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28 Feb 2018

With outdoor screening, you can add privacy or create a series of inviting garden rooms

Screening can create attractive garden rooms, add more defined spaces to outdoor living areas and make your home more private. Screening also hides unappealing elements, such as air-conditioning units, clothes linesor garden sheds. However, screening outdoor areas is a delicate balancing act. You want togenerate privacy and separate specific areas, but still capture breezes and scenic views all without unnecessarily closing in spaces.


There is a diverse range of garden screening solutions. Some will filter views; others will block them altogether. Some screens are comprised of simple timber slats; others are of metal and feature highly decorative laser-cut patterns, such as the designer screening range from Entanglements.

When choosing screening for your outdoor spaces, the key, according to those in theknow, is to achieve consistency and continuity.

Look at the aesthetics of what you already have and what you plan to do, will vertical or horizontal lines in your screening work with your pavers or style of garden? Will the materials used complement existing features such as decking? Doing your homework can save a lot of heartache in the long run. Some types of screening, such as traditional hardwood screens, will require ongoing maintenance so you have to ask yourself, are you prepared to put the time in to keep them looking great?

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Screening can divide open-plan spaces to create beautiful rooms. The panels can be fixed or freestanding — the latter allows you to move them to make the most of seasonal elements or when you want to change the look of your outdoor spaces.

For a contemporary look, there are steel, aluminium and wood-composite screening panels you can use to divide and define various garden areas. When you want something ornamental, look for metal or pressed hardwood screens featuring laser-cut patterns. When portability is important, there are folding screens that will shield you from the sun and create a cosy nook. Natural timber screening looks fabulous and designers are creating bold new looks. Spotted gum posts placed vertically and fixed at the base at varying heights create an interesting staggered look. For complete privacy, rendered walls offer the ultimate in seclusion. If you want to soften the architectural planes of the wall, add a stylish water feature or pots brimming with colour.


outdoor screen - outdoor privacy screens ideas garden screen home depot garden screen netting garden screen planter planter screen trellis diy outdoor privacy screen ideas privacy screen ideas for backyard patio privacy screens


Of course, what better option is there than a living green screen? The canopies of small to medium trees or a row of hedging plants can make the perfect screen. Before you plant, think about the cultivation aspects — you need to have the right soil and position for the plant’s specific needs. Plant a sun-loving plant in shade and it can become leggy and sparse, making it unsuitable for a hedge. You also need relatively fast growing plants that don’t have intrusive root systems.
There are some Pittosporum varieties and some lilly pilly varieties that suit taller hedges. For smaller (1.5m) hedges, box-leaved privet works well and for flowering hedges, try Camellia sasanqua. Non-clumping bamboo is a popular screening choice, especially in narrow spaces (such as down the side of the house), urban settings and gardens of Asian or tropical design.



Bamboo pole screens are a popular option.These will gently wear to blend in with the earthy look of a garden and they work particularly well in Balinese-, tropical- and resort-style gardens. Bamboo screens can hide bins, utility areas and pool equipment.
They can act as a backdrop for a work of art or fountain or they can be used as privacy barriers. And if you want to dress up a dull fence, just attach bamboo panels.
To vary the look, the screens can be installed with the poles running in a vertical position or on the horizontal — or a mix of both. Screening panels are available in various widths and heights; also various colours depending on the bamboo used and the finishing coat of lacquer.
Bamboo screens are eco-friendly and, in many cases, harder than wood. Because of this, the screens can withstand the effects of weather exposure and they are termite- resistant, which is a big plus. If you like a natural look, reed screening is another good choice for native, rustic or tropical style
gardens. It can be used as a standalone or built-in screen, or as cladding.


Can’t decide on the style of screen you like?
Tap into your artistic self and get those creative juices flowing. A shabby door in need of a lick of paint, a rustic mirror recovered from a recycling centre, or an old window frame can all make beautiful and unusual screens. So, too, can old aluminium screen doors or wrought iron balustrades.
Branches can be stacked and ‘woven’ between uprights to form a natural and very eclectic screen or leaves collected between vertical panels of fine wire mesh. Or water running between two framed glass panels can make for a stunning water feature that can double as a decorative screen.
And be artistic in how you use your screens.
You might like to place screens so that all your garden’s wonders aren’t revealed at once. If people sense something is “hiding around the corner” it will entice them further into your garden. Screens can also be used to create children’s play areas, they can be used as decorative climbing frames for plants and they can be attached to walls like a piece of art.


