURAL ELEMENTS USING NATURAL FORMS Structural elements can be introduced using planting alone. A range of trees and shrubs can be trained to form hedges and screens with great results. Patience is needed while slower-growing plants mature, but this is a rewarding process. Natural forms suit traditional gardens, but are not out of place in a modern design, where clipped shapes, such as “lollipop” trees and sculptural plants like bamboos, add spheres or lines to a design. Accentuate the vertical lines of small trees by placing low-growing plants at the base. o BAMBOO SCREEN This bold planting of tall Phyllostachys sulphurea f. viridis is reﬂected in the pool in front. h CLIPPED TREES Here clipped “lollipop” bay trees emerge from box-framed lavender beds, demarcating the dining area. The slate terrace lends textural contrast. SCULPTURAL STRUCTURES Screens and garden dividers of all kinds can be decorative in their own right and, equally, a work of art can play a dual role and have a structural function in a garden. By introducing a strikingly different material, such as glass or metal, into a design ﬁlled with plants, you can add exciting accents and heighten the drama. Glass may be frosted or clear, printed with patterns or molded in different ways, although even toughened glass may not suit a family garden. Metal adds gleam and reﬂection to an otherwise matt series of surfaces. Site sculptural structures where they can be fully appreciated. p THE PATH AHEAD This unusual elliptical, wire mesh tunnel, a work of art in itself, invites use and functions as both a screen and a walkway. j FROSTY LOOKS The image printed on the transparent and frosted screen acts as additional “planting”. Both the screen and the seat appear to ﬂoat within the garden. 43 HOW TO DESIGN PRIMARY Introducing color RY DA TER RY TI AR Y ND ON IA CO AR Y TERTIARY TERTIARY COLOR WHEEL IA Y T TER RY IA RY IM AR RT PR IM TE AR Y PR The language of color is best understood using a color wheel—a device employed by many artists and designers to explore the visual relationships between colors and the effects different ones can create when placed together. In particular, it helps us to see why some combinations work better than others, and why one color can dramatically inﬂuence another to produce a startling contrast or confer a harmonious continuity. T T ER SE Color is a powerful tool in garden design, inﬂuencing our senses and the way in which we respond to the environment around us. Colors can also convey an atmosphere, mood, or message: warm, vibrant colors generate a feeling of immediacy, liveliness, and excitement, while cool colors create a calm, spacious, often tranquil atmosphere. SEC 44 SECONDARY HUES, TINTS, SHADES, AND TONES The true colors or hues are in the third ring of this wheel. The two central rings are light tints, which are mixed with white. The outer rings show how adding black makes darker shades. If gray were added, it would make a tone. PRIMARY COLORS Red, blue, and yellow, the largest slices of color on the wheel above, are primary colors, from which all other colors derive. These three hues cannot be mixed or formed by combining other colors. SECONDARY COLORS Two adjacent primaries will create a secondary color when mixed together. These secondary hues are green, orange, and purple. Add black to create a shade Add white to create a tint True color or hue TERTIARY COLORS These are made by mixing adjacent primary and secondary colors in different quantities, until the wheel becomes a circular rainbow. Primaries blue and red produce secondary purple Primaries red and yellow produce secondary orange Primaries yellow and blue produce secondary green INTRODUCING COLOR IN THE GARDEN PLANTING COMBINATIONS Creating a variety of color combinations with plants and ﬂowers is exciting. You can alter the palette to produce changing colors for each season. HARD LANDSCAPING When nothing is in ﬂower, hard landscaping can provide color and interest. The effect is consistent, although weather conditions may affect the colors. PAINT Earthy tones, derived from natural pigments, work well in more natural contexts, while bright, bold colors create a feeling of energy, excitement, and optimism. INTRODUCING COLOR COMBINING COLORS SUCCESSFULLY The opportunity to combine different tints and shades of various effects. The key concept involves working with harmony and contrast colors makes garden design an exciting challenge; using a color wheel to develop a visual experience to engage the viewer. Those colors can help our understanding of which combinations create the best allocated the most space in your design will become dominant. OPPOSITE COLORS Two colors from opposite sides of the wheel are