Home Garden & Furniture: Creating Outdoor Rooms

Variety enlivens a garden. Consider creating a number of small, intimate spaces that lead from one to another, anchored by a focal point such as an urn or a bubbling fountain, which will muffle road sounds.

To start, assess the existing garden structure:
– Make scale drawings or take panoramic photographs of the landscape, then sketch in possible changes on overlays of tracing paper. Sketching proposed layouts and features will help you envision your options; it will also ensure that additions are in scale with existing elements.

– Look for existing noteworthy elements, such as specimen trees, mature hedges, and stone walls, which can give a new garden instant character. (But don’t hesitate to remove features you’d rather live without, such as overgrown foundation shrubs that block windows.)

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Then, implement your garden design:

– Separate areas from one another by planting hedges and shrub borders. Install arbours, trellises, or other structures for climbing vines, which will shelter seating areas and create intimacy.

– Raise or lower parts of the terrain by hauling in or scooping out dirt. While a small, flat lot reveals its secrets all at once, a graded landscape fools the eye into believing the garden is larger.

– Make the outdoors a place to explore: Build steps that follow a slope and paths that curve out of sight, or hide a bubbling fountain; the sound of water will compel visitors to seek its source.