Gardens are a good source of greenery and freshness to any home decor. With the evolution of technology and growth in usage of mobile phones and televisions, everyone is glued to it. More time is spent virtually than physically meeting people. Even children are hooked onto mobile phones playing games. Remaining indoors is given more preference than outdoors. This has led to health issues for people of all ages.
The nature deficit disorder has gripped children who have less exposure to outdoors. The problems caused by the disorder are lack of attention, diminished use of senses and mental or physical illnesses. With the growing population, spaces for outdoor activities have also reduced tremendously. But efforts are being made by builders to incorporate gardens in their construction plans.
Many schools are also arranging trips to make the children aware of the nature around them. Schools gardens expose children to outdoors and also aid in nature camps, nutrition camps, induce environmental awareness and help children to develop their acquaintance with nature.
Home gardens or backyard gardens are an extension of our homes. Care needs to be taken towards a better and healthy garden. There are sorts of garden decor that you can choose from. For garden decor, you need to plan a theme and curate the decor accordingly. These garden spaces are relatively small and space is available in village areas. City homes have no space but one needs to accommodate gardens on their balconies or verandas or near their kitchen windows. These gardens are a great source of foliage to add colour to your decor.
The importance of having a home garden:
- Source of organic food
You can grow your own food free from all the pesticides and a lot healthier than the vegetables or fruits from the market. These gardens are very manageable. You can decide which vegetables, fruits or flowers that you want to grow. The major advantage is having healthy and home grew food.
- Supplements family budget
In many regions throughout the world, most of the expenditure is on food. Home gardens have been useful to such families. It helps to cut down almost 40% of the expenditure. It also benefits communities that do not prefer soil grown food. In Kerela India, many people have home gardens and their only expenditure is for cooking oil and spices.
- Year round availability
The home gardens can grow vegetables or fruits year round. Some varieties grow even in 6 weeks. So there is continuous food supply year round.
- Protects the soil
Having home gardens is a good usage of space. It adds colour to your yard as well as disperses freshness. Having home gardens reduces soil erosion and reduces bush growth around the house.
- Family activity for the weekend
Gardens require a lot of care. They need to be watered on daily basis and require proper nourishment. Maintaining the garden can be a fun family activity where even kids can be involved. They can be taught concepts of gardening, fertilization, watering etc. They can also pluck their own vegetables or fruits grown in the garden. This will provide them immense satisfaction and be connected with nature. Gardening can also bring out the creativity in you. It also provides a sense of fulfilment.
Garden decor needs to be planned with care. There are certain principles that you need to follow while making sketches.
- Law of significant enclosure
The garden should be planned to embrace nature. The law states that we feel enclosed when the vertical edge of the space is atleast on third of the horizontal space. The garden, whatever the size should attune the feeling of openness.
- Follow the regulating line
Regulating line is a concept of architectural design. It is an imaginary line that connects and organizes the design, for example, a doorway, tree, swimming pool etc. It is also said that the regulating line separates the professional design from amateur design. The garden is made of “good bones” (as known in garden circles).
- Get the proportions right
Thisrule refines the garden design. This golden rule has even been used in the making of the Great Pyramids of Giza. It provides a sense of balance and order. The Golden Rectangle rule, in which the ratio of the short side to the long side is equal to the ratio of the long side to the sum of both sides (a/b = b/a+b)
Numerically, the Golden Rectangle ratio is close to 1: 1.6, a proportion I regularly use to lay out terrace, patios, and lawns. Rectangle soil beds are easy to maintain and looks good.
Having a big garden or small garden depends on the size available. For planting, plant small as well as big plants. Have a variety of sizes to give a crowning touch to your garden. Add greenery by planting grass or shrubs on the corner of the pave way and doors. Plant rich array of variety in plants and colours.
- Adding tables and chairs to the garden
Outdoor gardens also give space for outdoor or garden furniture. If you are planning to add a table, you need to check the space and accommodate chairs for every member of the family. It should not clutter the area and should be comfortable for all. Another point to remember is the space to walk around the table and chairs. This takes up more space than imagined.Also, the patio should be on ground level making the task of carrying garden furniture or empty trays with ease.
- Garden boundaries
Garden boundaries are the biggest element for theview. When two gardens are together, they are separated through boundaries or fences. You can even grow climbers on the boundaries. The boundaries or fences can be given a decorative gazing with different colours or typically whitewash them. During festivals, you can even add lights or handmade charts for the pave way.
The paving and colour provide a strong direction for the garden design. You can give your pavement a French look by using white and grey stones in anuneven pattern. The pavement can be of any colour to match your decor but using stones would give an aesthetic look to the garden. Using beige, buff or golden stone in therandom pattern can give a country English feel. Black or silverregular design paving organised will form the perfect backdrop to a sleek and modern scheme.You can also grow small bushes around the pavement for a better look. Coordinate your plants (flowers) with paving theway.
- Grey or white stone gets uplifted with purple and white blooms.
- Black and silver paving looks amazing with strong colours like as red, orange and yellow.
- Golden stone paves way works with flowers that have soft tones – pink, lavender, and chalky yellow.
