One of the most useful things you can do when planning garden improvements is thinking about how to introduce height into space. It’s such a useful element of design and can completely transform a garden, making it so much more interesting – but there are a few things to keep in mind if you want it to really work for you.
Firstly, think about what’s appropriate for the space you have– a compact garden in an urban area might be surrounded on all sides by other houses, as well as high walls, but adding an archway or pergola to such a garden can be a super way of drawing the eye away from all those and moving the focus to within. In a much larger garden, a series of arches might have a better chance of achieving this, or perhaps a tunnel or pergola. It’s important to get the scale and proportions right.
Secondly, your structure needs to work with the layout on the ground plane, and it needs to make sense.
Another way of putting this is that design elements in the garden need to be there for a reason, or you risk investing time and money on something that’s not going to work. For instance, an archway or pergola needs to lead somewhere. There needs to be something at the end of it and some reason for having it in that particular spot. It could be linking two separate parts of the garden together, or it could be framing a view of something outside the garden altogether.
If space is limited, you can make use of a focal point beyond your structure to lead the eye onwards – this could be one of several things – a favourite sculpture, a water feature, or something much simpler like an attractive container. Depending on the size and shape of the container, you could even leave it unplanted.
And speaking of planting, a raised garden structure is a super opportunity for all kinds of climbing and rambling plants. But which ones? Maybe we should talk about that next week………