If you own, lease or rent a house with a yard or garden, congratulations. You’re a lucky person and, with a small investment of money and effort, you can turn that space into a mini heaven. If you’re ready to create the perfect spot for you to drink your morning coffee, plant those aesthetically-pleasing flowers and succulents you keep pinning on Pinterest, listen to music while drawing or writing or even just daydream, we’re here to help you.
Building your own garden customized to a design you like requires some knowledge and a budget that varies between small-DIY-project, I-just-need-to-run-to-the-gardening-supplies-store and I-have-to-hire-a-company-to-do-this. Whether you have the first, second or third, we believe you still deserve a cozy and colorful spot to soul-search.
We searched, we looked, we absolutely loved some of what we found. Here are some amazing garden design ideas to mull over before refurbishing your yard space.
1. Moroccan-style rattan furniture
Ethnic styles and patterns are in for a reason; they’re colorful, diverse, interesting and just stunning. So, what’s better than having rattan furniture in your backyard, you say? Draping it in this simple yet gorgeous pattern which mixes between the past and the trendy. Or any pattern you like, of course.
2. Wooden Terrace
Not only do they make it easier to walk through your garden, but they allow you to place your furniture without worrying about the ground being uneven, and even use carpets. We recommend also trying some variations on this picture; maybe paint the planks in different colors? Or just one color that you like? Or stylizing them and creating interesting textures and patterns? Your garden is your oyster.
3. Colorful Urban Gardening
Did we mention that some of these ideas are going to be suited to people without backyards as well? If you want greenery in your line of sight that won’t even take up space from your house because it’s literally stuck to the wall, this is a foolproof, creative and fun way to do it. It can fit anywhere in your house. We want to buy these colorful pipes and start one right now.
4. Japanese Pond
We might be entering into expensive territory here, but hear us out: If you can afford this, it’s absolutely worth it. A small pond like this with koi fish is traditional in Japanese garden design, and it’s stunning. Maybe mix things up and add a couple of other species, but make sure they’re well-cared for and are in a suitable environment!
5. Styling Your Walkway
No, it doesn’t have to be plain cobblestones. Get a paint bucket and get creative. How about drawing your favorite flowers? Special quotes? A certain design? A pattern? Just colors? Rainbows and unicorns? Just like the wooden terrace, you can customize these to your heart’s desire.
6. Vertical Garden
Here’s another one that can look great on your walls. This can be done inside an apartment, in its balcony, or even in the backyard as an accessory to your garden. Take a look at all the different species you can use in this and customize; maybe add in a couple of colorful flowers? Or a herb or two for a nice scent? Also, take a look at a different way in which you can apply this idea.
7. Swing Hammock
Ah yes, those swinging chairs that are taking the coffee shop scene by storm as we speak. Some people find them fun, and they are certainly comfortable and cozy; you can have two or three for your garden, and get creative with their colors and textures as to what suits your garden’s style best.
8. Modern Rock Garden
This is such a fantastic and minimalistic look and not only that, but it also serves to protect your plants. This requires you to be especially knowledgeable about rock garden maintenance though because it is a bit different from that of a regular one, so, if you’re also a fan, do some research before you proceed. We think the elegant look it’ll add to your home is worth the extra effort, though.
9. Wrought-Iron Furniture
Wrought iron is a classic. It is simple, sleek and elegant, which is why it’s been a staple in garden design since it was made. We’re not reinventing the wheel here, really, having wrought-iron chairs in your garden is an idea as old as time. We recommend adding some innovation to it by customizing it, choosing the color of the iron and padding to your taste. Buy a spray paint and go crazy!
10. Modern Flooring
While traditional cobblestones are never a bad idea, if you can spend a bit more you can have something really sleek and chic. Modern flooring can come in geometric shapes or abstract ones and adds a touch of elegance to your garden. Now, while we’ve advised you before to experiment with coloring your flooring and furniture, for this idea we actually prefer simple, desaturated colors. Remember; those tiles are quite big, coloring them all in crazy funky colors can look a bit overwhelming to the eye. Keep all the colors for your plants or your furniture. This modern minimalistic bench is also to die for!
11. A Purple English Garden
The English garden is known for its coziness and calm, pastel colors; it’s for the lovers of simplicity and feeling at home. While not uber colorful, it can have its accents, like the famous pink English rose or, as shown here, the stunning purple allium. Allium is a flower we would recommend for almost any garden, really, but nothing gives it as much charm as being in its traditional English setting.
12. Pastel Accents
While on the theme of a colorful accent, think of a single pastel color and add it to your plants, furniture, and décor. Maybe that soft creamsicle orange with tulips or a delicate baby blue with blue baby’s breath, or, as seen here, a lavender purple with lavenders or alliums. You can add the same accent to the linen on your table or, if you don’t have furniture, you can add it to some other accessories such as fairy lights or flower pots or even the cobblestones.
