Creating intimate spaces in your garden
Over the summer I have really enjoyed visiting a variety of gardens from grand stately homes to small cosy terraces. One thing they share, is the desire to create intimate spaces within the garden. So with regard to your garden there are a number of things to consider to help create a feeling of intimacy. Here are my suggestions/observations:
1. Connect the house with the garden– Reflect the architectural style of the house in your garden design. Have an appreciation of the style of building materials and colours used on your house to best connect with your outdoor space. A stark contrast in styles is not wrong, just a matter of taste and a harsh divide in styles if not bridged by subtle design does not initially create a feeling of intimacy. Consider the view of the garden from the house and create an inside/out harmony by blending the inside/out divide. Allow for easy access from the house to the garden, create spaces to sit, to dine, to play, to work, to wonder.
2. Scale and proportion– No matter if you have a large or small house and garden you need to consider the scale and proportion of the areas/features you create. As a rule a large house and garden will benefit from a large patio following the two-thirds rule of proportion. e.g the width of the rectangular shape patio or lawn is two-thirds the length. It is common sense to create a space that is in proportion with the its surroundings, but is often overlooked.
3. Enclosure– A large open garden can be made intimate by creating a number of connected or interconnected enclosed spaces providing privacy. A mixture of screening options are available from walls to hedges, but ensure the dimensions are in proportion with its surroundings. Include comfortable seating areas, using a simple bench or a decorative arbour.
4. Shape– Design terraces, planting beds and lawns using the classic rectangular and circular shapes. Avoid using a mix of irregular lines or curves.
5. Pathways and points of interest– Create different points of interest within your garden. You may wish to include water features, a rock garden, a rose garden, a woodland area, a dry garden or a wetland. Connect the different areas of interest with pathways, including covered walkways and arches.