Gardening Landscape design

How to Transform Your Garden into a Simple Outdoor Haven

Two rows of camellias in a formal garden.

By Bruna Pani

Gardens are a great multifunctional space. Whether you want to socialize with friends and family, use it as an exercise area, or a place to sit back and relax, the purpose of your garden has a whole range of choices in terms of use. 

Although the thought of a minimalist garden may conjure up ideas of a sparse and plain garden, minimalist and simple gardens offer a lot of practicality and can be a functional area that is beautiful while catering to your lifestyle. Interior design trends suggest that minimalist gardens involve a restricted color scheme and a combination of materials, plants, bold designs that work in conjunction with simple lines. As professional landscapers may be out of the financial reach of most homeowners, here at We Buy Any House we have created the perfect guide to transforming your garden into a simple outdoor haven.

Change the Traditional Use of Grass:

An anchor feature of most gardens, most homes keep grass as the primary material in their garden, allowing it to cover the vast majority of the garden area. For a more simplistic, minimalist approach to your garden design, consider using grass as an additional feature to your garden instead of the main event. Integrating the grass into other natural surfaces such as stone or wood and leveling the garden down to create a finished lawn that almost resembles a carpet is a great way to use grass in a simple yet effective way.

Two girls sitting on chairs in a garden

Quiet, Seating Area:

Seating in a garden is perhaps one of the most important elements of any outdoor area. Incorporating a space to enjoy some quiet downtime to read a book or relax is important and having a functional seating area to cater for guests and social events may also be a necessity. A simple and stylish bench may work wonders for somewhere to sit and enjoy a quiet cup of tea, but you can also try more extravagant seating choices such as a hammock, outdoor floor cushions or a corner sofa. 

Calming Elements:

Two ways to boost your senses and create a calming atmosphere in the garden are to include a water feature and plants and herbs. Choosing scents such as lavender, rosemary, thyme and honeysuckle not only adds to the beauty of the garden, but also provides a calming and lovely aroma to your garden. 

A simple water feature in the garden such as a fountain can really increase the tranquility of your garden area. Alternatively, if you have a larger budget, you may want to consider implementing a more extravagant water feature such as a rain wall or a pond.

Screen Out Distractions:

Not all gardens are gifted with the luxury of tranquility and peace, so if this is the case in your home, consider screening out exterior distractions. Using screens with natural garden plants and features such as tall trees, plants and shrubbery can provide extra privacy in your outdoor area, enabling it to become a quiet and peaceful haven.

Limit Materials:

When planning the landscaping design of your garden, then consider limiting the number of materials and colors is a great way to achieve a clean and simple look to your garden. The simplicity of your garden should provide a haven feel to your outdoor area, and a busy color scheme or contradictory materials may feel fussy.

Create Shade:

Ensure that somewhere in your garden, there is an area to seek shade. Sitting under the direct sun isn’t for everyone, so installing a shaded area somewhere under a tree, pergola or parasol provides an area in which you can just relax without worrying about the effects of the sun.

Hand harvesting strawberries, straw mulch.

Grow Your Own Fruit:

Having the option to snack on homegrown fruit while spending time in the garden relaxing is wonderful. If you have space in your outdoor area, then consider growing some fruit—this can be anything from strawberries to peaches. Growing fruit is an easy and inexpensive way to transform your garden into a relaxing and self-sufficient area. 

About the author: Bruna Pani is a content writer at We Buy Any House (webuyanyhouse.co.uk) which specializes in producing property-related content.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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