The strength of steel is one of its most appealing traits for use as outdoor screening. Able to withstand the harshness of outside conditions, steel is non-combustible and termite-proof, guaranteeing the screen’s staying power.
Steel screens make an excellent artistic statement, work well as trellises for climbing plants or garden walls, and can be used to disguise functional garden spaces such as utility areas.
Modern laser-cutting techniques allow steel to be manipulated into patterns in a variety of appealing designs, or you can have custom-made panels that reflect your individual flair. There are a number of finishes that can be applied to steel to achieve the desired decorative effect, including powder-coating and painting. One of the most popular contemporary choices for steel panels is Corten steel, which has a rust-like patina.

steel corten screens

Also read: Lets go with  the flow with a Water feature.

30 Jan 2018

TYPES OF GARDENS: Modernist Gardens

Modernist gardens are usually defined by their asymmetry. These gardens have free-flowing space with shadow and light used. These kinds of gardens have complex views unlike the rather controlled vistas that formal, classical gardens have. Most modernist gardens have one or two views that are emphasized. But visitors may not see them the same way since garden designers do not design them to be interpreted the same way. This is because modernist gardens have a partial enclosure of space within hedges and walls. The difference between verticals and horizontals is strengthened with the use of sharp lines. Water is also used architecturally as a reflective surface.

There is a minimal material in modernist gardens. The garden floor is composed of slate or limestone with a little decoration or even none at all. Smooth rendered concrete is used for the paving and the walls.

GARDEN DESIGN - Modern garden

Planting is restricted in modernist gardens. A lot of these gardens have just lawns, hedges and trees interspersed with major architectural specimens.

Modernist gardens have a majorly rectilinear geometry with emphasis on the horizontal line. There are also examples of designs based on ovals and circles. Regular grids can be used to relate the garden with the house further blending the exterior and interior together.

The Modernist Garden Design Style

The modernist garden must create, define and celebrate space. Garden designers must take cognizance of this fact when creating their garden designs. There is an emphasis on the enjoyment of outdoor life and leisure. Plants are architectural elements in this kind of garden. Specimen trees, clipped hedges and large blocks of planting provide simple screens and architectural elements. These complement horizontal expanses of stone, water, timber and concrete.

The modernist garden is quite popular in the United States especially in places like California where gardens are encouraged as outdoor rooms due to the climate. Modernist gardens employ the architectural philosophy of Modernism where planting is seen as just one element of the whole composition and not the major reason for the creation of the garden. These have led to the development of a lot of elegant, beautiful spaces.


Modernist gardens have a style that can be utilized in any garden no matter its size. They are great for use in crowded cities as a form of escape or relief from the rigors of city life. They do not rely on decorative artifacts. They utilize proportion and scale to bring drama to life.

A lot of modernist gardens are based on a geometric plot with a sense of movement provided by the horizontal line of rectangles. The dynamic horizontal lines contrast with the verticals of walls, hedges, trees and cut across space to bring together various sections in a garden.

Garden designers select materials for their surface qualities in modern gardens. The materials include gravel, limestone and polished concrete. They produce expansive surfaces with specimen trees and reflective water serving as gaps. The materials used in these gardens require great architectural precision with high-quality finish. Most urban modernist gardens utilize simple planting, clipped hedges and fine lawns. Sometimes, contemporary garden designer use a palette that is more complex.



Modernist designs usually feature a central axis but this feature is quite rare. Lawn rectangles, paving, water and interlock planting can be used to create patterns that are irregular but well defined.


Contemporary Furniture

Modernist gardens employ garden furniture with architectural styles. The sculptural Barcelona chair and other design classics set the tone for simple tables, exotic recliners and benches that match.