- Plan your planting
You should plan your plants to use up space efficiently. Keep space for your organic food plants different. You can plant flowers even in pots to hang in the portico or on the kitchen window.The plants should be spaced out so as to not damage them by walking etc. If you are planting creepers, you should provide support so that they do not damage other plants. Plants that grow fast should be planted near the pavement, for easy uprooting and re-planting new seeds. Consider the season and climate while planting. For year round colour and beauty, plant more of flowering plants.
- Focal point
Plan your garden according to the focal point. Focal point would be the central point of the garden where you want to focus. You can use multiple focal points as well. That focal point would drive the most attention.
- Don’t throw out sketches
If you are a beginner in garden planning the best option is to not throw out the previous sketches. Be open to change and incorporate old ideas for a better garden. Also, start small. Divide the whole space into small areas and plan accordingly. Study the sun and wind patterns for placing the patio.
The garden sketch comes handy because all the plans are on paper and in front of you. You need to visualise your garden and break it down into small areas. If you are a beginner and need help you can also consult a landscape designer or garden designer. It helps to visualize all the possibilities for the garden design considering space, size, plant to be grown and much more. The basic idea is to get a 3D view through a 3D drawing. This can be done through vanishing points and perspective lines that is explained further below.
There are certain steps by a landscape designer that a garden design beginner can follow while designing:
- Click a photo
Click the clearest picture of your garden or backyard. The view should not be blocked by any plants. The widest angle of the garden space should be clicked. Include nearby structures like house, patio and fences.
- Take a print
Upload the photo to your computer and get it printed. The printed photo should be bright and contract of the photo should be reduced. Then you can draw on the image easily.
- Draw on the photo
Start by making a perspective line. The perspective line should be drawn from the edge either of a lawn or house. Draw perspective lines on both sides i.e. left and right and join it at a point. The point where the two lines met is called the Vanishing Point, and it’s where all future lines will originate from. The horizontal line that passes through the Vanishing Point is called the Horizon Line.
- Landscape drawing
After the vanishing point is deduced, you can draw on the lawn. Here you can decide the areas for planting variety of plants and flowers. The lines would be originating from the vanishing point. Other lines would be parallel to the horizontal line. If there is a tree or any other object, draw around it.
- Draw plants
Draw the basic shape of plants on the printed photo. Here you can plan to add new trees or bushes. Always start by planning from the largest plants to the smallest plants or flowers. Make the foundation base strong and clear. Allocate a shape to small plants like a circle or oval for easy representation. Let your creativity flow and let the plan be messy. Get all the basic ideas drawn on the printed photo.
Use a tracing paper to trace the draft sketch. The draft needs to refine. Firstly, Start by sketching the small plants or bushes and then with the other tall plants.Give proper shapes for plants like bushes etc for a better view.
- Add colour
After the draft sketch is complete, you can now add colour. The colouring will help you in highlighting the area. Use your creativity and add colour as per your preferences that you want for your garden. It should compliment your decor. Try not to colour outside the lines. You can also let the colours chose the plants or flowers for the backyard. A tip to remember is to fill one colour at any time for a particular type or plant.
There are certain themes for Garden design as well like English garden, Japanese Garden and Mediterranean Garden.
This theme of thegarden has become very popular as it adds an extra panache to any garden. It is very easy to create and maintain. English garden consists of flowers like red roses that require utmost care. You can also use daisies, dandelions, daffodils etc.
Japanese Garden themes are elegant, simple, chic and eye catching but not very easy to create. They usually are whimsical designs with theincorporation of bamboo, lanterns and moss. You need to add Japanese outdoor decor for an authentic look.
This garden theme is great for planting tomatoes, chillies, herbs etc. It adds a lot of colours to the garden and very beautiful. You can use outdoor decor like colourful pottery, garden statue, benches etc.
To make your garden look even more elegant you can add lights. Outdoor lights can immediately transform the garden into a usable space. You venture into lighting only if you have a purpose for all the lights in the backyard. If your focus is to highlight the backyard, then yes you can totally go forward. Firstly you need to plan where the lights need to go, match it with specific locations in the backyard. For lighting purposes, you can also foray into installing solar lights if you receive sun throughout the day. Have a budget in mind and plan accordingly. For example, if you haveawaterfountain than only install lights there.
So in a nutshell, if you are planning your own garden decor you need to plan through a sketch. You can watch videos online for making the sketch or use the GardenSketch App available on Android and iOS for easy planning. Consider your garden or backyard space and try to use every corner. Having a garden will keep you healthy and always connected with nature. Gardens require care and daily maintenance. The garden/backyard is like an extended room that can be fully explored.
The finished view may not exactly resemble the sketch exactly. The discarded or non used sketches can be incorporated for future development of the garden. It will also help you to understand the areas which can be focused during the next development. Even small spaces between the door and the garden or backyard and garage can be decorated for a better view of the house. Hope all these points help to plan your garden efficiently.
Akshay works as an Interior Designer with Lalco Interiors and he is in love with his job. Thinking up interesting home décor ideas and helping clients implement them is what makes him tick. You can catch up with Akshay and his team and indulge in one of their beautiful home décor pieces for your home at Lalco Interior – Furniture Stores Bangalore.