Choosing a garden design that’ll suit the style of your home, as well as your personal needs is always difficult. We asked landscaper Felicity Teixeira of Blue Petal Garden Design for her advice.
“When designing a garden you should always choose a style that complements or reflects the style of the house,” says Felicity on choosing a garden design that suits your style. “If you have a Mediterranean style home you could go for a tropical look or stick to hardy, winter rainfall plants. Formal gardens suit classic houses while contemporary homes can take both the boldness of large leaves and a formal layout.”
Stick to this style in both the design and the planting and when choosing accessories and hard landscaping. “Don’t, for instance, introduce a rustic gate in a formal garden. Nothing kills a beautiful design like a totally inappropriate pot or piece of garden sculpture,” she says.
WHY: With its ordered, symmetrical arrangement of hard and soft landscaping, this style of garden can be used in both large and small areas, but keep in mind that it needs constant maintenance to keep it looking good.
READ MORE: 5 Classic garden designs
HOW: Introduce one or more intersecting paths to divide it into quadrants, or garden rooms. Enhance the geometry of the design by enclosing areas of flowering perennials with linear or circular clipped hedges using shrubs such as Abelia grandiflora or Buxus sempervirens. Repetition is also important, and can be achieved by lining paths with proportional plantings of topiary or rose bushes. Keep to a green palette with white, blue and pale pink accents.
WHY: While the lush abundance of tropical plants is more suited to large gardens, they can be used in compact spaces, if you choose smaller plants. The secret is to establish layers of evergreen foliage that provides year-round interest in a curving layout.
READ MORE: Tropical Summer Decor
HOW: In large gardens, establish a tree canopy with palms and flowering specimens such as Natal flame and wild banana. Introduce middle-storey planting with ferns, cycads, elephant’s ear and monsteras, and add colour with frangipani, hibiscus and crocosmia. Underplanting can be strictly green or flamboyant with colourful perennials such as bromeliads, caladiums and crotons. Prepare beds with generous amounts of compost and fertiliser, keep plants well fed and watered, and mulch to ensure roots are kept cool and moist.
WHY: It’s often the best choice for modern architecture. The look is clean and uncluttered, but does need to be well designed. There’s no room for error.
READ MORE: A contemporary garden design
HOW: Keep to a simple layout with an emphasis on crisp, clean lines. Create interest by layering horizontal components such as massed ground-covers, grassed and hardscaped terraces and decking. Introduce a vertical element with trees, sculptures or dividing walls. Choose plants for their structural quality, but keep the selection simple, focusing on a combination of textures, shapes and shades of green. Grasses, bamboo and phormium work well as do succulents, and for trees, consider leopard, fever and silver birch for their beautiful bark.