How To Plan A Modern Garden

How To Plan A Modern Garden

1. Get Planning Permission for a Modern Garden

If you are wondering how to plan a modern garden, you fortunately won’t face too many restrictions when it comes to building works. Still, they do exist and any proposed work needs to be considered with respect to them. So, getting permission for the project should be the first thing you do.

The rules will vary depending on where you live, but even pergolas and deck pools may require permission, so always check. Permitted development rights allow you to carry out certain development without the need to apply for planning permission. 

The type and location of the property as well as the presence of prior development will all influence whether the proposed work can be done without formally applying for permission. This may include constructing a garden room, for instance.

If you are planning to get rid of trees and perhaps even erect structures you will likely be required to apply for permission from several parties, so always seek advice from the local planning authority prior to commencement of any works. 

The process of planning can be time consuming and you may be required to consult several parties and submit various surveys and plans, so always ensure that you factor this in.

2. Ensure that the Design Complements the Property

You must have a clear vision and confident hand to design a modern garden. Wherever possible, always ensure that the garden’s style segues with the architecture and period of the property so that it doesn’t appear forced. 

You might be tempted to go for a paved design on the back of your Victorian terrace because it’s low-maintenance or even to fill a tiny urban courtyard with some cottage garden plants, but the results will likely look ‘tacked on’.

Fortunately, you can avoid such a scenario by coming up with a clear plan and making sure that you stick to it. Modern garden layouts require a structure that’s both strong and refined and utilizes geometric shapes to achieve a coherent and bold plan that can be further softened using textures and planting. Choose from plenty of styles of driveway gates from Gates and Automation Direct

The use of striking motifs can be carried through vertically using geometric structures such as arches and pergolas, along with eye-catching sculptures to help in guiding the eye through the space as well as bringing attention to key areas. 

3. Find the Right Landscaping Materials

Key to complementing a modern design is a pared back palette. A good formula would be to use a maximum of 3 hard landscaping materials. For a cool minimal look they should ideally be in neutral colors with a refined use of an accent color or material like black timber or a feature metal such as Corten steel.

Large format paving units are ideal for modern patio ideas as well as bringing subtle textures to add both interest and warmth. A limited palette of materials in a bold and stripped back layout means that attention to detail is key because there are incredibly few places to hide and everything has to be simply so. If you want a smooth looking result, the emphasis on quality materials but less of them is the secret to success.

4. Consider the Boundaries

Establishing the ownership of boundaries should always be a priority when planning a new garden. Title deeds usually indicate ownership, but if they aren’t available, you can easily get a copy from the Land Register. You cannot alter or remove a boundary structure owned by an adjoining property without first seeking their permission.

Decorative panels and willow screening look uber modern as an internal ‘wrap around’ if you’re looking to disguise a regular fence that isn’t yours to alter. Gardens with shared boundaries with several neighbors will likely have a mixture of styles. To enclose the space with a uniform structure, you may need to add a new fence alongside the existing one.

Screens in modern urban gardens in a variety of finishes could also shield from unwanted traffic and noise pollution. A living screen, however, is the way to go if you want an environmentally-friendly option. 

Use evergreens such as holly or laurel, and don’t forget that you can grow fruit trees in an espalier fashion on a fence or wall, making sure that you don’t just increase your privacy but also grow your own trend.

Property boundary divisions that are more permanent can be far more problematic. A party wall agreement helps to clarify the structure’s location and position without having to incur any legal fees.

5. Get Modern Planting Right

Getting modern planting right can actually be easy, but only if you stick to a few simple rules. Modern planting trends usually have a theme whereby multiples of one variety are repeated at intervals. 

Evergreens and grasses tend to be popular in modern spaces because they not only look good throughout the year but also simplify the color scheme. Use raised, rendered planters and incorporate rendered seating benches into the plan. 

Never assume that a small garden can never be full of plants. All you need to do is choose the right plants, ones that create intrigue and drama as well as the illusion of space. The tendency is usually to place tall plants at the back of a border and small plants at the front. 

However, plants with a diaphanous quality, such as ornamental grasses or tall perennials that have small flowers and slender stems usually don’t block views. Instead, they create vertical accents and movement that lead the eye upwards to the sky.

If you have limited space, consider using tall grasses combined with climbing plants rather than hedges to help soften boundaries and green up hard architectural features such as fences. If your garden has understated variations in seasonal interest, texture, and height, it will be far less likely to feel enclosed.

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