Clearly Contemporary

Lush planting in the courtyard of the Garden Museum

Lush planting in the courtyard of the Garden Museum

It can be tempting when building your dream home to focus only on the house itself and not on its surroundings. It’s very understandable too - things you didn’t even know existed need to be budgeted for, and always turn out to be more expensive than you’d thought.

When you’re planning a contemporary home, in particular – especially with bespoke features and wide expanses of glass – the question of what goes beyond the glass often gets shoved to the bottom of the pile, to be dealt with at some future date when everything else is sorted out. Which of course never happens.

I love contemporary gardens. I love their clean lines, deceptively simple appearance, and sense of calm. I doubt I’ll ever own one, as there are too many lovely things I’d want to put in, and this kind of garden is primarily about restraint, paring back, and often minimalism. But I always welcome the chance to design one, because they can be so – well, cool.

It’s about getting the shapes right, mostly. Proportions and perspective, and linking the outdoors with the indoors so that each is shown off to best advantage.

You have to be confident in how you divide and lay out the space, while at the same time respecting the unique location and making sure it sits well in its surroundings, which could be rural, urban or coastal. You need to be decisive in terms of planting and be crystal clear about each plant’s job and the reason it’s been chosen as part of the planting scheme. Green tends to predominate, but that doesn’t mean the planting is boring – lots of planting styles will work, from woodland, to traditional, to the lush jungle-like style seen here in the courtyard of London’s Garden Museum, designed by Dan Pearson.

The choice of materials is wide and can blend perfectly with those used in the property itself, or form a deliberate contrast – the key word here being deliberate. If you’re letting in lots of lovely natural light with all that glass, you’ll be seeing a lot more of the garden than you would from traditional windows, so you need to be looking out at something you love.

Anne Byrne Garden Design provides easy to follow Garden Plans that you can implement right away

or in stages. Anne’s design flair and passion for plants brings a touch of magic to gardens of all sizes.

Anne Byrne Garden Design – Creative Ideas – Practical Solutions – Stunning Gardens.

T: 086 683 8098 E: [email protected]


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