As the days get longer and the temperature continues to rise, evenings once spent bundled up indoors now turn into balmy nights lounging on the patio. This makes it the perfect time to think about new garden ideas for spring.
By tackling one or two new projects over a few weekends, you’ll soon be enjoying the benefits of a beautiful garden filled with all the sights, scents and sounds that emanate from lush greenery.
Here are some great garden ideas, plus a few trendy ways to update your garden this spring:
According to Craig Hutchison, CEO of Engel & Völkers SA, when it comes to the value of your property, you can’t underestimate the importance and beauty of a garden. “First impressions last, and a stunning garden can add significant value to your property, as well as how fast it grows. The garden is an escape and a place to find solace, so a well laid out and inviting garden can be a big drawcard for buyers,” he says.
Take inspiration from the latest garden trends
Like fashion, gardens and exterior spaces are subject to evolving styles and trends. One of the biggest trends at the moment is adding ambient lighting to your garden. It extends an entertainment area beyond just your home, and cleverly incorporates the outdoors to make it more usable and enticing at night. Adding a fire pit is another way of extending an entertainment area and provides an opportunity to sit under the stars on cooler evenings. In fact, one of the best ways to unwind and connect with friends and family is to have the chance to sit around a crackling open fire, while enjoying the surrounding sounds of nature at night.
Create a meditation zone
Another key trend is the ‘outdoor room’ or an intimate area in the garden that has its own theme and is separate from the rest of the house. An area that’s private, secluded and meditative. It can be a permanently constructed zone or something more laid back. It all depends on your lifestyle and your home. Picture an area scattered with oversized cushions under the shade of a leafy tree.
Choose the right plants
When it comes to flower beds, the first rule of thumb is to choose plants that will thrive in the environment. Consider the positioning: is the area predominantly in shade for most of the day or will plants be exposed to full sun? Then, select plants accordingly, while keeping maintenance in mind. Perennials are popular as they continue to thrive from one season to the next. Unlike annuals, which are high maintenance and need to be replaced every season, perennials keep going and bring lovely seasonal colour.
Homeowners who love blooms should also look for perennials that flower for longer periods. Another way of bringing different hues into a garden is to mix flower beds by planting a variety of flowering perennials that come into bloom at different times. This ensures that there are flowers across the four seasons. Shrubs such as the indigenous Anisodontea species flower prolifically for most of the year and thrive in most parts of South Africa.
Bursts of colour can also be added through foliage. Crassula capitella ‘Campfire’ is an indigenous, low-growing succulent with leaves that turn from green to a brilliant red when exposed to the sun. It’s ideal for areas bathed in direct sunlight for most of the day.
Update with furniture and accessories
Comfortable, functional and weather-hardy furniture is essential for making the most of your garden and exterior space. Texture is a strong element at the moment, especially natural wood, steel and a combination of the two. Linen and rope are also right on trend and add a touch of laid back pizazz.
According to experts at the well-known interior deisgn magazine, Decoist, the right outdoor furniture and accessories will help you create a holiday vibe at home. Plus, your garden should reflect your personal style, be it luxury, rustic or barefoot and beachy – it’s all the rage! In terms of design, foliage prints and stripes are still in. Large black and white, navy and white and red and white stripes bring elegance and a nautical feel to a patio and can be incorporated easily for an updated look. Chair cushions, throws, umbrellas and floor rugs that are on trend can instantly bring a modern twist to your exterior.
The Scandinavian ‘hygge’ movement is about creating comfort, cosiness, conviviality and a sense of well-being, and it is still a big part of home design. Loungers and couches remain popular outdoor choices and there should always be extra seating on hand to accommodate your family and friends. If pieces can be moved around so that your guests can spread out and sprawl, even better. Items such as ottomans, beanbags and stools can be repositioned with ease and stowed away when you don’t need them. They also offer a creative opportunity for updating a patio with little fuss and without breaking the bank. They can even be re-covered in fun eye-catching fabrics that pop or revamped with a lick of paint.
If your garden is already in peak condition and simply needs a bit of maintenance, here are a few quick tasks that will keep it looking smart:
- Enrich your soil with compost.
- Add mulch to beds and potted plants to prevent moisture loss.
- Apply organic fertiliser.
- Replace invasive species with indigenous plants as this results in fewer pests and diseases in the garden. These plants also attract a lot of wildlife such as birds, butterflies and interesting insects.
Whatever you choose to do, the spring garden is about outdoor homing, nesting and reconnecting with nature, with yourself and with your loved ones.
*This article and its images were supplied by Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.