Here are my key tips on Padraigs woodland themed garden…
1. Defining Space
Padraig made some very brave choices when it came to the layout of his garden. Although his space was very small to begin with, he chose to divide it in half by creating a large wall with a full height hedge. I was nervous when I saw this in his plan, but I was pleasantly surprised at its strong effect in when I walked into the space. His design divided the garden into essentially 3 different rooms. The proportions of the spaces felt like outdoor rooms and added to the cosy and enclosed feeling within the garden.
Creating a space within a space is an effective way of adding interest in a garden. Use timber fencing or a wall of hedging to create boundaries within your garden. Create rooms within your garden to carry on from your house. This adds an element of surprise and leaves people guessing where the next part of the garden will be. It reminds me of the secret garden. Archways, gates and doors can be incorporated into the design to create even more of an exterior room.
2. Natural Colour Palette
Padraig kept his colour palette very understated and in keeping with his woodland concept. The soft green/grey tone that he used on the boundary treatments gave the feeling of space and created the illusion of a bigger garden. It also linked very well with the wall colour in the kitchen of the house. This is a good tip if you want to extend your living space out into your garden. Choose wall colours that relate to your interior colours to really create an external room.
Padraig also chose a dark oak stain for his timber in the garden. The cuprinol country oak decking stain linked well with the bark and soil throughout his woodland garden. Be careful when painting large timber items. I would recommend using softer tones to avoid them dominating the space. The dark tone worked well in Padraig’s because he wanted to create a feeling of enclosure.
3. Clear, visible pathways
Clean, strong pathways help to navigate through any spaces – gardens or interiors. Make sure to create obvious pathways in your own garden. Try and think about the journey that the user will take and create a path for them to follow. To break up the space, use a combination of materials along the pathway. Padraig successfully did this in his garden. His stepping trees in the kids area are both playful and functional. Be creative with your material choices.
Take care to secure any paving stones well to avoid trip hazards within the space. Ensure that all pathways are level.