MODERNIST GARDEN DESIGN - Contemporary Furniture - Modern Furniture

Block Planting

The plants used are quite limited and they are planted in large masses and blocks. Perennials and grasses are often interplanted to create movement and catch the light.


Modern Materials

Clean lines of concrete, timber, glass and steel emphasize the precision of the manufacturing process. Surfaces are enhanced with subtle lighting and paving joints are minimized.


Reflective Water

Garden designers create modernist garden designs with reflective pools that bring light to a garden and create undisturbed surfaces to a garden. Technology has now evolved to allow water pools to get filled to the brim or even overflow. This way, the impact and the expanse of the reflective surface can be maximized.


Also read: TYPES OF GARDENS: Mediterranean GardenTYPES OF GARDENS: Formal Garden

21 Jan 2018

TYPES OF GARDENS: Mediterranean Garden

There are two garden types associated with Mediterranean regions. They are formal and informal gardens.

Informal gardens utilize gravel and their planting is structured in structural masses and groups. Informal gardens get their inspiration from the arid regions of Spain and Southern Italy and the less arid South of France with its shrubby vegetation or maquis.

In these regions, rosemary, citrus fruits, lavender, olive, grasses, succulents and vines grow well.  They have muted white colors and they incorporate purple-blues and soft sage-gray greens. Gravel is used to create pathways and it is also used between areas of planting. The gravel has drift of plants that appear intermittently with arrangements of boulders and rocks. A dry stream bed can be recreated with clusters of drought resistant, informally arranged plants.

Mediterranean Garden design

For urban spaces, terra-cotta is used along with mosaic tiles or features to add splashes of color.

The walls of these gardens are usually white-washed with clear backdrops for shadows. Hues are usually bold where paint is used. Rustic containers bring in colorful paintings at key points and they can also be used as focal features. The rustic containers can also be arranged in informal groups containing various sizes.

The formal Mediterranean gardens feature stone and water along with specimen trees like tall, slender cypresses and clipped hedges. In some Mediterranean gardens found in Southern Italy and Spain, there is a visible Moorish influence that can be observed. The Moorish influence can be seen in the water features and the courtyards of the Alhambra and Spain’s Generalife. The formal Mediterranean garden design style usually features a decorative parterre planting. In the formal Mediterranean garden style, plants are majorly used because of their foliage rather than the color of their flowers. Cool shade is provided by planting dense trees like Quercus ilex (holm oak).

The Mediterranean Garden Design Style

Mediterranean gardens became popular as a result of the fact that tourists that vacationed in the Mediterranean region wanted a garden that reflected the style of the region. The region features warm, dry summers and mild winters that favor select groups of plants. These plants include succulents, vines, herbs, lavender and olive trees all combined in a unique style. The plants are usually low-growing and hardy. The plants are often natural looking with a background of textured surfaces like scree and gravel. The trees in the Mediterranean garden provide shade and water is barely utilized by landscape designers in this garden. The Mediterranean atmosphere can be recreated in any outdoor space. Roof terraces, decorative courtyards and big sheltered pots can be used.


Formal paving is not used to define pathways in Mediterranean gardens. Gravel is used across the entire space and it is used as mulch for planted areas and also as hard landscaping. The Mediterranean garden is unified this way. Plants can be grouped informally and smaller areas of paving can be left to provide stable seating surfaces. Arbors and pergolas are used for shades and they can be matched with vines and other climbers to further boost the appeal of the Mediterranean look in the garden. This also creates a nice seating arena where meals can be shared. Trees can also be planted individually in major locations or in groves for patterned shades.

Water is sparingly used in these gardens. It is hardly used for large pools. Water is majorly used as a focal point or to create sounds. Water can also be used as bubbling fountains or decorative rills in courtyard gardens to recreate the effect of Moorish gardens in Southern Italy and Spain. Terra-cotta pots give the gardens splashes of pink and vivid red while colorful mosaics and tiles give the garden vibrant patterns.


Pools and Rills

In Mediterranean garden designs, garden designers confine water to rills. Water is used to mark spatial divisions and refresh the air. There are water bowls and overflowing containers in gravel gardens that are used for gentle sound and reflections.

