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6 best outdoor garden design ideas

Written by Iris

Jul 15 2021

6 best outdoor garden design ideas
Garden design ideas are key to creating a scheme you'll love for years to come. Whether you're looking for garden landscaping ideas to overhaul your outdoor space, or more tailored garden design inspiration such as garden furniture, paving, lights, plants, borders, decking and more, we've compiled some fabulous garden ideas to help you transform your back garden, whether it's big or small – and it'll help to boost your property value, too. The approach you take ultimately depends on what you want, need and on your budget also, which we've gone into in greater detail below. 

Shaped lawn

Look out of your window at your garden and the biggest shape you'll probably see is your lawn. If it's a good, strong shape, it will set the entire garden on the right track. And remember, it doesn't have to be a rectangle – try an oval, circle, square or oblong shape. For ongoing lawn care and maintenance, Stuart Thomas, gardening expert at online garden centre Primrose, advises: 'If your lawn is looking lacklustre, consider the three tenets of sunshine, showers and soil aeration. Cut branches back to keep excessive shade away. Water once a week early in the morning if the UK's frequent rain isn't cutting it. For aeration, take a fork to your lawn and poke heaps of holes. Do all of these and your lawn will be verdant before you know it. And don't mow it too short!'

Beautiful paving

The colour and style of your paving and the way it is laid can provide a strong design direction for the entire garden. For instance, grey or white stone laid in a random pattern will set the scene for a French country look; black or silver paving organised in a regular design will form the perfect backdrop to a sleek and modern scheme; while golden stone arranged in a mixed pattern creates an English country feel.
If you want to create the garden of your dreams, attention to detail is everything. Create a beautiful scheme by coordinating your plants with your choice of paving.
  • Grey or white stone looks great with purple and white blooms
  • Black and silver paving looks amazing with strong colours such as red, orange and yellow
  • Golden paving works with flowers that have soft tones – pink, lavender, and chalky yellow.

Wonderful boundaries

In a small garden, boundary walls, fences or hedges may be the biggest element in view, so it's really important for them to look good. They don't have to all be the same but try to provide visual links between them. You could have the same type of fence, for instance, and grow climbers up them in in coordinating colours. If you aren't able to change the fences, whitewash them or clad them with battens or trellis. Check with your neighbours first to establish whose fence it is and ask permission before doing any work. The materials you choose are key, too. For example, timber posts don't have to be confined to fencing a garden off from the neighbours. Carefully positioned within a garden, they can be used to frame plants or seating areas and add extra interest to borders or paths.

vertical garden

If your Outdoor Garden is small, consider this instead. You can use a wooden ladder, an old picture frame, or a used shoe box to store your plants. Have enough wires to hang the plants if you feel like it.
Don’t throw away your pallet box. You can use it as a place to grow plants with vertical Garden design. Like the picture above for example. Especially if your garden is narrow, that choice would be very appropriate to use. If your garden space is narrow, you can arrange plants or flowers like the picture above. By utilizing wooden stairs, your garden will look neat and clean.

Plan your planting

The best garden designs start with structural plants infilled with pretty, flowering plants. So use evergreen shrubs at the end of each border and as punctuation along the way. Include small shrubs such as box balls, or large evergreens, for example mahonia, for bigger areas. Once you have this frame, fill the gaps with pretty flowering plants. Try to stick to just five or six different types and arrange them in repeated patterns for a coordinated and harmonious effect. A metre or more in depth is a perfect size for a border, giving you enough space to put smaller plants at the front with taller ones behind. If you don't have room for metre-deep beds, you could place climbers at the back of the border so you can still get height in the planting. In terms of climbing plants, opt for an evergreen like clematis, which provides a beautiful and colourful display.

Trees

Mature trees can be a starting point for building a scheme. They block the glare of the sun and can also be used as an anchor for shade sails, a hammock, pendant lights or hanging decorations. Trees can also screen an unattractive view or help to filter noise and air pollution if you live near a busy road. And they benefit nature significantly, providing pollen for insects and shelter for birds, and converting airborne carbon dioxide into oxygen.
In fact, a growing trend is multi-stem trees – planting these can create an architectural showpiece, with the elegant canopies lending themselves to layered underplanting or, if planted exclusively, creating a striking structural statement. As seen below in this modern Suffolk garden by Caitlin McLauglin, multi-stem trees and soft planting creates a deconstructed woodland environment in a front courtyard garden.