Turn your outdoor area into a natural haven with these easy tips
Turning your garden into your own natural haven of peace and tranquillity is a rewarding experience that can be easily accomplished with a little bit of planning and creativity. Here are a few suggestions to enhance your garden without involving structural modifications, helping to create a whole new ‘outdoor room’ for you to enjoy.
Shade from the heat of the sun
Enjoying your outdoor space means creating little havens where you can escape the hot sun and relax in the shade. While pergolas are a great option, why not go for something a little more unusual and use drapes and curtains to create shaded areas? Fit drapes around a simple frame for a cabana-style shaded area. Lightweight fabrics enhance a summer’s breeze and can create gentle movement for a cooling effect. Alternatively, you can go for a more dramatic look with heavier, more ornate curtains with rich decorations.
Create structure with a pergola
Rather than building solid outside structures that may require permission to construct, create organic ones such as a wooden pergola wrapped around with climbing roses, honeysuckle or clematis. The inclusion of a roof on a pergola also gives you a modicum of privacy if you have neighbours. A pergola creates an ‘outdoor room’ that you can then furnish with comfortable couches and chairs, a low coffee table and even a space heater if the evenings get chilly.
Add a water feature
At the top of every must-have list for your outdoor space has to be a water feature. There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of water. However, you don’t have to create a large pond complete with waterfall to get the same effect. Something as sublimely subtle as a Zen water fountain, where a trickle of water is pumped up through the centre of a granite ball and then allowed to cascade gently over the surface, is enough to create a focal point in your garden. It’s also easy to install too and usually runs on electricity without the need to install any pipes or water drains, and you could have your very own water feature in the space of an afternoon!
You may have a perfectly good indoor kitchen, but nothing brings a family and friends together like a barbecue. Outdoor cooking is popular in every culture, and it gives the food a distinctive taste and flavour that you simply cannot replicate in the kitchen. Building a kitchen area is simple, and the standard of outdoor cooking ranges and barbecues is quite exceptional now. You can go for a traditional outdoor charcoal brick chimney, or choose a more modern electrical or gas-fired barbecue.
Clever planting for all-year colour
Your garden’s biggest asset and the easiest way to create a tranquil haven is to choose a planting scheme that gives you all-year-round colour and interest. Ensure you pick plants that are suited to your soil type, and are drought resistant. Picking scented flowers such as roses also gives your olfactory senses a treat, as well as looking beautiful.