Friday, 15 March 2013

Arranging your garden for the perfect view

 How to best arrange your garden for the perfect view when relaxing in your conservatory

As featured on the Finesse Windows website. Written by Susan Naing
Whatever you are looking out of, into a garden, be it a conservatory or a kitchen window, it is lovely to have a colourful and peaceful scene to look out on to. There is so much that could be considered when looking at garden arrangement, a lot of it is personal preference as well as the basic principles of landscape design.

But rather than bombard you with endless technical information we have stuck to 5 key principles to think about when arranging your garden for the perfect view, so that your view from the inside is as good as the view from the outside.

1.) Flowers and shrubs

When it comes to arranging the flowers and shrubs in your garden there are many considerations however for the purpose of this blog we would like to focus on one area:

Colour schemes and planning for constant colour and interest all year round.

A simple colour scheme, with two or three colours, such as blue, indigo and violet, can look very effective. Think about the atmosphere that you want to set- blues - are known to be peaceful and relaxing, but also cold. Yellows evoke feelings of joy and warmth. Greens are a good colour for balance and harmony. 

It may be that you want some contrast, so pick some complimentary colours - like blue and orange which can produce a striking display.
Next, the aim is to have your garden blooming throughout the seasons. Try to have a mixture of Spring and Summer flowering bulbs, herbaceous perennials that flower at different points in the year, green foliage and don't forget ornamental grasses and shrubs with berries too.
One season that is often forgotten is winter - the RHS website has a useful list of winter interest plants as a starting guide.
A simple sketch of your border or flower bed would help you to organise the plants- label the flowers and shrubs, where they will/or are planted and when they flower- so that you can see if you have any gaps in the year when there is nothing of interest displaying. 

2.) Garden Lighting

When most people think about lighting in the garden they think about a security flood light or Christmas fairy lights around the windows. Here we are talking about lighting up a few select areas of the garden to extend your enjoyment into the late evening. We don't recommend lighting up the whole garden, but when used correctly lighting up certain plants and objects will add to the ambiance and enhance the design.

Three techniques you may want to consider are:

  • Uplighting - the most common technique which involves placing a light at the bottom of an object and shining up into it - often used for trees.
  • Shadowing - placing a spotlight in front of a plant in order to project the outline onto a space behind such as a wall
  • Spotlighting - shine a light in the direction of an object from some distance with a narrow beam lamp
Please remember a registered electrician must be used for all mains garden installations

3.)  Focal point or feature

However big or small your garden is, a focal point or feature helps to draw the eye to a specific item or part of the garden. There is a lot of scope here to express your personality in a garden feature. 
We have seen an old pair of men's boots used as a plant pot and even the moss that has grown over the laces has something so magical about it.  Painting an old, tattered wooden bench in a bright colour can suddenly give it a new lease of life and brighten up the garden.
A focal point can either be plant material or man-made such as a pergola or some garden art. Be as creative as you want! You can also use the feature to disguise an area of the garden that you would rather not see- such as a trellis with a climbing plant to cover a bin area.

To know where to place your focal point, stand facing the garden from the conservatory door or window and look at the furthest point in your garden, imagine a line from your eye to the furthest point and place the feature along this imaginary line.

Remember that it takes to time to transform your garden, don't expect it to happen over night, make small changes to the garden and soon it will be a pleasant outdoor space that you can admire either outside or from the comfort of your conservatory.

Written by Susan Naing from Ayegardening Ltd

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