Most people see landscaping design and garden functionality on two different levels. Ask yourself: Do you want to create a garden which is a work of art meant only to be viewed, or do you want to create an extension to your home that will allow you more comfort and more pleasurable moments in your backyard?
In order to achieve the latter, while considering the aspects of colours, shapes and balance, the design should always go hand in hand with purpose. A retaining wall or a bench can be turned into a work of art, without hindering the functionality of the garden.
We picked out 4 garden elements that easily bridge this gap.
One of the most striking elements that you can incorporate in your garden are terraced planters. They offer layers of options, since you can view each level as a separate garden. You can experiment by mixing blooms with interesting architectural greenery, or by mixing different shades of the same flower, or by installing lighting fixtures that provide an intriguing game of shadows. But apart from that, terraced planters are the most effective element against soil erosion and sometimes the only way to have a garden on an otherwise impossible location.
These vertical gardens make a breathtaking statement no matter where they are installed. They are inspirational and alluring. They are also an excellent solution for people who have small yards taking up minimum space. At the same time, living green walls are the champions in sustainability. The lush foliage acts as a natural air filter and can improve the air quality in your garden. In the warm summer months, the wall provides shade and can significantly reduce the surface temperature of your external walls thus cooling the air and leading to energy savings. Plants have long been used to reduce noise levels and living green walls fit perfectly into this concept of noise reduction.
Oh, the wonder of rooftop gardens! Even the simplest of containers and the least decorative of plants work in these little secluded paradise gardens. Their growing popularity speaks in support of their functionality. Apart from creating a peaceful retreat for people from the life in concrete jungles, green roofs last almost twice as long as the conventional roofs. The growing medium protects the roof surface from the elements and contributes to its durability. It also acts like natural insulation and can reduce energy costs by reducing the air-conditioning needs. On a wider scale, these roofs improve air quality and reduce the effect of urban heat islands.
Every water feature is an artwork in itself, but fountains and ponds also serve a few purposes. How do you feel when you hear that sound of running water in the background? The majority of people would say that this sound is calming and has a soothing effect on them. Add the birds chirping and some plants to the equation and your garden becomes your meditation area. A pond is an excellent way to harvest rainwater. This can later be used to water the flowers (and perhaps vegetables) saving you money and helping the environment. The beauty of modern water features is that they can be made of almost anything. Upcycling is the answer. You can use old wine bottles to make almost everything, from DIY lamps, to garden edges and most stunning of all, a wine bottle garden path.
Whether you are designing a garden on your own or hiring a landscaper to do so, just remember that, for the best effect, all elements in the garden should blend in.