Modern Garden Design – Artistic Chaos Or Design?

When it comes to designing a garden, there are two different philosophies about how to do it. But both philosophies can truly be considered art. One might be called art by design. This is when someone envisions their completed garden in their mind. They can see where they will place plants, fountains, and statues. They can see the colors of the plants and flowers. They know exactly where everything will be and how it will look when it is done.

The other philosophy might be considered artistic chaos. It involves creating a garden without a preconceived plan in mind. Some consider this more of a modern garden design.

Yet modern garden design really can be either-or both. Freeform, unstructured design that is somewhat chaotic is modern garden design. It is similar to modern art where an artist paints whatever comes to mind in a completely unstructured, somewhat chaotic way. Yet, modern garden design can also be carefully planned. Or there may be elements of both in your modern garden. Today there are a great number of different plants and flowers and accessories you can incorporate into your garden to make it your own.

These days the world is a much smaller place than it used to be. We can communicate with people around the world almost instantaneously. You can purchase things from anywhere in the world and have them shipped to you-and it’s not as expensive as it once was. So you can now select plants that are native to many other areas of the world to include in your contemporary or modern garden design, as well as local species.

While some plants are not native to your area, you may find they can thrive in your environment nonetheless. Before you consider purchasing and importing exotic plants, you should research the type of climate, temperatures, and growing season a plant thrives in before making the investment. But you may be surprised to learn that some of the plants readily available in your local stores today were thought of as exotic only 20 or 30 years ago.

Another great innovation that provides greater flexibility in contemporary garden design is the sprinkler systems you can have installed these days. You can set these sprinklers on timers, control the amount of water that will be dispensed, and in so doing, you can almost simulate the native environment that a plant is accustomed to. This provides you with additional options not previously available.

Greenhouses can be designed to regulate the humidity level for your plants. Soils of all qualities and types can be brought in from other areas. Many other things can also be cultivated to create the perfect environment for the modern garden design you desire.

Contemporary garden design often includes much more than plants and flowers. Typical home gardens in the not-too-distant past usually only included a handful of gnomes and a birdbath. Today gardens often incorporate beautiful and artistic elements that may be exotic, domestic, or both according to each person’s personal taste.

The Internet is one more way many things in the world have become more accessible to all of us. This is one of the reasons today’s contemporary garden design can incorporate so many more options than ever before. A simple online search on the phrase “garden sculpture” or “garden statue” will generate more than 5,000 different options. Locally, you could probably only find a couple of dozen different statues or sculptures to choose from.

In addition to sculptures and statues, you’ll also find gazing balls, decorative garden stones, holiday decor, and much, much more. And if you like them, you’ll also find pink plastic flamingos and colorful garden gnomes, as well. Whether you prefer a contemporary garden design with modern decor or retro style garden accessories like these, there is so much to choose from these days that you are bound to find something you will love.

Just by looking at a person’s garden, you can tell a great deal about that person’s interests and personality. Contemporary garden design is all about creating a garden that expresses your individual taste. Regardless of whether you prefer a structured, planned design or a more chaotic expression of

The Benefits of Professional Garden Design

Garden design is the art and process of designing and creating plans for layout and planting of gardens and landscapes. Most professional garden designers are experts in the principles of horticulture and landscaping. A professional designer will have the passion to create your ideal garden, whether that is a low maintenance space, or a unique contemporary or traditional styled garden. Many will use an ‘in-house’ team to ensure that projects are constructed and managed efficiently and tidily and that work is carried out to the highest possible standard. A design team can offer expert advice on any aspect of your garden or a large country estate.

Typical services provided by a design and construction service:

• Residential and Commercial Garden Design

• Project Management

• Full, in house Construction Service

• Planting Design and Installation

• Lighting

• Irrigation

• Design and Installation of Bespoke Water Features

• Natural Swimming Pools / Hot tub installation

The process usually consists of the following steps:

Initial Site Visit and Consultation

This involves a meeting with designers to discuss your ideas and requirements. Design prices will reflect the plot size, complexity and the scope and features included in the brief. As every garden is unique, the cost for your project will likely be discussed at an initial consultation.

