Good distribution of high and low elements
In summer, the garden is the focal point of family life. This is where people eat, celebrate, learn, maybe even work, but in any case they relax around – but of course only if the outdoor living room also invites relaxation. Seating where you can sit down and enjoy the time alone or with a group of people is very basic for spending time outdoors.
In the heat of the sun, you long for cooling shade. Appropriate sun protection should therefore definitely be considered when setting up seating. “If there is already a large tree on the property, it is advisable to place chairs and sun loungers there. Natural shade is always particularly comfortable because no air collects under trees and if the sun from time to time shines through the canopy, it is simply wonderful, ”says landscape gardener Ben van Ooijen from The Gardens of Appeltern.
“Another positive effect: deciduous trees shade in summer, but in winter they no longer have leaves and allow sufficient light to pass through in the rather dark season.” Roof tiles, for example, are ideal as sun protection for the terrace. But green pergolas, an open garden house or a sun canopy are also good opportunities to enjoy the outdoors even on hot days.
A comfortable garden chair can be set up nicely on the lawn – but when it comes to tables and chairs, the surface must be firm and level. Nothing is more annoying than a wobbly set table. The same goes for the road there: You also want to transport the tray of iced tea safely to your place. “It is always important to have a good balance between green and hard ground. For a garden without plants is not a garden, but there is also a need for paved paths and seating,” van Ooijen emphasizes.
“They divide the garden into different areas and connect the house, terrace, lawn and flower beds. Plants should always be responsible, but it is not advisable to do without attachments. I therefore recommend a ratio of 1: 3 – a third for example stone, wood , gravel, two-thirds plants. “
No one wants to feel like they are on display – especially not in their own garden. Therefore, privacy protection also plays a fundamental role when it comes to seats. This is especially true for areas that are close to the property boundary. To prevent neighbors or passers-by from looking in, high hedges, fences or walls can be used, for example.
“Privacy screens made of solid materials such as wood, stone or concrete are very robust and at the same time protect against wind and noise, but sometimes structural elements can also seem a bit restrictive and monotonous,” says van Ooijen. “Especially at higher boundaries, it is therefore usually advisable to green them with climbing plants such as ivy or Virginia creepers. Plants convey a natural security and at the same time cool the immediate surroundings. It is very worthwhile, especially in midsummer.”
Boundaries can also be drawn in a garden to create a private atmosphere. So you can still work or read in peace when the kids frolic and play in another area. Here it makes sense to separate the seat on two sides from the rest of the area. It is important that the field of view is not completely limited, but that you can keep letting your gaze wander in the garden.
A height of 90 to 120 centimeters is usually sufficient. With a skillfully placed Chinese reed, tall perennials like astilbe or a lattice covered with wisteria, rooms can be designed in many different ways in a garden.
Last but not least, the immediate surroundings determine whether we feel comfortable there, enjoy nature and can discover something new again and again throughout the year. Eye-catching as a colorful perennial bed, a lively water element that also promises cooling, subtly fragrant lavender bushes and the soft rustle of grass – a seating area that is varied and appeals to all the senses, invites to linger every day.
“To create excitement, we always depend on a good distribution of high and low elements in our exhibition garden,” van Ooijen emphasizes. “Therefore, for example, half of all plants are taller than 90 centimeters. It provides depth and creates different focal points.”