What would you like to see in your ideal garden? A swimming pool? Maybe some decking, to offer a space for garden furniture and outdoor dining? And probably plenty of lush green foliage and vibrantly coloured blooms?
This elegant Brazilian garden, designed by LíneaPaisagismo Claudia Muñoz, manages to work all of the above into its relatively restricted dimensions. The key to compact gardening, this project seems to suggest, is compromising on scale rather than compromising on content. It’s not necessary to sacrifice the verdant tropical jungle you have always longed to grow in your backyard in order to secure space for the pool of your dreams. Instead, simply shrink the jungle in size; even a single corner given over to a few carefully chosen plants can be enough to convey almost any impression you want to create. Let’s take a look at how the experts do it.
At this end of the garden, no corners have been cut as regards flowers. This is the most intensely floral section of the garden; there are blooms here and there elsewhere , but this is the place where they’re most concentrated. The ladder-like structure on which many of the flowers rest is perfect for its purpose, with widely spaced rungs overhead that would provide a home for climbing plants if necessary without blocking out any sunlight. The pretty design of the chair in front is also just right for this area, complementing the similarly pretty and gentle flowers themselves.
Here, the accessories of gardening serve nearly as much of a decorative function as the plants themselves do. These pretty terracotta pots match the colour of the table they are placed underneath and on top of, while a cute traditional watering can adds a vintage flair.
Down at the opposite end of the garden, there are more ladders; but this time they’re not providing a setting for a carefully contained range of potted plants, but are this time accentuating an arrangement of plants that is altogether more reminiscent of a wilderness (albeit a carefully curated one).
The smart rectangular swimming pool and the decking which flanks it provide a clean, neat and simple counterpoint to the relative unpredictability of the surrounding greenery. As a centrepiece for this particular garden, it would be hard to image a better one that this. Even the bright blue of the pool contrasts perfectly with the luxuriant greens that dominate the rest of the space.
If you're looking for more outdoor inspiration, this ideabook on planning a beautiful garden might help you get started.