Our affinity with the great outdoors is reflected in the variety of ways in which we work with and experience our gardens. Perhaps you have a large plot of land, or you may have a city home rooftop to fill with pots and planters. The secret to making what garden you have work for you, is to make the best use of the available space.
The larger the garden, the more work required to maintain it, but you needn't spend all your free time weeding and pruning, unless you want to. Choose low maintenance border plants if time is an issue, or consider paying someone to help - even just a couple of hours can make a difference. If you are short on outside space, a few well planted pots or window boxes will brighten things up, and scented plants work particularly well in more enclosed areas or courtyards.
Even small gardens benefit from an area of patio or decking, as a practical area to place tables and seating or potted plants. In larger gardens, this kind of space will also enhance your overall garden design, and the choice is vast – from plain slabs, patterned paving or slatted decking in any shade to suit your style.
Gardens are meant to be used and enjoyed, and choosing the right outdoor furniture will turn a redundant outdoor space into an extension of your home. A small round table and a couple of chairs are all you need. If you have a large garden, a swing seat, picnic table and outdoor sofas or comfortable chairs are perfect for entertaining family and friends, or for relaxing in peace in the summer.
The right finishing touches for your garden will depend on personal preference, as well as how much room you have outside. Transform your garden or rooftop courtyard with carefully placed subtle lighting, luxuriate in your very own hot tub, add or renew a pond or pool if you have the space, or put in a summerhouse so you can enjoy being outdoors even when you need some shade or shelter from the breeze.
However you choose to enhance your outdoor space, a keen eye for detail and for complementing the area with items that reflect your own style will transform any garden, large or small, into the haven that it's meant to be.