considered to be complementary, for example, yellow and purple, and red and green. The high contrast of these colors creates a vibrant look, but they can cause eye strain, too, and should be used sparingly. ADJOINING COLORS Harmonious colors, selected from adjoining hues (also called analogous colors) match well, are pleasing to the eye, and create a sense of order. Choose one color to dominate, and others to support it. Adjoining color groups create a “warming” or “cooling” effect. TRIADIC COLORS Selecting three colors that are evenly spaced around the wheel can instil a sense of vibrancy. This works best with ﬂower and foliage color rather than with hard landscaping materials, where triadic combinations can be overdone and appear chaotic. 45 46 HOW TO DESIGN Color effects In a garden, color is never perceived in isolation and should always be considered as part of an overall design composition that includes form, line, texture, and scale. Other elements, such as the intensity of sunlight and shadow, can also inﬂuence how colors are seen in an outdoor space. It is important to understand how and where to use different colors in your design to achieve the best effects. COLOR INFLUENCE p SHORTEN A VIEW A dominant color (red) You can use color to attract attention to a placed behind a recessive particular feature or area; the more an object color (green) will bring the background forward. This contrasts with its surroundings, the more is particularly effective if visible it becomes. Hues (saturated colors) they are complementary. are dominant and offer the highest level of contrast when placed together. Darker shades p LENGTHEN A VIEW If a dominant color (purple) or lighter tints contrast less, although small is in the foreground with areas of light against dark, or vice versa, can a harmonious recessive create an accent. Recessive colors, like cool backdrop (green), the garden appears longer. blue or green, give the illusion of distance. OUTLINE Without color, the outline of this tree doesn’t stand out from the background. RED ON GREEN When red is placed on its complementary, green, the colors appear to “vibrate”. GREEN ON RED The intensity is the same, but as red is dominant, the green tree is less clear. CREATING HIGHLIGHTS a WARM CONTRASTS This group of yellow ﬂowers is highlighted against the dull red brick wall. The drift of mauve ﬂowers in the distance contrasts with the dark woods behind and the lighter green ﬁeld. p BRIGHT WHITE While purple and green are closely related on the color wheel, adding white creates a stronger composition. As pure white reﬂects the most light, these pots stand out against the purple wall. You can achieve some bold effects in a garden using color highlights. Try contrasting one hue against another, or combining adjoining hues in close proximity (see p.45). Plants with complementary colors (red and green, purple and yellow) will intensify the brightness of each other when placed together, while plants with hues that are close to each other on the color wheel (see p.44) (purple, red, and pink) blend to form a harmonious effect. The introduction of a single, intensely colored plant against a recessive background (such as green or blue) will make the bright plant stand out, and combining warm and cool colors can also result in eye-catching compositions that highlight the more dominant color. (Note that white may appear recessive or dominant depending on the quality of the light.) COLOR EFFECTS THE PROPERTIES OF COLOR Warm colors (reds, yellows, and oranges) can make spaces appear smaller and intimate. Cool colors (blues, whites) make areas look larger and more open. Green is a neutral color. REDS Reds and oranges suggest excitement, warmth, passion, energy, and vitality. They stand out against neutral greens, and work best in sunny sites but, if over-used, can be oppressive. YELLOWS Yellows are sunny and cheerful. Most are warm and associate well with reds and oranges. Greenish-yellows are cooler and suit more delicate combinations. a COLOR BOOSTING SUNLIGHT The strong sunlight has a brightening effect on the yellow wall, and on the sizzling intensity of the red ﬂowers in pots and on the hedge in the background. LIGHT AND SHADE a NATURE’S NEUTRAL COLORS Beautiful effects can be achieved by combining a variety of soothing grays, blues, and greens with light-catching whites and yellows, which brighten up a shaded area. Responding to color is a sensory reaction, like smell and taste, and the way in which our eyes read a color is dependent upon the amount, and intensity, of light that is reﬂected from that color. Sunny areas make colors appear bolder and more concentrated, while shaded areas reﬂect more muted hues. This means that ﬂat