Design A Garden As An Outdoor Retreat

Your backyard should be more than the backside of your house. Properties typically include more land area behind the house than in front, providing the perfect space for creating an inviting landscape. Your garden retreat should also be pleasing at different times of the day and even year. Design a garden that provides a year-round getaway literally in your own backyard.

Privacy Plants

The first consideration for your backyard retreat is getting some privacy. The Landscaping Network recommends adding a screen of living bamboo. Bamboo grows fast and stays green all year. This material is especially useful for narrow spaces because of its slim profile.

Shrubs are commonly used for privacy. Japanese privet, vibernum and rhododendron give your yard flowers in the spring and summer. Red tip photinia provides red foliage in spring, and juniper offers year-round fragrance. Consider mixing up your selection of shrubs to delineate spaces in your backyard landscape.

Garden Structures

The next step in planning your garden retreat is deciding which garden structures to include. For example, if attracting birds is a desire, give them a homey atmosphere. Include a pretty birdhouse, and make a stone birdbath the center of a mini garden.

The sound of running water adds a soothing element which also helps shield the garden from intrusive street noise. Make a water fountain the centerpiece of your yard, or tuck it into the corner of your patio.

Benches are attractive structures that also provide a space for resting. Other garden options include purely decorative elements, such as antique wheelbarrows or rain barrels used as planters. Let your choice of garden structures drive the unique character of your backyard garden.

Perennial Plantings

The rest of your garden design depends on your preferences. For example, old-fashioned cottage gardens were designed to provide cuttings. If you want your garden to provide fresh flowers for the house, consider a profusion of plants such as roses, teddy bear sunflowers, bachelor buttons and zinnia.

Fresh herbs might be more your speed. A container garden on the patio is always an attractive addition. However, consider a mini garden planted around a large herb bush such as bay laurel or rosemary. Include the herbs that you especially love for cooking.

For a garden that looks beautiful year round, start with an ornamental tree such as crab apple, which provides blossoms, changing foliage colors and winter fruit. Plant a few grasses around for year-round texture, and include hardy perennials such as winter Daphne, brown-eyed Susan and winter heath in the mix.

An evening garden designed around a fire pit is an after-work treat. For this plan, consider white flowers that glow in the moonlight, such as silver mound Artemisia, snowflake catmint, white fan columbine and snow hill salvia. Incorporate flowers that also keep their scent later, such as peach blossom astilbe and Muscadet oriental lily.

Design a garden provides a retreat from your hectic life.


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