Are you tired of simply thinking of your garden as an open space or something to view from a distance? Do you want your guests to feel as comfortable in your garden as they do in your home? Would you like to create an outdoor small space for a few moments of solitude and privacy? If so, read on . . .
Garden rooms do not need to be expensive. Sure, you can create an amazing area with stone walls, lighting, patio pavers, terraces and much more. But even if your space or budget is limited you can still create a lovely garden room using these easy tips.
1) The first step is to consider some key points:
Define the purpose: Start by deciding what functions you’d like the garden room to serve. Will it be a quiet shady place to read a book or share stories with your best friend, a dining area for family and guests, an out-of-the way-place for a small cutting garden, a spot to enjoy an afternoon cup of tea or glass of wine, a more welcoming entrance space to your home or garden, or simply a place to rest after a busy day?
Distance: Think about how far (or close) you’d like the room to be from your dooryard, porch or children’s play area.
Don’t forget the view: Think about the views you’d like to have from the garden room. Would you like to look away from your house (and busy life) or toward it? Are there other spots in your garden or landscape that are peaceful to view?
Elevation: Do you have spots that are lower or higher than others – spots that may set you apart simply by their elevation? If so, those may be the first places to consider for your garden room.
Furnishings and landscape features: Are you content to simply find a little space to decorate with a small chair and some containers or would you like to create a larger space for gatherings or afternoon tea? Either way, by having your furnishings flow with the nearby landscape you can create a sense of privacy and comfort.
2) The second step is to create a sense of enclosure . . .
Once you’ve addressed the first 5 points, it’s time to create your garden room by using a sense of enclosure.
This can be as simple as adding a few tall hedges or ornamental grasses to a section of your yard or arranging a display of mixed container filled with tall plants around an bench or small table. Old gates, screen doors, salvaged metal, twig trellises or small pieces of decorative fencing can also create a sense of enclosure.
3) Choosing plants for your garden room . . .
Even if you don’t need to add any plants to complete your new garden room, you may want to consider the sensory benefits of doing so.
Herbs – either potted or planted in the ground – are also a nice addition to a garden room, especially ones like mint or lemon thyme that can be clipped and added to your tea or favorite beverage.
Climbers like Clematis vines or even annual scarlet runner beans planted on a trellis made of old twigs, a gate or an arbor can help to make your garden room more intimate.
Bird and butterfly-attracting plants can help bring a sense of completeness with nature to your garden room. It can be as simple as a single Buddlia plant, or a row of nasturtiums inter-planted with parsley.
Night-blooming and fragrant white plants add an romantic touch to any garden. Moonflowers climbing a trellis, White Volcano phlox and old-fashioned varieties of nicotiana are perfect additions to an intimate garden room.