Shady Seating Areas

In the sun-drenched Mediterranean gardens, shade is highly important. Shade can be provided by trees planted in groups or individually. Arbors with climbers and timber pergolas provide nice outdoor shades.

Terra-Cotta Tiles and Pots

Mediterranean gardens usually have terra-cotta pots. These pots are used as planting containers or focal points in the garden. Old olive oil pots are also nice sculptural features. Larger sized pots can also be used where possible.

Mediterranean Garden - Terra-Cotta Tiles and Pots

Mosaic Features

Little, colored bubbles laid out in intricate patterns are also used to make the floor surfaces on roof terraces and courtyards.

Gravel Floor

Gravels in Mediterranean gardens usually consist of limestone. The limestones create a textured, light surface through which plants can grow. Focal points can be created using large boulders. The landscape fabric below suppresses weeds.

Silver Foliage and Succulents

Various species have adapted to drought by using silver, fleshy and fine foliage. Lavender and Rosemary are the most popular choices. Bergenia, Agave, Yucca, Genista and Euphorbia are also used.

Also read: TYPES OF GARDENS: Formal Garden. As for the lavender plant used very often in the Mediterranean gardens: Garden design and plants: Lavender will add a luxuriant touch and scent to your garden next spring

14 Jan 2018


Garden designers typically design formal gardens as expressions of man’s superiority over nature. Formal gardens contain elements and features that are expressed in their structure and geometry. Formal gardens have their origins from classical garden design and architecture. These kinds of gardens can be commonly found in Italy and France.

To create a nice formal garden design, there has to be a balance in the design. This balance is achieved through a nice pattern, ground plan or symmetry.

GARDEN DESIGN - formal garden

Formal gardens are organized around a pathway or central axis. The garden design of formal gardens often revolves around a major view from the house through the garden. Larger gardens have space for various axial routes that cross the central path and reach into the wider landscape at times. The areas where the various axial routes intersect can be highlighted with the use of water, sculpture and decorative paving.

Formal gardens have an identifiable and clear geometry. Their geometry is usually on a large, balanced scale.

plan formal garden

Any kind of regular symmetrical shape can be used in a formal garden as long as the shape sits on one axis. Most formal gardens have rectilinear forms and shapes.

Ellipses, ovals, circles and equilateral triangles can all be used. There is a need to use a minimal materials palette in a formal garden design. Regular paving stones and gravel are the materials most often used. Brick designs, cobble mosaics and other decorative materials can also be used. Water can be featured in fountains, jets or reflective surfaces.

Major planting features are hedges and lawns. Hedges are helpful for identifying views and spaces. Dwarf hedging can be used to create parterres, form knot trees and edge borders. Landscape designers can use pleached trees to add height. There can also be avenues of trees that form paths that can highlight vistas and make visitors focus on a focal point in the distance.

Formal Styles

The design of formal gardens is related to the classical architecture that can be found in Italy and Greece. These kinds of gardens are found in the homes of the powerful and wealthy people in these European countries highlighting the symmetry of their homes.

They were also called power gardens. They emphasized control. A lot of the popular formal gardens were very large for example Versailles. But formal gardens need not be excessively large. The basic principles for creating a formal garden design can also be applied to small urban spaces and as many tiny spaces as possible. All that is needed is that there be a balanced, orderly garden design.

The focus of the garden should be highlighted with the use of symmetry about a central axis. The construction and planting must be simple and geometric in nature. Avenues, lawns, clipped hedges, wide gravel pathways, terraces, steps, and balustrades must all be utilized to form a lovely formal garden space. 

GARDEN DESIGN - formal garden dubai


In formal garden design, there must be a central line or axis. The axis could be a central planting bed, lawn or pathway. The central axis must focus on a dominant feature like a statue, ornament or sculpture.

Cross-axes can also be created if there is enough space. Larger gardens have various axial routes that create views across and along a garden. Paving and planting must be kept simple to create a unique sense of proportion and scale. This is one major reason why minimalists and modernists appreciate this type of garden.