areas of color—for example, a painted wall—may look quite different depending upon their aspect and orientation. Similarly, the hues of ﬂowers and leaves will change depending on their location, the degree of shade cast on them, and the time of day. BLUES Deep blues can appear very intense, lighter blues more airy. Blues suggest peace, serenity, and coolness. Purples carry some of the characteristics of both reds and blues. GREENS The most common color in the plant kingdom, green comes in many variations, ranging from cool blue-green to warm yellow-green. They suggest calm, fertility, and freshness. WHITES White is common in nature. It is a combination of all other reﬂected colors, and suggests purity and harmony. White spaces seem spacious; the downside is they can feel stark. BLACKS/GRAYS Blacks and grays are the absence of color, when light rays are absorbed and none are reﬂected back. Black is glamorous when used sparingly, but depressing when extended over large areas. TINTS, SHADES, AND TONES A general guideline to remember is that pure hues or saturated colors are more intense, while colors that have been mixed together are less vibrant. Black and gray are rare in nature, but they do exist in the form of shadows. A tinted color, which has been “diluted” with white, will be lightened and appear more airy and farther away. A shaded color, which has been “diluted” with black, will appear to be nearer. Tones mainly occur when a color is cast into shade. However, the quality of light in a garden, such as on a bright sunny terrace or in a shady border at twilight, will affect the way that colors are perceived. TINTS Hue + white = tint. The more white added, the lighter the color. Tints recede, but pure white may advance. SHADES Hue + black = shade. Darker shades advance. They are warmer and appear closer than pale tints. TONES Hue + gray = tone. Seen mainly in shadows, tones are less intense and appear muted. 47 48 HOW TO DESIGN Applying color We tend to be more adventurous with color in the garden than we are in our homes, perhaps because the outdoor environment feels brighter and less conﬁned. The neutral greens of foliage and blues and grays of the sky also have a softening effect on more strident or clashing colors. VIBRANT COLORS Strong colors can be used to dramatic effect in the garden: as bright pinpoints that energize more subtle plantings, or surprise pockets of color separated by greenery. In a ﬂower border you can build up from quieter blues and purples to crescendos of ﬁery reds and oranges. These hot colors will stand out all the more by combining them with a scattering of lime green, dark bronze and purple foliage. p RADIANT HUES Use glowing ﬂower shades for hot, sunny aspects where the colors will really sizzle in the light. j HOT SEATS The colors used in this seating area create an upbeat atmosphere—the ideal setting for stimulating lively conversation. RELAXING COLORS The muted grays, purples, and blue-greens typical of Mediterranean herb gardens create a restrained atmosphere, perfect for a contemplative retreat. Plantings that pick up the heathery colors of distant hills make a space appear larger. However, a calming palette doesn’t have to be muted; it can also include fresh greens and pastels, which will work well in most settings. o REFRESHMENT Fresh white, lemon, and green combine with a brighter pink to create an uplifting but essentially restful planting. Perfect for an intimate seating area tucked somewhere away from the house. h COUNTRY CALM The lavender and purple sage add to the serene color palette of this formal garden with a Lutyensstyle seat. APPLYING COLOR NEUTRAL COLORS Earthy browns and sandy tones are reminiscent of harvest time and appear warm and nurturing, contributing to a calm, relaxed atmosphere. Weathered wood elements are perfect for gardens with a country look. In urban locations, you can feel closer to nature by utilizing reclaimed timbers, wicker and bamboo for screens, raised beds, and furniture. For ﬂooring, consider sandstone paving, decking, or a shingle beach effect with pebbles. o MUTED TONES As they die back, perennials and grasses continue to inspire, creating winter interest and a harmonious palette of browns. d RUSTIC SIMPLICITY Basket-weave stools and a table made from a tree trunk blend seamlessly with a rustic-style garden. h NATURE ROOM Blocks of wood provide a muted backdrop for birches and the intermingling greens of the grasses and foliage plants. MONOCHROME COLORS Hard and soft landscaping in a restrained palette of black, gray, and white, with the addition of green foliage, produce reﬁned, elegant designs. The approach is perfect for elegant period gardens with a formal layout. White blooms and