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7 Important Rules for Every Garden Design

Rules are meant to be broken but sometimes, their guiding principle when it comes to composition and design means we get what we are loo...

Garden Design Ideas
Rules are meant to be broken but sometimes, their guiding principle when it comes to composition and design means we get what we are looking for. Rattan Direct examine seven important garden design rules, all of which are guaranteed to give your garden the wow factor.

No matter how big or small your garden is, you want it to be practical, functional, stylish and meet your need exactly. From a minimal and sparse garden to a large one, these seven important garden design rules will make a difference.

RULE 1 – Work from the inside out

For too long, we have separated the garden from the interior of our homes. Thankfully, we have seen the error of our ways and that means, more and more of us are connecting the inside with the outside. And yet, when it comes to garden design, we are still starting in the garden and not from inside the house. Before you start hacking at the garden with spades and shovels, stand in the room that overlooks your garden – what do you want to see (and what don’t you want to see?) Even though we plan on lounging in the summer sunshine for as long as we can, you will admire your garden from the house, most of the time so why shouldn’t it be glorious from all angles?

RULE 2 – If in doubt, stick to straight lines

On one hand, you want something different – and opting for geometric shaping is the perfect solution. But if you are worried about getting it right, there is nothing wrong with sticking to straight lines. Simple, pleasing and predictable, what can go wrong with a straight line between border, lawn and fencing or wall? Very little, just soften the edges and corners with tall plants and ground covering ones that hide right angles.

RULE 3 – Three’s

Just like there are some interior design rules that should never be broken unless you have the confidence of a designer, and the same is true in the garden. To keep a sense of cohesion, work with a maximum of three flooring materials, e.g. grass, patio flags and gravel. You could use more, but getting them to seamlessly connect to the eye is hard and nothing about the garden design and finish should be hard.

RULE 4 – Colour

The same rule of three applies to colour too and yet, we forget this when it comes to the garden. Choosing an array of pot colours and fancy fencing finishes, what results is a cacophony and clash of colour that can soon look jaded. Choose two main contrasting but complementing colours and use a third as an accent. An accent colour can be used in the pots you choose (don’t forget to vary their height to strike out uniformity) and a different shade or two in anything from an outdoor rug to scatter cushions on the rattan corner sofa.

RULE 5 – Lighting matters

And we don’t mean the blinding security lights that pop on when your next-door neighbour’s cat runs across the lawn. When darkness falls mid-afternoon in winter, you want your winter garden to be gently illuminated as you do at dusk on a late summer’s evening. Gentle solar lights are perfect for the garden, as well as those that pick out key areas, from an evergreen shrub to the gentle fall of water in the pond.

RULE 6 – Privacy

You want to enjoy your garden without being in full view of the world. It can be tough as it many cases it means erecting a huge wall but when this isn’t an option – and it rarely is with local planning committees – there are all kinds of things you can do. From trailing plants up and over a pergola, to hedging and trees, there are subtle ways of adding more privacy to your garden.

RULE 7 – Spend on garden furniture

If there is one key investment, it is the garden furniture. You will probably spend more time sitting in your garden than doing anything else and yet, year after year we make do with wobbly tables and balancing precariously on wonky chairs. The time has come to ditch the cheap stuff and invest in garden furniture that will last longer than a season. Choose furniture that is versatile too. Alfresco dining sets are great, especially those that come with reclining seats too.

If you only follow one rule, follow this one: create a garden that answers your needs and you’ll be on to a winner.

From pretty bistro sets to large reclining sofas, Rattan Direct has everything for the garden. To check out their latest arrivals, follow them on Twitter.

Post in collaboration with Rattan Direct

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