If you’re blessed with a large garden it can sometimes be a daunting task to know where to start in a garden transformation.
Often, large gardens can resemble open playing fields with a vast patch of grass in the middle surrounded by trees and shrubs. This layout makes the whole garden feel exposed and a little uninteresting.
But, by the simple trick of dividing your garden into sections, you can bring about a transformation that turns an open void into something that’s truly magical and highly usable.
Sectioning a garden into different areas not only makes the views more appealing – drawing you outside to enjoy your natural space. But it can also help delineate between uses of each area and create zones with very different atmospheres to enjoy according to your mood.
If you’re the proud owner of a large garden, but are struggling to know where to start, here are a few ideas for how to divide and conquer your space.
Ideas for dividing your garden.
First up is to decide what you want from your garden. It’s all yours, so it’s got to suit your lifestyle and the needs of all your home’s occupants.
A quiet sanctuary
Sanctuary gardens are becoming extremely popular and have even been given their own category at The Chelsea Flower Show. A sanctuary garden offers a haven of peace where you can go to relax and unwind. A place of quiet and contemplation to escape from the noise of home, or to destress after a hard day at work. These calm spots in the garden are becoming essential for many as we realise how important green, natural spaces are to our mental wellbeing.
Creating a private area, screened from the rest of the garden, with chillout seating and planted with the calming tones of lush greens and whites, can allow you to take a moment to yourself and relax. Adding the gentle sounds of water with a small pool, fountain or stream will further lull you into a deep state of calm.
A space for socialising
Once your batteries are recharged it’s time to invite over loved ones and socialise. With a dedicated entertaining area, you’re all set up and ready to go whenever the mood strikes. This fun area can be whatever you need it to be. Whether it’s a Mediterranean inspired outdoor dining space shaded by pleached trees and complete with outdoor kitchen. Or an Ibiza style laid-back seating area with outdoor bar, party lighting and sound system. This is an area dedicated to good times with friends and family.
Giving children somewhere they can make their own is great for allowing them to run wild with their friends and imagination. Creating a kid friendly area of the garden is great for allowing them to get hands on with plants and a healthy dose of mud. As well as nurturing a love for the environment and wildlife from an early age.
This area is where to include permanent structures such as sandpits, climbing frames, treehouses or dens. Bug hotels that they’ve helped to build. As well as a few grow you own patches dedicated to raising vegetables and plants from seed.
Creating a space helps not only to keep noise away from quieter areas, but it also gives children something they crave which is somewhere to safe to escape to away from the grown-ups.
There’s nothing like the joy and taste of harvesting something you’ve grown and serving it immediately at your own table. Nothing tastes quite like it when you can deliver that level of freshness.
Including an area for growing vegetables, herbs and fruit allows you to grow your favourites and have a ready supply just outside your door, or next to your outdoor kitchen.
You could either dedicate an area of your garden to growing with raised vegetable beds, a greenhouse, compost pile and some fruit trees and bushes. Or take inspiration from cottage gardens and interweave vegetables and fruit with flowers to resemble an ornamental and productive potager.
As we learn more about how essential wildlife and biodiversity is to the health of our gardens, it’s a good idea to keep a patch for them.
But being wildlife friendly, doesn’t necessarily mean letting things get overgrown with weeds. A pond is one of the best ways to bring a wide range of beneficial wildlife into your garden. Even just a small one will soon attract everything from frogs and toads and newts to dragonflies and damselflies, as well as birds and hedgehogs that will use it as an essential supply of water.
Using a pond to help divide your garden zones can create something beautiful to look at, which also helps to bring pollinating insects to your fruit and vegetables and keep control of your slug and snail populations naturally.
Ponds also present an opportunity for introducing a different range of plants into your scheme. Use marginal plants like iris and rushes at the edges of the pond, with water lilies and watermoss floating on the ponds surface. While adding to overall garden aesthetic, these plants also provide shelter and food for the pond’s inhabitants, and help to keep the balance of the water in check.
If you’ve got a DIY enthusiast in the family, then don’t forget to dedicate a spot in the garden to practical purposes. This is where you’ll find the shed to house garden equipment, and perhaps a workshop for fixing or building things.
Allowing enough space surrounding the shed to accommodate large projects or equipment is useful. As is also ensuring a supply of water and electricity to power tools and allow for cleaning of items.
Somewhere to work or workout
Adding a garden room is another way to clearly define a section of your garden. These easy to add structures can quickly provide you with extra space that you might not have in your home for an office, a gym or a craft room.
Or you might want to use this room to provide additional facilities such as a playroom for kids, a pool room with shower and toilet to make changing easier after a dip, or a den with kitchenette for teenagers and their friends.
Whatever your needs a bespoke garden room offers a wealth of possibilities.
A few things to consider
When planning where to place your zones consider carefully where you locate them. Try to keep quiet zones such as your sanctuary space or garden office away from noisy play or entertaining areas. If space is limited and these do need to sit next to one another, then think about how you screen the areas from each other for privacy. Or use tricks to disguise noise such as adding a water feature or noise muffling hedging.
Another trick for defining areas is to do so over multiple levels. You could use hard landscaping to create a raised terrace for a sunspot. Or a sunken area area for a cocooning and private feel. By terracing your landscape with gentle steps that take you from one level to another you can create a very different feel or function on each.
Pairing these levels with raised garden beds and generous planting, you can further enhance their sense of privacy and purpose.
Vertical gardening (particularly in small spaces) is a great way of adding an extra dimension to your landscape. A herb wall in an outdoor kitchen not only provides colour, but a handy way to pick and add extra flavour to your meals. Or a lush green wall can act as a screen between your sanctuary garden and other spaces. Don’t forget that you could also add height and shade to seating or dining areas with a pergola dressed with climbing roses, jasmine, honeysuckle or wisteria.
Make paths a feature
When zoning a garden, paths play an important function in connecting your spaces and making it work harmoniously together. But aside from being a functional element, paths can also be a design feature.
By using materials that complement other hard landscaping features in your garden you can visually link the spaces with one another. Path edges can be softened with planting. Low hedges or stepover fruit create a clear demarcation between path and planting to prevent people (or pets) walking on your vegetables or flowers. Recessed lighting can illuminate safe routes around the garden at night.
You can even create a real statement with a covered walkway with a sequence of pergolas covered in fragrant climbers and underplanted with flowers.
We hope these ideas provide you with inspiration to start your garden transformation. But should you wish to pick the brains of experts in garden landscaping who’ve worked on numerous large garden projects, please feel free to get in touch. We’d be happy to discuss your ideas and provide quotes for helping you achieve your garden vision. Please contact us on 01628 629720 or firstname.lastname@example.org.