landscape garden design

landscape garden design- a quiet space

by Peter Shaw of Ocean Road Landscaping

A “get-away-place” landscape design is a simple project: all you need is to be tucked away in a quiet corner with something to sit on and maybe some still water.

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Here’s one of the best (and easiest) landscape garden design projects of them all – design a place to stop be in a quiet space in the garden. And by that, I mean a place where you can escape for a minute (or an hour) to take some deep breaths. Our lives are busy, and technology – phones, texts and the rest – has helped fill in our spare moments. Surely we need a place to go to escape.

If you think about it, we have the other more public or active parts of the landscaping sorted, like the front entrance, or the barbeque & outdoor eating area. But many of the gardens I see don’t offer a tucked away pocket where you can go to get away from it all. And it’s so easy to make one…

Find the right spot: and this isn’t hard, especially if you can remember what it was like to be a child. Children naturally value those secret, quiet places that are found down at the back of the garden. Follow their lead and look for a place that has natural ambiance, far from the everyday activities of your home and that of your neighbours. It needs to be private and not overlooked. It may be that it’s a location from where you can observe activity without having to actively engage: your children playing in the garden; or even a shielded view of the street. It doesn’t need to be a large space – room for one or maybe two people is perfect.

Test it out: which makes sense before you put anything too permanent in place. To be certain that it will offer you uninterrupted respite and peace, you have to give it a go. Drag out a camping seat, make yourself a cuppa and see what you think of it. If you’re going to do the job properly, try to test it out at different times of the day so you can be sure it’s quiet and comfortable pretty much all the time. And by comfortable I mean, check that it’s not too sunny or shady, or windy. While you’re there, think about how you might set the space up permanently: where the seat might face, what tree or view could become a focal point, or whether you might need to add in a feature.

Make it permanent: but this doesn’t mean you have to make it a big deal. In fact, making it as low key as possible will go a long way towards ensuring the space works well. Rake back the mulch, lay some loose paving stones and place your bench, stone or log into place. Plant the edges of the space with species that you know will thrive in that spot, plants which offer flowers and even scents. If you want, you can add in a large water bowl or a fire pit, but try to keep things low key.

Just remember: what you create was never intended to be a party space – there are other places closer to the house that fill that role. So keep this small, intimate and secret, a place to enjoy some peace and quiet in your landscape garden design.

A garden’s style isn’t important, but making a get-away space that’s more relaxed than the rest of the garden is. Here the small table and chairs are reached by a few loose stepping stones with herbs tucked in underfoot.

*Peter Shaw, together with his team at Ocean Road Landscaping, creates beautiful, environmentally friendly landscaped gardens on the Great Ocean Road, Surf Coast, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula. web: https://www.orl.com.au  Phone: 1300 61 62 63  or  5263 3133

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Landscape design, designing quiet spaces

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