February 27, 2012
Creating the perfect garden is often the finishing touch to a home. Our gardens are used to entertain, relax in and allow us to show off our creative flair. They can be the real center of family life and a great deal of time and effort is put into design and getting just the right look.
A vintage garden can be a charming look back in time and allows us to reflect bygone ages from gentler times. Designing the perfect retro garden will involve careful planting, but must also involve choosing the right decoration and furniture. Much of this will depend on the period that you have chosen, but also on your pocket.
Cottage gardens have a charismatic feel and many old varieties of old-fashioned flowers can give the perfect look. Drawing out the basic shape of the garden on paper with flower beds clearly marked is an excellent place to start as more thought can be given to color and scent and the effect these will have on a garden’s users. Placing highly scented plants near to doors and seating areas will bring a heightened sense of pleasure. Perennial plants offer excellent value and lasting color for years. Popular choices are hydrangeas, lavender, peonies and roses, all of which make bold statements in flower beds. Tall, bushy plants make excellent anchors for a flower bed when placed at the back. For a real cottage feel, try mixing in a few vegetables or salad crops in with the flowers. Not only will these encourage pollinators, but they will be a great talking point.
Water features are often used to create a theme in a retro garden. Careful placing is essential as is considering the maintenance they might require. Statues can make a statement whether large or small and other accessories like birdhouses or beehives can also be used to great effect. Fencing and gates can be the finishing touch to a garden. Traditional wooden trellising or wrought iron fencing might be considered, perhaps with a complimentary arch or arbor providing a focal point for the garden.
Furniture choices are very important as is the potential storage that might be necessary for it if the weather is inclement. Wicker garden furniture looks stunning and has a quaint, old-fashioned feel. However if you invest in a large suite of table and chairs and the heavens open, you will need to either protect it with well-fitting covers or have an out building to put the furniture into. Metal tables and chairs with delicately scrolled legs and lattice work tops are another way to create a vintage feel to a garden. When considering furniture, comfort and practicality must be as great a consideration as the aesthetic look of the pieces you are considering. The climate as well as the garden’s users will all have a bearing on this choice. More elderly homeowners may wish to choose lighter colors and a more sumptuous finish, while homeowners with young children may want to find something more robust. Many find that pine furniture provides a happy medium.
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