15 Mar 12 Garden Renovations That You Must See
Garden renovations can range from the simple and straightforward to the opulent and outrageous. Here are 12 examples that could inspire you to make changes to your own garden this year.
Modernizing a small garden
This project turned an overgrown, under-loved garden into a stunningly contemporary outdoor space complete with seating, a brazier and easy to manage stone chips in place of the unruly lawn.
Adding a water feature
Another excellent adaptation of a limited garden that should require minimal maintenance, this transformation is achieved in part through the use of a cutting edge water feature which provides its own ambient background noise to drown out the sounds of the city.
Source: Real Homes
For larger lawns or meadows, working out what to do when undertaking garden renovations can be a challenge. In this case, the owners chose to take a more natural approach and embrace plants and flowers that would attract wildlife, while also making it easier to integrate the garden with the surrounding landscape.
A simple approach
Sometimes adding greenery to a garden is the best way to bring it back to life. This typical yard space was overhauled thanks to the addition of a lawn, an area for growing vegetables, a simple paved path and a handy shed for storage.
The delights of decking
Decking might seem like something that was a hit in the 1990s and has since fallen out of favor, but with modern materials, it can be both more attractive and durable as an option. In the case of this garden renovation, the addition of decking in place of a traditional patio not only provides more choice for outdoor entertaining but also combines well with the artificial grass that has been used to replace the original lawn to make upkeep even easier.
Total lawn transplant
Source: D Greenslade
The longer a lawn is neglected, the harder it will be to revive. Sometimes it is quicker and more cost-effective to replace it outright, adding new turf and turning a dried-out wasteland into a garden to be proud of. This project shows an especially stark contrast between the before and after shot, with the addition of raised flower beds to go along with the newly minted lawn helping to add a bit of structure and symmetry to space, as well as a splash of color.
Coping with shade
Source: Mike Venables
Lawns, plants and flowers need lots of sunlight to thrive. Unfortunately many gardens do not have this luxury, with shade often stunting growth and leaving certain areas looking a little worse for wear. Garden renovations can address this by converting shady areas to keep them looking neat and tidy without relying on regular exposure to the sun.
In the case of this job, the addition of irregular slabs along with gravel and plants that are adapted to thrive in shaded positions helped to overcome these issue.
Covered seating for all-weather enjoyment
For a lot of people, garden renovations may involve the erection of a conservatory. This is the kind of structure that allows you to feel like you are experiencing the best that your garden has to offer while keeping the wind, rain and cold temperatures at bay. However, anyone who has been in a conservatory in the warmer months will realise that it can quickly generate a greenhouse-like atmosphere inside, which means you will be leaving the windows and doors open most of the time.
With that in mind, an alternative option is to create a sheltered seating area like the one in this example, turning standard decking into something that is well suited to the changeable climate of the UK. Maintaining neutral wood tones rather than bold colours helps the structure of the roofed deck to feel less of an imposing feature and more of a natural convenience.
A little lawn is better than none
Decking, paving and poured concrete are all well and good from a practical perspective, but garden renovations that go too far and get rid of what little lawn is available can be more of a problem in the long term. Working to preserve the lawn and integrate it with a newly restored, renovated garden is generally the best option, unless you have no other choice.
This project provides a compelling example of how this can play out with a raised bed that blends seamlessly with the brickwork of the existing wall, an area of grass that is inviting without being overwhelming and a brick-laid section at the rear which acts as a sun trap for a spot of afternoon relaxation.
Scaling back foliage
When a space is so small that the word ‘garden’ is almost not applicable, you might think that your options for renovation are limited. What you will often find is that you can make much better use of the space that is available by subtracting from it, rather than making additions.
In this example, the garden is made to look and feel a lot larger than before because the plants and trees that were previously taking up room were removed and replaced with smaller, less obtrusive alternatives.
Eliminating some foliage in favour of a simpler look can have other benefits, such as improving the health of the plants that remain, getting rid of the shade that might have been hampering your sunbathing efforts and making your garden look a lot neater.
Millions of people have ponds in their gardens and many will choose to include one as part of a total overhaul. However, if you already have a pond in place it can begin to look tired and unkempt over time, as aquatic plant life flourishes into a tangled mess and the structure of the pond succumbs to wear and tear.
There are a number of ways to address this and it is generally sensible to seek professional assistance with any pond-related issues, because it is easy to unbalance this delicate ecosystem if you are not careful.
In the case of this pond renovation, the murky water has been refreshed, the plants have been kept at bay, the surrounding walls have been converted to look like natural rock rather than something artificial and many other tweaks have been made to complete the revival.
Injecting rural charm
There are a lot of ways to put the finishing touches to garden renovations, from the plants you pick to the pots and beds you choose. The designers of this project went one step further and added a rustic-looking fence along one side of the lawn.
This demonstrates that the practical aspects of any garden can also be chosen because of their aesthetic impact. If you have a vision for what you want to achieve with your garden renovation, there are lots of ways to go about it and thinking carefully about the fencing is just one of them.
Like the other projects covered, this example makes excellent use of the space available, ensuring that there is room for growing, relaxing and playing without having to make many compromises.