13. The Hanging Garden
This is another futuristic idea for gardening that brings it right into the cold heart of urbanity. This hanging garden in Singapore is something you should consider doing in your balcony, and if you’re lucky enough to have collaborative neighbors who love plant life, appreciate hard work and have patience, your building can turn into one like this in no time. Experience with different domestic plants, plant your favorite flowers and even herbs for your kitchen, this is a perfect project for lovers of nature who live in the city.
14. The Art in A Body of Water
Yes, this is a photo of Claude Monet’s garden in Normandy, France which inspired some of his most famous paintings. If you have a large enough garden that you can have a pond, this is the best thing that you can make of it, period. The water lilies and moss are gorgeous, add some lotus and you’ve got yourself a real piece of art in your very own home.
15. A Medieval Fantasy
Another French inspiration; this one comes from a castle in the Dordogne. This elaborately sheared garden is such eye-candy in its perfect symmetry that we think if you have the time and patience to do it, you need to. It’s a look that perfectly merges the past with the present, really: The effort and handiwork give it the look of the past, and the perfect symmetry gives it a futuristic, almost industrial look. Try shearing a couple of your smaller bushes like that and if you like the look, give the whole thing a go.
16. 20th Century European House
If you’ve ever daydreamed about the streets of Italy or Greece or Eastern Europe, the flower pots in the balconies and by the doors and the rustic look of the faded paint, you know this is a look that you’ve always wanted to see. Get this homey look by opting for pastels, using flower pots with an old feel (a lot of them), and lining your stairs with cobblestone. This style is not so much about fanciness as it is about old beauty, so it’s achievable without spending a lot of money.
17. Traditional Sculptures
When it comes to sculptures, we go into a bit of a more expensive area (depending on the style, authenticity, handiwork et cetera) but still, it’s one of the most customizable things on this list. Think about all the ways you can go with sculptures. Greco Roman? Medieval? Tribal? Nubian? Native American? Indian? Aztec? A fusion? There really isn’t a limit here. Pick a style, and it’s right there for you. If you’re willing to spend a bit of money, you can turn your garden into a museum of culture of your own choosing, and an aesthetic that reflects your taste.
18. Modern Sculptures
Welcome to the complete opposite of the last idea. While traditional sculpture is more about stylization, detail, and precision, modern sculpture is about symmetry and the abstract. The modern aesthetic has its appeal, though. For one thing, it can make your house look like a fancy villa without it necessarily being so. For another, its minimalism and simplicity reflect well against the colors and patterns of a garden. Is it expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? You be the judge of that.
19. A World of Succulents
Succulents are the recent hipster trend in the plant world, and let us tell you; we definitely understand why. They’re some of the most gorgeous, easily-maintained and yet underrated plants out there. Just look at the beauty of these colors… and those plants do not require nearly as much care as everything else does. Think about how you can incorporate these in a way that doesn’t feel out of place. We recommend setting their vibrant colors against pure greenery away from the other flowers so that they have an empty background to shine on. Some people even create a special wooden wall or shelf to put them on.
20. Light It Up
Lighting a garden can give it a feeling of being completely out of this world when done right. Old style lamps and lanterns, fairy lights, even candles (given that they’re placed safely inside lanterns!) can create an atmosphere of magic not unlike many Disney movies. We recommend yellow light which complements the greenery and doesn’t feel out of place as white light would. Go to the nearest home supply store and get creative with customizing your own lighting. Not only can it inspire a beautiful garden, but some awesome, Instagram-worthy pictures of the said garden as well.
21. Chasing Waterfalls
We’ve discussed adding bodies of water to your garden before, and we keep coming back to the idea because it’s just so lucrative; it adds a layer of such naturalness to your garden. A garden with water in it doesn’t feel artificial; it feels like a minimized version of the forest where the primitive man woke up one day to find himself naked and dizzy. For this last idea, we picked waterfalls; not only do they add an element of nature, but of motion and circulation as well.
Have fun interpreting these ideas your own way and incorporating them with one another. Remember: You need to know what you’re doing before spending money, time and effort. In the basics of design, we are taught to avoid clutter but also to avoid too much negative space. If you choose to add a lot of color and texture in one area, you need to balance it out with some emptiness for the eye to rest. If you pick one color, balance it out with its complementary.
Remember that, with the big number of exciting garden design ideas, you can get too excited that you incorporate too many things together and end up with an overwhelming sight. Choose an aesthetic and a number of elements that can accomplish it without overcrowding the space.
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