The space for the garden should first be divided into quarters and halves. Gardens that are large can be further divided. But the partitions must be large enough to allow for the long vistas to have more impact. There must also be adequate space for trees and topiaries to be repeated. Expanses of lawn, water pools and parterres are normally featured in formal gardens. Garden designers also use decorative borders to soften the structure of formal gardens.



Formal gardens have a symmetrical balance that can be achieved on any scale. A parterre and an olive tree can form a focal point in a circle that intersects the central path that is paved and pebbled.



Clipped hedges like yew and box are used for evergreen structures and for defining space. Topiaries are used to provide architectural effects and patterns in parterres are formed with dwarf box hedges.


Natural Stone

Natural paving stones are used as architectural elements in terraces and pathways. Regular patterns can be created with honed and sawn natural stone slabs. The stone slabs can also be used to edge gravel paths and lawns.



Formal gardens contain mythological features and ancient gods as subjects of statuary. In modern designs, landscape designers use abstract works and broad figurative subjects.



Punctuation and focal points can be provided with ornaments like large urns that are usually placed on balustrades and plinths. Modern formal gardens use the same technique although the elaborate decoration in them is reduced.


Also read: Garden Design Styles Explained.

06 Jan 2018

Garden Design Styles Explained

When we are talking about design, style is the way that we combine plants, colors, trends and materials in a way that is pleasing. While some style trends do not last long, others sometimes mark the beginning of major phases in garden design. These phases all have what they are known for.

 For formal design inspired by classical style, the order, design and repetition are used to create a balance that is pleasing to the eye, also balanced by space. Classic garden design style has been around for a long time and sometimes it is used for modern gardens too. By comparison, Modernist approach to garden design for small gardens is quite hassle-free and unorganized. 

The Modern style also changes regularly to find new ways to make design more interesting and in tune with the environment. Generally, formal design tries to use regular patterns while modernism makes use of the unexpected to make design decisions. What many designers do today for garden design for small gardens is use Modernist ideas to develop a simple garden design. This helps them to achieve garden design for small gardens that are clean, beautiful and well-arranged.

 External Influences in Garden design styles

 Garden styles sometimes are inspired by cultural and historical perspectives when developing them. The purpose is to make a beautiful depiction of real life, not exactly the same as the reference point where the theme came from. In like manner, a simple garden design of the original cottage garden has changed so much from what it used to be to a modernized and highly adapted version.

 Changes in lifestyle and design methods have also changed how a simple garden design is done. Because people travel more, they now tend to bring in ideas from other places and demand more exotic plants than those normally used. Garden design for small gardens where exotic plants are introduced also allow planning of microclimates that are conducive to a wider range of garden plants. Also, there is more emphasis today on using environmentally friendly gardening options that do not negatively impact wildlife or plants.

Garden design styles

Functional space 

In the past, a functional garden has been an important part of garden history, known for providing food for the family. Nowadays, more people see to eat healthily and so, they try to produce fruits and vegetables from their home gardens. Gardens today serve a wider range of functions like leisure, hosting social events, as a resting place and a shelter from daily struggles. The garden design for small gardens, therefore, puts more factors into play in order to meet many functions.

The way ahead

As population rows with time, the modern garden is finding itself having to do more with less space. Decades ago, you are more likely to find gardens that span a one-acre plot. Nowadays, there’s so little space for gardens in the city that sometimes all you have is a balcony or roof terrace for a few plants. This means that simple garden design has to be even more creative in bringing greenery to small spaces. Because the space to experiment and express design ideas is no longer there, new styles are being developed to add form and function to gardens.  

Man-made garden areas now have more personality and can reflex the owner’s unique temperament or theme. Conceptualist designers are now creating designs that are revolutionary. New garden design styles, even though seemingly abstract still put cultural influences into consideration as well as the prevalent society.

What we however see now is lots of innovation, more possibilities and ways of expression through garden design, even scenarios were gardens are used as an art form in architecture. This signals the evolution of garden design to a mercurial and socially conscious profession.

Also read:  Vertical Garden Design Styles