Sprucing up your outdoor space can be easy and cost effective if you keep good design in mind says Jamie Durie.
1. Create a sense of intimacy and enclosure
First of all, think about the spaces you need and how they will best work with each other. Then think about how to create a sense of enclosure and define these spaces. Gardens should be places of sanctuary and retreat, and a good way to achieve this is by planting a green wall or installing a screening wall:
• Natureed has a world of uses. Supplied as sheets of 4-mm-thick reeds bound together with galvanized wire, it can be placed wherever a light filter is needed, disguise unsightly fences, and serve as a partition to divide off sections of the garden to create an intimate space.
• Nothing beats a wall of green for ultimate garden atmosphere, and tall plants will help give your backyard a sense of enclosure. Fast-growing plants like bamboo, murraya, lilly pilly, Leland cypress and pittosporum are ideal.
2. Draw people out
You need to create a destination in your garden – a reason to draw people out. This can be achieved as easily as placing a breakfast setting, garden bench or daybed under a tree, or in a sunny spot in the garden. Why not give an existing setting a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint, new cushions or a cosy new position?
3. Decorate it, love it
Once you have the bones of your outdoor space sorted – the general design and planting – it can be relatively cheap and easy to refresh and update it. Try re-covering old cushions in new fabric, updating your outdoor furniture setting, or introducing new ornaments such as sculptures or potted plants. Make sure whatever you choose, you love – decorative items don’t have to be expensive, they can be as simple as a collection of shells or driftwood picked up on a beach holiday, or some hand painted pots, but they should make you happy. The styling of your home will be a key to what you love, and extending this style into your garden will help to strengthen the connection between the interior and exterior of your property.
4. Splash it with colour
Paint is a great way of brightening up a space on the cheap, and one of the most quick and effective ways to change an existing environment. Not only will a new color introduce a new mood to your outdoor space, but paint can also cover a multitude of sins – from ugly walls and fences to tired furniture. It can also be a great way to create stunning backdrops for featured plants and sculptural installations.
5. Re-use it, recycle it
Re-using existing materials or items in interesting ways is a great cost effective way to add interest and character to your garden. Cast your eye around your home or garden shed, and keep an eye out in your neighborhood for items that might be useful outdoors, or might be modified or updated to fit your design. Old pots or items of furniture or decoration that can be painted to suit your new color scheme, interesting vessels that can be re-used as sculptural pots, your imagination is the only limit!
For more info visit www.jamiedurie.com