Creating a Contemporary Garden Design

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If your home has the clean and minimalist design of the modern home, you’ll be looking for a garden that reflects that style. 

After all, the garden is an outdoor space connecting us to nature, but also providing an extension of the home in which to relax and entertain. It should be personal yet connect with the surrounding landscape — while offering a level of gardening maintenance that suits your lifestyle.

With thoughtful use in planting and garden fixtures, you can include colour and warmth to a contemporary garden design.


Planting to Add Warmth

Modern design often employs stone and concrete for patios, walkways and flagstones. They are clean, with sharp colours, structured in patterns of organised lines which can often lack warmth. 

Use patterns in your planting to give structure to your garden. A row of box bushes, small trees, shrubs or ornaments can be placed at regular intervals to provide timeless appeal.

To provide warmth, you could aim for plantings which are looser, adding life to the design. Perennials can be a mainstay of any garden design, offering warming colours and a softer look to walkways, corners and borders.

By planting native plants attracting pollinators, you will bring a seasonal element to the garden, offering change throughout the year.

A signature plant — like Verbena bonariensis, for example — will create a cloud of colour that stands out among the plantings. A distinctive plant like this can be repeated at several points in the garden.

Adding Warmth to Your Hardscapes

Focus does not necessarily have to be completely centred on planting to add warmth to a contemporary garden design. Although concrete and stone provide the back to basic ‘honest’ materials, there are still options to soften the approach. 

Introducing pebble and sandstone subtly into concrete areas like patios can add a touch of colour and make the area more inviting. This will fit in well with the flashes of colour from the plants and flowers as the eye looks out across the garden. 

Oiled wood is another material which softens the contemporary use of greys and silvers. This can be used in features such as retaining walls or fences to enhance the natural feel of a garden.

Blurring the Garden Boundary

Each element of a landscaping design allows the eye to flow naturally down the garden. Nothing seems out of place. However, this can come to an unsatisfactory and jarring end once the eye reaches the garden boundary. 

Blurring the garden boundary with ornamental grasses, for example, is a good way to soften the contemporary garden design. 

Personalise Your Contemporary Garden Design

When all is said and done, a garden is a personal space and benefits from your touches. You can do so without overwhelming the rest of the garden. Soft wooden furniture and understated coloured cushions never go out of fashion. Water features are a calming and interesting focal point in a garden, too. 

Whether you are gardening, relaxing or entertaining, modern landscaping can still deliver a garden with warmth. 

Our landscape team at Glorious Gardens is happy to discuss these ideas in planning your garden. If you’re considering a “re-do” of your outdoor space, we invite you to call us. We will brainstorm to find the right blend of elements to suit your tastes, your budget and your space.


By |2021-06-03T11:35:58+01:00March 18th, 2020|Blog, Garden Art, Places, Small Gardens|Comments Off on Creating a Contemporary Garden Design

About the Author:

In 2006 I formed Glorious Gardens, gathering together skilled practitioners to offer not just design but implementation of these designs and maintenance packages where we could look after the gardens once we had created them. Throughout my career I have designed gardens to inspire people with the heart aching beauty of nature, with shapes, colours, moods and proportions to pleasure the body and calm and delight the mind. I am also an artist who works with colour and abstract shapes and I bring this sensitivity to the 4 dimensions of a garden. I am very good at listening to clients and I’m able to draw out the essence of what a client wants for their outdoor space.