silver foliage also work well with metallics in a chic city courtyard. Use cream or white ﬂowers to enliven shade, and combine with variegated and lime-green leaves. ARTIFICIAL COLOR i SPRING WHITES This elegant design comprises white forgetme-nots, tulips, daisies, and honesty with hostas and silver astelia foliage. Colors that are rarely seen in nature tend to be the most attention grabbing. Contemporary designers use Day-Glo colored materials and lighting to give a space a more futuristic or avant-garde look. Examples include furnishing fabrics, Plexiglas screens, and neon-blue LEDs. DAY-GLO COLOURS Bold, cartoonish colours, such as bubblegum pink, lime green, orange and turquoise are so vivid they seem to glow. Attention grabbing but use sparingly. a BLACK DIAMONDS Flanked by crisp green woodruff and a low clipped box hedge, this stylish gray and cream gravel pathway with a black pebble mosaic makes an eye-catching focus for the small front yard of a town house. NEON LIGHTING The technology used for colored store signs has been adapted for gardens. Specialty lighting companies will design startling effects for outdoor rooms. 49 50 HOW TO DESIGN Integrating texture into a design It is easy to be seduced by color when selecting plants and materials for the garden, but form and texture are equally important. Whether the design is a success or not depends on how well you combine the various shapes and textures, not only on a large scale but also at a more detailed level. To emphasize the contrasts, try to visualize in monochrome the hard and soft landscaping elements you are considering using, and pay particular attention to how light affects different forms. TYPES OF TEXTURE Experiencing different textures in the garden is a crucial part of our sensual enjoyment of the space. You can often tell what something is going to feel like just by looking at it, but ROUGH For rough textures choose stone chippings, dry stone walls, wattle hurdles, peeling tree bark, or prickly plants. SMOOTH Choose ﬂat or rounded surfaces like concrete cubes and spheres, plain pots, smooth bark, and water-worn cobbles. there may be more surprises in store as you explore. Certain forms and surfaces invite touch and the visual and physical effect is heightened when there is great textural GLOSS Shiny, mirrored surfaces include many evergreens, polished granite, stainless steel, chrome, still water, and glazed ceramic. MATT Ideal for combining with glossy elements, matt surfaces include cut timbers, galvanized metal planters, and sandstone. contrast. There are a number of basic categories describing texture, some of which relate to how something feels and others to how light affects a material’s appearance. SOFT Impossible to ignore, soft, felted, furry-leaved plants are irresistible to the touch, as are ﬂuffy seedheads and grass-like stems. HARD Non-pliable solid surfaces can be matt or gloss: cast metal, stone and concrete walling, ﬂint, granite setts and terrazzo pots. COMBINING TEXTURES To introduce a variety of textures, combine plain with patterned surfaces, shiny with matt, smooth with rough, and so on, but don’t overdo the number of materials or the garden could end up looking too busy. Accentuate ROUGH WITH SMOOTH This walled courtyard marries gravel and rough-cut stone with smooth spheres to dramatic effect. The dry stone water feature cuts the sheer rendered wall in half. the contrast between two elements by making the difference marked. Pair strongly vertical plants with horizontal decking, for example, or a glittering, stainless steel water feature with matt-textured ferns and hostas. GLOSS WITH MATT Shiny glass and metal doors echo the visual qualities of the swimming pool. These elements are separated by the smooth paved terrace and matt rendered wall. p ALL TEXTURES This pool garden shows how different textures can create exciting patterns, even when a restrained color range is used. The water acts as a mirror and the pebbles make a satisfying foil for the pathway. SOFT WITH HARD The wooden walkway, circular terrace, and snaking wall are perfectly opposed by luxuriant “soft” plantings of hostas, irises, grasses, and marginals. 