Wednesday, 23rd September 2020
GARDEN Article

This Month's Magazine
Your outdoor room

Your outdoor room

This month Renaldo says that gardens are for living in. They are the place to relax and be close to nature, a place to entertain friends and family, a place to spend time while enjoying the pleasures of gardening.

A Mediterranean climate has hot, dry summers with no rain and a cool wet winter with cold windy days alternating with sunny days. This means that a courtyard or terrace will be your major living space for sitting, dining and barbequing.

If the terrace actually joins the house, it can be joined not just physically but also visually, with the building making a transition between the inside and the outside.

Choose materials for the walls, floors and ceilings of your outdoor rooms to ensure that they look good and that they reflect the style and purpose of your garden plan. Experiment with brick paving, flag stones, decking and gravel.

Subdividing a garden actually makes it feel larger due to the introduction of the elements of mystery and surprise. Walls and fences can be softened or patterned with planting. Experiment with different heights of walls, hedges and fences. Curves add interest and lead the eye to a particular direction.

Made of timber, wrought iron or plastic is one of the most successful screening materials, providing an excellent framework for climbing plants and a useful way to subdivide a garden.

A hedge is relatively cheap, long lasting and can provide changing foliage throughout the year. It provides shelter from wind and, in urban areas, it reduces noise. If you like a formal look to your garden, hedges can be shaped to any desired pattern. Use buxus, Italian cypress, holly, cherry, laurel, rosemary and yew.


Can be trained and clipped to make interesting raised screens for boundaries or to define a drive, walk or pathway. For boundary or screening walls, a line of trees is allowed to grow to a given height and then the tops are cut to enable the trees to form a wall. The regular cutting to the desired height, encourages them to grow sideways thus forming a green wall.

Arches are useful as supports for climbers and ideal for directing feet and eyes to a specific view.

When planning your garden, consider the possibility of making tunnels and pergola walks as corridors or using overhead beans and awnings to make leafy canopies.

It can be made of soft and hard landscaping material. Grass and carpeting plants form softness. Paths which link the various rooms of your garden i.e.: terrace, lawn, greenhouse, pool area or play area, must be attractive and they must be wide enough for wheelbarrows and toys.

The suggested size is 600 mm wide. Use brink or stone softened with aromatic low growing plants. Ideal for curing paths use fluid surfaces such as gravel, stone chips or pebbles.

The sound and movement of water can bring a whole new dimension of enjoyment to a garden. Formal or informal the choice is yours.

Close to the house will look better in a formal design. The further from the building, the more informal it can become.

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