Use the cold months to fantasize about your dream outdoor space
And then you’ll be in the position to pull it all
together as the weather warms
Were you able to live in your garden last summer? Did you have a space to relax, entertain your friends and have fun with your family?
Or was it a cluttered, messy storage space, tired and definitely not inviting?
If you’re reading this then it probably wasn’t the greatest place to be.
But it needn’t stay that way.
If you spend the colder months working out how you want your garden (or balcony, patio or deck) to look, then, when the weather starts to warm, you’ll be in a great position to quickly create the garden of your dreams.
Start planning now and be ready for an entertaining summer. There are a few easy and fun filled steps to fill your winter with sun. Follow me over the next couple of weeks and complete the steps so you are ready for your garden makeover.
Create journals step by step
I find the easiest and most fun way to get the planning done is to become creative in a journal. I create journals filled ideas so I can sort through these as my feelings on the final outcome gel. I create my journals in files, mood boards, or simply folders on my computer within which I put images of bits and pieces I collect.
I go through the garden planning process in my journals in several steps.
Steps One and Two cover the two things I need to think about when starting to plan a project of this kind. And it is these steps I cover in this article.
Step One – Consider the activities you want to do in the garden
Obviously, the activities will be limited by the space you have to some extent. But it’s worth being crazy at this stage.
Or is it to be an area for the kids…
Or do you want to create an extensive entertaining area to extend your indoor living, complete with outdoor kitchen and dining areas…
Not to mention the lounge…
Step Two – Consider how you want your garden to look and feel
I love styling a home, especially gardens and outdoor living areas around a home and I am attracted to most looks around today. And in today’s world, no one style predominates; you can build your own eclectic look from many sources.
The trouble is, liking everything and adding bits and pieces from many looks in an unconsidered way usually leads to clutter and disharmony. Mainly because there is a tendency to pull too many looks together. And not everything goes with everything (although its surprising what can be mixed). This especially applies to gardens where there’s an added complexity because people often start with plants they love (all of them) and then think about the overall look and wonder why the result is messy.
So you have to create your style. From the range of things you love.
Add styling sections to your journal
I do this by adding style ideas to my journal.
I often start with more than one styling section in my journal – one for each of the styles I want to think about. (There’s always more than one great styling idea or fantastic piece of art or furniture which would call the styling shots).
Don’t restrict yourself right now. In a later step I decide on one look and pull the bits I want into a final journal with one of these styles (or a considered combination).
Don’t be afraid to mix.
For instance, I love this garden with its formal topiary and geometric lines offset with retro furniture and shaggy vegetables. A few blousy flowers wouldn’t go astray either.
So just collect ideas and images you love. Collect images from magazines, websites, Google Images, Pinterest, your own photos, brochures from nurseries and homewares stores, anywhere in fact.
At this stage, don’t limit yourself, practical thoughts and budgets have no place while you are creating your style and putting your ideas together. Right now you are just finding out what you love.
And, there is something else I think about in the journal to help with the overall look later.
Take note of the looks which are there now
Remember, the style of your garden will not be an open book.
The architectural style of your home will have an influence. So will the style of your interior décor, especially in the entertaining areas which often flow out of the house. There may be other things that will have an impact. You’ll want some harmony between these things so you need to bring the main styling features together. The garden can be wildly different from your other spaces, but you’ll need to link things in some way. You may achieve this simply by bringing in a color or shape to pull stuff together.
At this point just take note of what is there. So pictures of the external features, colors and textures already in place in your home are a great starting point.
The Next Steps
The next steps come in the next articles. But you’ve plenty to get on with now so start collecting your ideas and let your imagination run wild.
Keep and eye out for the next steps and more great new styles here. A new article goes up each week on different garden ideas or styles.