53 Choosing materials IT IS NOT JUST planting that deﬁnes a garden. The texture and shape of the hard materials you select, whether for surfaces, boundaries, or structures, are an integral part of the design. Different materials add shape, color, and movement, to lure you in and to determine where the eye is drawn, while materials sympathetic to the house or the local environment produce a more pleasing aspect. When making your selection, consider the Permeable materials provide environmentally friendly parking. Walls and solid screens shut out the vista, while view from the house. Do you want to soften open screens and apertures provide teasing large areas of hard landscaping by incorporating glimpses of what lies beyond. a mixture of materials—slate with gravel, or Furniture should be in keeping with the style wood with crushed shells, perhaps? Paths that of the garden. Ensure any timber pieces carry are heavily used need to be solid, but a secondary the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo to walkway can be constructed from gravel, bark, show that the wood comes from sustainable or stepping stones. Using the same material forests. Also consider the siting: if you want a for a path and a patio large dining table and chairs, you may have to creates continuity; a build a patio big enough to accommodate them. Most gardens will have a spot for a water change further along will suggest a different feature, as well as a piece of art. If you plan area of the garden. to include lighting, the electricity supply and cables must be installed by a qualiﬁed Laying materials lengthways or widthways electrician; solar lighting has to be accessible to draws the eye onward or sunlight. Outdoor heating is becoming popular, to the side, and obscuring paths invites exploration. too, but consideration should be given to its Tall metal containers form a divide in a gravel garden. environmental impact. 54 HOW TO DESIGN Materials for surfaces Large areas of paving or decking are visually dominant features, and have a signiﬁcant impact on the appearance of a garden. Select materials that reinforce your chosen style, complement the colours and textures used, and mix different types to develop patterns and lead the eye around the garden. (See also pp.330–341 for more on materials.) PAVING AND DECKING A strong design statement, or simply a block of uniform colour, can be achieved with large paved spaces. Bear in mind that when using slabs, pavers, or bricks, the joints will form a pattern, too; the smaller the unit, the more complex the pattern will be. Rectilinear paving can be combined to form larger rectangles or grid layouts, or use ﬂuid materials, such as gravel and poured concrete, for curved edges to make organic shapes. All paving must be constructed on a solid base, and should slope to allow drainage (see opposite). DECKING WITH A TWIST Decking is easy to cut and a good option for both geometric and organic layouts, and intricate designs such as this, with its inlay of blue tiles. 100 mm 300mm 600mm 100mm 300mm 600mm LARGE PAVERS MAY NEED CUTTING When planning an area to be paved, try to avoid cutting by making the overall area an exact multiple of units. If it is not, larger slabs may require more cuts to ﬁt. SMALL PAVERS FIT TIGHTER SPACES Smaller units provide greater ﬂexibility, and are more likely to ﬁt exactly the dimension of your patio. They are also easier to cut, when required. SMALL UNITS BEST FOR INTRICATE DESIGNS Using small units or even mosaic tiles allows you to create intricate shapes and patterns more easily, but these designs are often very time-consuming to build. o TEXTURED SURFACE This random paving pattern is framed by a strip made from the same material, giving a clean, sharp edge. Although difﬁcult to construct, the lightcoloured textured path works well against the still water of the pond. PATHS AND WALKWAYS a HORIZONTAL PAVING Bricks are used to frame the edge of this formal path, and stone slabs laid horizontally shift the focus to the planting. o BRICKS FOLLOWING DIRECTION The cottage planting is complemented by a traditional brick path which leads the eye to the gate. Paths are the arteries of the garden. Materials should be selected to enhance the journey along the path, and to complement the planting on either side. Pavers, and the joints between them, can run lengthways to give a sense of motion, or laid perpendicular to the direction of travel to slow walking pace, and attract attention to the surroundings. Choose paving that matches the garden style: bricks or gravel are good for a cottage-style garden, and more up-to-date materials, such as concrete and composites—or traditional materials used with a contemporary twist—suit a modern space. MATERIALS FOR SURFACES MIXING MATERIALS PLANTING OPPORTUNITIES Assorted materials, as well as different textures and levels, can be used to dramatic effect in paving and decking designs. You could use different materials to highlight key features, or to deﬁne and separate areas of the garden, such as a raised wooden deck over a stone-tiled ﬂoor. Try to choose complementary colours, and select pre-sized, coordinating materials, to avoid extra work and higher costs. More complex construction techniques may be required when working with