Last weekend I visited the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, which features show gardens and floral displays from designers and specialist growers, and a plethora of garden and lifestyle products to suit every taste. In the beautiful July sunshine, we enjoyed looking at the displays, spent more than we should on a few additions for our own garden, and came away feeling inspired.
But what does this have to do with home extensions? Most people don’t have huge gardens, and when a part of it is used to create additional floor space for an extended home, it becomes vital that the remaining garden space is well used. Increasingly the garden is a multi-use space- an area to relax in, dine in, entertain in, a play space, and a hobby space. While you have a contractor on site digging out foundations and building walls, it could be a great opportunity to get some alterations to the garden made. In addition, some changes to your garden may actually also require planning permission. As such, its a great idea to give some thought to your garden when you plan an extension, renovation or internal changes to your home.
I’ve posted a few photos of things which inspired me, and which could be useful additions to your home garden!
Vestra Wealth’s Vista Garden by Paul Martin
Halo by Stuart Charles Towner
Al Fresco by Peter Reader Landscapes
Dining and entertaining spaces are often central to gardens. Whilst we don’t often get the opportunity to do so, cooking and eating outside is a great treat. I picked out these ideas because they were relatively simple to replicate- a stone patio with a dining area, bordered by a riot of flowers, a chunky oak framed pergola giving a sense of enclosure and comfort, and a dry stone seating area in a circular shape around a burning metal brazier. Great spaces to relax in or to entertain friends and family in.
These little ideas caught my eye too. Herbs used as planting, intermingled with non-edible planting, and set amoungst random paving and gravel in a naturalistic setting- so easy to create at home. if you like wildlife (or have kids that are fascinated by it!) why not create a little bug house, a simple frame filled with logs and twigs of differing sizes. Finally, do you like upcycling? These re-used wheels created a great display, and were even used as planters.
Herbs- part of the Halo Garden (as above)
Recycled Wheels- part of the ‘A Space to Connect & Grow’ by Jeni Cairns with Sophie Antonelli.
There were some brilliant ideas available to buy.
Where to store bikes and bins? Now we all have an array of wheelie bins and recycling bags and boxes, its hard to know where to store them. Most people also own at least one bike, which can leave a lot of households with 4 or more bikes to find space for. Older houses weren’t designed with this in mind, and new houses, or extended houses are often required by the planning department to have bin and bike stores. These are often wooden structures in the garden or in the driveway. The Kanny Canopy was produced as a way of softening these structures and utilising the space they take up, by adding a planter on the roof- ideal for salad goods, or herbs, or just for an array flowers. http://www.kannysolutionsltd.co.uk/
This brilliant BBQ table combined two garden must haves- a garden table and a BBQ! With a long BBQ down the middle of the table, the cooking is brought right to heart of the meal. http://www.colehenley.com/
These giant bean bags were a fun, funky and comfortable (wooden chairs aren’t always the kindest thing to sit on!) . Great for sitting, lounging, lying and playing, giving a shock of colour to your garden…. and affordable! Outdoorbeanbag.com
If you want to give some thought to your garden at the same time as an extension, or you’re concerned about retaining a usable and versatile garden as well as increasing the size of your home, then I am more than happy to help, so get in touch!