The very best contemporary gardens are often those that feel like an extension of the accompanying building. Whether it’s the courtyard for a 50,000 sq. ft. tower block, or the meadow of a cottage; your outdoor space should be functional and complementary. We’re going to concentrate on homes, where your contemporary garden represents another room of your house.
Tight hardscaping, loose landscaping
Think about your favourite dresser or shelving unit. The furniture itself is rigid, fixed, giving a sense of stability and order. But the ornaments and items you arrange on the furniture is rarely that. Whether it’s a houseplant, a photo frame or a set of brandy glasses; you choose and place these aesthetically. Follow the same approach for planting.
Your borders, patios and outdoor furniture is providing that hard edge; so don’t make the mistake of many contemporary garden design enthusiasts and follow suit with your greenery. You don’t need symmetry or planted rows. Choose perennials and ornamental grasses, choose the colours that you enjoy rather than concentrating on colours that complement. Your garden should have at least a small sense of the natural world in it…
Proximity is important
Depending on the size and shape of your garden, it can be worth spending some time thinking about the proximity and density of your greenery in relation to your home. Freestanding, rigid and bold plants work well close to your home, as they complement the architecture. But as you move away from the building, you can create a sense of habitat and environment by using a looser fabric of plants that nod towards the woodland and the meadow, to blur the boundaries of your man-made garden. Overlap your grasses and rushes to create an organised chaos, that makes you and your guests really feel appreciate the outdoor space as its own entity.
Sometimes, we can ignore trends
We’re big fans of The Royal Chelsea Flower Show and the garden design trends that come out of it, but sometimes you need to look to your own tastes and not those of others. Choosing colours based on the winning designer will certainly be contemporary, but what happens next year when pastel shades are replaced in favour of statement block colours? Designing a contemporary garden is a personal project and if you’re chosen your flora and fauna based on love of colour and texture, use this as your main point of inspiration for the other design elements of your garden. The accent colours of your furniture, the materials of your borders; this can all stem from the natural elements of your garden. It won’t go out of trend next season, you won’t feel the need to update what was contemporary last year and your garden will have its own personality.
Eden Restored is a team of passionate garden designers working throughout London, Kent and Surrey.
We deliver value-for-money on projects of any size, from inner-city courtyards to countryside cottages.
To discuss your ideas and how we can help throughout the entire process, get in touch.