Layout Design

Your designers will prepare a tailored, scaled design detailing the hard and soft landscaping features that are to be included in your design.

Quotation

Once a layout design has been finalised to your complete satisfaction, you will be provided with an itemised quotation and detailed specification.

Construction

Upon acceptance of the quotation, work will be scheduled and the project will be undertaken by the team of gardeners and landscapers.

Planting

If you require a formal planting plan, this will usually be prepared and costed for you. Plant stock will be ordered and the garden designer will ensure that plants are planted with care and precision. Most designers have experience of designing and implementing large and small schemes and can source and plant specimen, semi mature trees and shrubs.

So in summary, if you’re thinking about overhauling your garden and want to make sure you end up with top class results, consider the benefits of employing a professional garden designer to take the hassle out of the design and construction. When selecting a garden designer it’s always worth seeking recommendations from people you know, and ask to see some examples of previous work.

Garden Design: The Natural Palette

Well-designed gardens and landscapes, no matter how varied in style and period, all have certain basic design principles at their core. To create a masterful garden, there must be attention to: unity, scale, space division, light and shade, texture, and tone and color.

Garden designers must also consider maturation of plants and seasonal changes. Finally, there is time-a design principle not required by other fine and decorative arts.

Unity

Perhaps, it is a reflection of our contemporary era that unity is the most lacking in today’s garden. We live piecemeal, hurried lives and tend to patch together lives and gardens as we go along. But the goal of unity is to give a totality, or strength of purpose to the design. Tone and color or texture can be used as unifying elements, but they are not enough to create a garden whole.

Modern gardens tend to be inward looking as very few of us have country estates where we see the horizon over the hill. But even so, we can design our gardens to be progressive or static. The first leads the eye down an axis, while a static garden is built on a central open space where the eye is brought to rest.

Scale

In either design it is important to think about scale. Even an outdoor room must compete with the vastness of the sky. There is a need for ample proportion, and a nodding acquaintance with the laws of perspective. There must be a definition of the space, and it must relate to the human scale. If you have assets of gigantic proportion, like enormous trees, it is best to insert a transition or buffer of medium scale that then relates further to people in the landscape.

As for the scale of all the parts of your design, you have two choices. Either all the parts should fit together as one whole, or one (only one) should dominate. That is how you create a focal point. Consider also how your eye reacts. A view is shortened as you look uphill and lengthened as you look down. You can enlarge and blur boundaries by placing them in shade.

Division of Space

You must also divide your space to make it interesting. You create pattern by how you distribute, and the proportion of, open spaces and solid mass. A prime example is a colonnade of trees leading the eye forward. You must decide how many trees, of what size girth (when they mature) and how far apart to plant them.

In dividing your space, you can either use a firm, architectural style or a loose more organic style.

Light & Shade

Light and shade also are important additions to your palette with the potential to elicit emotional response. Think of the appeal of sunlight falling on an open spot in a glade. The sunlight is a wonderful surprise, and much more exciting when viewed from a shady area.

Keep in mind that texture can only be shown with light. For example, site something highly carved or intricately detailed where it will be illuminated. On the other hand, a structural element can be strengthened if it is sited to appear in silhouette, with little detail and only the shape apparent.

Texture

Texture itself becomes more and more important as pattern decreases. The use of texture is strongest in Japanese garden design. The classic garden, with a highly formal pattern, relies on simplicity of surfaces.

The more modern garden, particularly those of smaller scale, can successfully use textures to build pattern. This is especially appropriate where elements are seen at close range and texture can be fully appreciated.

Tone & Color

Finally, the most appreciated and least understood garden design element, is that of tone and color. We all think we can use tone and color successfully, but it is no surprise that most great garden designers were also artists. To fully utilize color, you need to understand the principles of color harmony. That said, we’ll all continue with our illusions, and have a wonderful time creating our gardens.

Basis For Expression

If all of these design principles are well employed, they create a wonderful basis for truly original expression. The basics of garden design are like the foundation for a house. Once in place, there is limitless opportunity for personal expression.