At this time of year, one of my favourite things to start doing again is to head out into the garden after a busy day and just potter. Pull at a few weeds with one hand, maybe a glass of wine in the other. Of course daytime, on a sun filled afternoon is often when the garden is looking at it's best. But the reality is that for most of us, we only get to enjoy the great outdoors on a weekday evening and over weekend. If we are lucky.
Here are five contemporary garden ideas that we loved, and which we think are doable, dare I say enjoyable, for those wanting to immerse themselves in a little garden therapy...
I love this mediterranean style garden one for a couple of reasons. Clearly, whoever owns this place doesn't have children. Or at least, not young ones. Which means they can avoid the obligatory plastic tut strewn across the garden. Instead the stone patio is flanked by lovely planting, in shades of purple and mauve. This consistent colour scheme really helps to sew (or sow, ha!) the whole thing together and soften the lines on the hard edges of the patio stones. No lawn mowing or lawn maintenance is required (which is seriously time consuming if you want the whole stripe, springy underfoot affair). And importantly, there is room enough for several items of garden furniture, and lots of perennials - again, meaning low maintenance. Beautiful. Calm. Perfect.
This garden by Oxford based designer Sarah Naybour is more traditional, but equally beautiful. There is a very romantic feel to the garden which is reinforced by the garden furniture and ornaments chosen - from the traditional sussex trug and watering can in the foreground to the iron bench and terracotta urn in the background. Box hedging adds formality to the whimsical planting scheme. I'd like a spot under that tree of a warm evening. Heaven.
By Elad Gonen
More often than not, garden photography and garden design images show off a garden during the day. But the garden at night is as important because that's when the kids are asleep, the working day is behind you and everything quietens down a little. I love the way the wall has been used in this garden to create a sense of drama, emphasised by the plants and lighting. I'm a big fan of shrubs. Love them. I think they've been underrated or perhaps overlooked in recent years. But I'm hoping for a come back. They are awesome and can be extremely contemporary as this showstopper of a garden demonstrates.
We couldn't write a blogpost about contemporary gardens without including Architectural Plants. If you love structure, lush foliage, a jaunty, tropical feel to your garden which just has that perfect combination of contemporary and classic, you have to go to Architectural Plants. No ifs. No buts. You just have to. Imagine this garden in winter, covered in frost. Then again in summer, with the sun beating down and the foliage in full green glory. Architectural Plants has a huge selection of jungly, tropical evergreens and displays of clever, structural combinations will provide interest and inspiration for every gardener.
If all this feels a little too much at the moment, resize your garden and go pint sized. Apartment Therapy has a great little tutorial on making a terrarium while Pinterest has heaps of ideas on creating your own teeny, tiny garden full of succulents. Or just buy one. Like this one from the Walled Nursery. There are so many options for terrariums and hanging plants now. Gorgeous. Just add sunlight and a spray of water every now and then.