Big or small....reflective or public....all share these basic elements of design:
- Sun & Shade
- Water Drainage
- Number of People
- Look Up
Before you purchase anything for your outdoor space, step back and assess your site and your needs. A summary of these will serve as your touchstone. As you plan your garden room, continue to revisit the answers to the questions below to ensure you are headed down the right path. This will save you from disappointment, as well as wasted time and money.
Take two view inventories. Views from within and outside your garden, and also the views inside your home looking out.. What views do you like? Which views do you want to change? What do you see from your kitchen sink? The answer to these questions will help you situate bird feeders & baths, furniture, plantings, and focal points. Do you need to screen an eye sore, or a neighbor’s view into your eating area or into your bedroom? If you are inside during the winter months, what are your views? How will furniture on a deck or patio affect your views?
Sound can be positive or negative. Are surrounding properties or roads creating noise? You may benefit from a small water fountain to create white noise, a screening hedge to absorb sound, or outdoor speakers to pipe in your favorite music. Have you thought about the sound under your feet? Gravel garden paths offer a pleasant feel and sound as you stroll, whereas mulch is quiet.
How do you move through your space? How will you get from your door to the grill or from the grill to the table? If your grill is currently up or down steps and you’d like to change it’s location, now is the time. How fast do you want to move through the space? Will people walk side by side or one at a time? For example, the path to and from your grill, may have a more even solid surface, where as a garden path slows one’s pace with stepping stones.
Encourages guests to walk
side by side to back yard.
Causes slower pace as transition
from patio to grass.
Encourages a slow stroll through the garden.