Monday, February 11, 2019

Add Some Romance to Your Garden

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, you might be desiring a little something extra in your landscape to create a romantic atmosphere for your significant other.  If you’re wanting to design a romantic getaway in your garden, take a look at a few  ideas you can incorporate that are simple but effective.

Creating secret spaces, using what you already have

Casually strolling through a garden typically sparks the interest of the visitor, as there can sometimes be something hidden that needs to be found.  Whether it’s a decorative bench, an ivy-covered swing, statues or other eye-catching items, having the chance to discover what all is hidden within the realms of the garden creates a sense of mystery and intrigue.  Along with the air of mystery it gives off, secret spaces and hidden or shaded nooks create intimate meeting spaces perfect for a romantic picnic or afternoon stroll.
Bringing in structures to divide up the space can also give customers more options for sitting, reading and conversing. Archways covered with vines, arbors and trellises help section off garden spaces, and as an added bonus, having these different areas can also make the space appear larger.
If you already have larger trees or perennials in their garden space, take advantage of what’s there and incorporate it into your new design.  If, for instance, you have a larger, older tree in the middle of their garden space, why not make it the center point of the area? Consider routing all pathways to converge at this tree and install benches and other seating options around the tree as a resting place.

Walkways, nature and the senses

If you have a bigger garden, it’s important to have distinct walkways throughout to improve the ambiance and help boost the beauty of the area as a whole.  While the natural tendency can be to create walkways that are clean, orderly and properly maintained, having walkways with spilling plants, unruly grasses and other similar aspects can sometimes create more of a romantic ambiance.
Keeping things more natural and incorporating native species can help eliminate the frequent use of fertilizer and pesticides, and it will more than likely help attract backyard-friendly pollinators and butterflies.  Be sure to incorporate a variety of colors, textures and smells into the landscape, as these will help boost the visual effect by adding in aspects the other senses can also enjoy.
To create a meadow-like look, consider adding in layers of bright colors and shapes by using smaller flowers and grasses, and don’t be afraid to add in water features, benches and more along the walkways to add in soothing water sounds and allow visitors to stop and rest awhile.
Adding subtle lighting elements along the walkways can also create a romantic ambiance while giving visitors the chance to take an evening stroll through the garden. Keep in mind, these lights can line the walkway on the ground, can be strung through neighboring trees or they can hang down from trees or other structures; the possibilities are numerous.

Metaphors and plant varieties

When it comes to romantic garden design, sometimes it’s not all about the elements you do have in place but the ones you imply are there.  Metaphors are ever-present in Japanese gardens, such as how stones lining a dry creek bed can represent a stream or how having water features subtly tucked behind trees and plants can mimic the sounds of a river flowing.
Along with adding in a few illusions along the way, be sure to include romantic perennials, which are flowers in soft shades of pink, white, lavender and yellow.  These types of perennials can come in all shapes and sizes, and they typically will give the space a more feminine and rounded look.
The edges of walkways can also be softened by adding in a few romantic perennials to give visitors the chance to appreciate these elements throughout their entire journey through the garden.
Adapted from "Love Is In The Air:Romantic Garden Designs" by Beth Hyatt for Total Landscape Care.