Minimalism is very much in vogue. The Marie Kondo bug has bitten, and everyone is looking to downsize, declutter and pare back in search of a more simple and carefree life. The aesthetic itself has also caught on, which means ornate decorations and busy designs have been replaced with sleek lines, empty spaces and a focus on only what is essential.
This trend has very much spread to the garden, so here are some tips on turning your outdoor space into an area even the most-ardent Kondo acolyte would be fond of.
Throw Out The To-Do List
The best part about designing a minimalist garden is that you don’t have to worry about buying a heap of products or ordering a load of services. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to create a beautiful garden without spending a lot of time and money. Remember, it’s all about paring back.
So, think of the bare essentials and the things you really love – not every flower, plant, decorative item you’ve ever seen on Better Homes and Gardens.
Don’t Forget Your Preferences
The problem with landscape design is that it can impose ideals on places where people live. Creating something stylish is important, but you have to love what you’re looking at. You may think you want to minimalist, modern aesthetic but if you find yourself saying no to a lot of things you love, don’t be afraid to shelve the project and go your own way.
It’s your garden and remember, trends do come and go.
Plan Around Your Life
Any backyard design should be based around lifestyle, budget and family members. If you lead a busy life, make sure your minimalist garden is also low-maintenance (trust us, these words mean very different things). If you have pets and kids, make sure the design suits and is safe for them. And, don’t blow your budget – a pretty garden loses its shine if it burns a hole in your pocket.
Make sure you’re honest with yourself at this process. Think about your actual, current life – not some dream life you hope to achieve in the future.
Plan Your Space
The space comes before the design. If you try and fit a design into a space, the results are often disastrous. Size and spacing are important. So is balance and scale. If you want to create a feeling of sanctuary, you need to use more significant elements in smaller spaces. If you’re going to create vastness, do the opposite.
Use Japanese gardens as inspiration here. Especially the way in which they can turn small, city spaces into miniaturised-versions of a nature scene.
Gathering Your Materials
Materials are essential in minimalist garden design. Go natural wherever possible. Bamboo, stone and moss are very popular. Industrial elements like steel and aluminium also suit this aesthetic. Clever use of wood and gravel can soften areas and create texture.
It’s best to go for durable and weather-resistant materials. Going with steel, wood and natural stone also allows you to create a design that will become weathered and age with your garden creating beautiful patterning and textures over time.
Synthetic lawn is also a popular option. It will stay green year-round, and it requires no maintenance. Modern types are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Create Defined Borders
The minimalist aesthetic is defined by edges and lines. Where naturalist or maximalist design seeks to spill out and mimic the unruly borders of nature, minimalism needs to be contained. That means creating an outside perimeter and using division within the border. The best way to create borders and divisions is with planter beds, garden walls or plants that can become borders, like hedges.
With fewer plants to worry about, now comes the easy part. Buy your seeds or mature plants and start planting. However, there is one, essential thing to remember. Fewer plants mean that as the seasons change, you’re relying on fewer species to create life in your garden.
So, you need to go with evergreens or, choose plants that look beautiful as they shed their leaves and flowers. You don’t want plants that look dead in the winter, or your minimalist garden will only be a visual treat for half the year.
Follow these tips, and you’ll have your dream minimalist yard in no time. Just remember that minimalist doesn’t mean low-maintenance, and you’ll end up with something you can enjoy for years.
Everlast Services are the masters of garden creation. If you want the minimalist garden of your dreams, get in touch, and we’ll start making that a reality.