materials of varying thicknesses and where a different foundation is needed. Plants add colour and texture when squeezed into joints and crevices; take care to choose those that tolerate trampling, are relatively drought-resistant, and ideally produce a scent when crushed. Think carefully about joints when combining paving and plants – a solid foundation, while necessary for most paving, will also contaminate the soil. l WOOD AND SLATE This mix of hard and soft materials, with contrasting colours but similar tones, has been combined on four levels to great effect. a STONES AND MOSAIC Set on a concrete foundation, these small stone blocks and mosaic tiles create a decorative pattern around the trees and a foil for the gravel. o COMPLEMENTARY TEXTURES Four materials combine here—pebbles, granite, slate, and gravel—to give interest and texture to a threshold between two paths. EDGING IDEAS Most paving materials, except in situ (poured) concrete, or those set on a concrete slab, will require an edge to contain the material. The edge can be detailed or functional depending on the style of your garden, and also connect or separate different materials, or areas of planting. However, you may not need an edge if you intend to allow planting to invade your gravel pathway. pa PEBBLES Loose pebbles make an informal edge between the deck boards and the rill. j SLATE AND SETTS This bold design is created by slate paving butting up to stone granite units. p GRAVEL AND PAVING Make a design statement with a clear, decorative edging pattern. PLANTS BETWEEN PAVING Contrasting colours and textures are combined in this beautifully executed pavement, where mind-your-ownbusiness (Soleirolia soleirolii) frames the paving. DRAINAGE ISSUES All surfaces should slope to allow water to drain or be collected, and even gravel surfaces may need extra drainage if laid on clay-rich soil. Ensure that rainwater runs away from buildings into collection points, such as gullies; water from small areas of paving can be directed into planting beds. gully for runoff patio sloping away from house SLIGHTLY SLOPING PATIO Create a slope away from buildings towards a collection point. Patios made from rougher materials will need to slope more steeply than smooth ones. water runoff into soakaway or flower beds CAMBERED PATH Paths can be proﬁled to allow water to run off on both sides, where it can be collected in channels, or allowed to drain into planting beds. 55 56 HOW TO DESIGN Materials for screens and boundaries Walls and boundary features, and the materials they are made from, have a major impact on the look of a garden. Traditionally, boundaries were constructed from local materials, such as stone, brick, timber, or hedging, but today your options are much broader, and modern gardens may make use of smooth rendering, metal screens, or reinforced concrete. If you share a boundary your choice may be limited, but if not, you can make it as subtle or as dominant as you wish, and add a personal touch with your choice of material, color, shape, and texture. WALLS AND SOLID SCREENS Brick, stone, or rendered walls enclose spaces and form a framework around the garden. Solid foundations and specialist construction skills may be required, and these boundaries can demand a large proportion of your building budget. The color of stone and brick walls is best left unaltered, so take this into account when making your choice. Consider the size and shape of the units, too, which can range from random rubble to expensive dressed stone blocks. Man-made materials, such as concrete, offer almost endless possibilities in terms of both color and shape, providing clean lines or ﬂuid structures. g STONE Well-constructed stone walls should last for ever, but require an expensive initial investment. p BRICK Brick has been used for centuries and is durable and useful for creating patterned designs. j RENDERED For ﬂexibility and quick and easy construction, consider using rendered concrete walls. ENHANCING WALLS Once you’ve decided on a material, think about any details you could add, whether for aesthetic or practical purposes. You could consider adding color to all or some of the wall, depending on the material. Masonry walls, especially those made with mortar, render, or clay bricks, beneﬁt from capping or coping to frame the top of the wall and allow water to run off. However, ensure that it is in proportion to the size of the structure. Planting in crevices is another possibility, but select species carefully. PLANTING POCKETS Plants will soon establish in pockets of soil at the top or on the face of a wall. Limited water will be available to them, however, so choose species that can survive and ﬂourish in dry