West London CourtyardTraditional Patio, London
Walpole Garden, Chiswick
Photography by Caroline Mardon - www.carolinemardon.com
What Houzz contributors are saying:
Work your wallsWhite will stand out against a wall or fence in a garden where smaller flowers may struggle to be seen. Plants such as Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ (pictured) work particularly well, as do the tall spires and heads of Lilium regale ‘Album’. Allium ‘Mont Blanc’ will create another shape and texture in the space.Consider flowering shrubs such as Choisya ternata, Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ or ‘Snowbelle’, Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ and, if you have plenty of room, Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum ‘Mariesii’.
Get a-roundAngles and clean edges, perhaps with brushed steel and glass in the mix, are the terrain of the contemporary garden – which is why circular designs and features can do a good job of un-modernising an outdoor space. It’s not just the flowerbeds that curve here – there’s spherical topiary and blousy, ball-shaped hydrangeas, as well as the decorative brickwork and dining furniture. Adding curves to a lawn and chopping into or building out from rectangular beds are low-key ways to introduce this idea to a garden when a full redesign isn’t on the cards.
Circle the squareGarden framing doesn’t have to be square or rectangular. In this outside space, a low circular wall softens the edges, disguises ugly corners and creates a focal point for the table and chairs. Even in a smaller garden, a curved border can help define different areas, and provide a home for built-in beds.For a rustic, vintage feel, use reclaimed bricks in your wall – head to your local salvage yard, talk to a friendly builders’ merchants or buy some on eBay.
Think outside the (square) boxIt’s all too easy to fall back on the idea that a patio should be a square of paving slabs, but a curved or circular design like this one can make a real impact. There are no straight lines in nature, so it makes sense to design curves into the hard- landscaped elements of your design for a natural, organic feel. In this garden, alternating rings of large and small pavers in two different colours add visual interest, and the circular theme is echoed by the choice of a round table and curved chairs. The soft, cottage-style planting creates a lush, enveloping feel.
Weave in some curvesGarden designers can often see our angular little gardens in ways we couldn’t even imagine. So don’t feel thwarted by the shape or size of your space, because there are almost certainly ways these can be radically rethought. Turning a square or rectangular plot into a circular or curved one is a classic example.Again, try sketching out your garden and be bold with your pencil: could you cut off the corners and turn them into flowerbeds?