conditions. RENDERED COPING Coping keeps the body of the wall dry and protects it from frost damage. It also forms an important visual element and can make a useful horizontal surface for a decorative effect, or for seating. UNUSUAL MATERIALS As long as walls are stable and shed water, most materials that are suitable for outdoor use can be used. Visit design shows and look at books on garden details for inspiration, but remember that specialist construction techniques may be required. TEXTURED WALL The walls of this small urban garden have been covered with old billboard vinyl, for a dramatically individual, textured look. MATERIALS FOR SCREENS AND BOUNDARIES FENCING AND TRELLIS Timber and metal fences do not require strong strip foundations or heavy building materials, and so are usually cheap and easy to build. Most are made from strips of material, and you should think about a design based on a combination of these “lines”. To unify the design of an existing garden, it may be best to simply repeat or copy the original fencing styles. However, for new designs you can create patterns using different lengths, widths, and shapes of timber. In exposed areas, leave gaps in the fencing to allow some wind to pass through (see diagrams below). EFFECTIVE WINDBREAKS Solid screens do not allow any wind to pass through them and create turbulence on the leeward side. Use a perforated screen, such as a trellis, to solve this problem. Wind forced up and over solid screen Turbulence created on this side of fence Perforated screen allows wind through Wind speed is reduced on this side a SOLID FENCE This tall, close-boarded fence creates privacy, and has been stained gray to enhance the overall composition. p PERFORATED FENCE The strong pattern of this fence complements the garden, and acts as a decorative windbreak. GATES AND APERTURES While screens and boundaries enclose space, they also create barriers that restrict movement and views. Punctuating these with doorways, gates, windows, and other apertures allows access or visual links to other parts of the garden. Importantly, these provide further opportunities for attractive details, and should not be dismissed as utilitarian access points. Choose complementary materials and consider how apertures can frame vistas and views. Also, design doors and gates that look attractive when both open and closed. a PICKET FENCE When closed, this picket gate blends in with the rest of the fence; the only breaks in continuity are the posts and braces required for structural stability. o CLASSIC DOORWAY A traditional ledge-and-brace door makes a beautiful contribution to this old brick wall, as well as providing access. When left ajar, it gives an enticing glimpse through to another part of the garden. a MODERN APERTURE This perforated, reinforced concrete screen would be difﬁcult to construct, but the beautiful results link the contemporary structure to the natural planting beyond. 57 58 HOW TO DESIGN Materials for slopes and structures Raised beds, retaining walls, and similar structures that hold soil need to be constructed from water-, frost-, and stainresistant materials. Natural materials, such as stone and some metals, are obvious choices, but rendered concrete and even sheet metal could be used for a more contemporary look. For garden structures such as pergolas and sheds, choose materials that are lightweight and easy to ﬁt together, and that provide an opportunity to combine colors, textures, and patterns. RETAINING WALLS Heavy or strong materials, such as stone, concrete blocks, bricks, timber, sheet metal, or reinforced concrete, are necessary for a retaining wall. Your wall needs to hold water as well as soil, and will require a drain to relieve the build-up of water, unless you have used a permeable material such as dry stone or timber. You should consult a structural engineer for advice on any impermeable retaining wall above 3 ft (1 m) in height. Consider coordinating your wall with the house, a water feature, or screen to help unify your garden style. h DRY STONE WALLS A dry stone wall works well in rural gardens. Place landscape fabric behind the wall to trap soil but allow water to pass through the gaps in the stones. o WOODEN WALLS Timber walls are reasonably simple to construct: the individual sections will need to be screwed together for added strength and stability. RAISED BEDS Essentially low retaining walls, raised beds do not need to be as strong or as heavy as larger structures. They can also be more elegantly designed, rather than serving a purely functional purpose. Line beds with heavyduty plastic (with drainage holes punched in the bottom) to retain soil moisture and avoid leakage and staining. Also choose material