I love a good curry, no spoon, no fork, just the constant dipping of my morsel in to a world of delectable flavours. But to make a good curry requires the blending of many a complex aromatics (and even then it's a very fine balancing act). A throw it all in approach however is a recipe for disaster when it comes to creating a well lived in outdoor space.
I know, we don't plan to have a mixed masala garden, it just happens right? We see a few things we like at the nursery and we bring them home. We do this over and over again until one day we wake up to a very confused look and even though our gardens may be filled with all our favourite things , we are frustrated because we haven't achieved the effect we were looking for when we made these purchase decisions.
So how do you avoid a confused look in the garden?
1. Pick a theme.
Pick a Theme and stick to it. The best types of gardens are those that are clear what they are about. A theme may be inspired by your personal style. If you love all things Africa, African prints, artifacts, African music, an indigenous African inspired garden might just be the thing you are looking for.
With our Grassland,Savannah, Succulent Karoo, Nama Karoo, Forest, Fynbos, Desert and Thicket vegetation, you'll be spoiled for choice in terms of plants and overall look you want to achieve in your African inspired garden. Oh let's not forget the indigenous fruits and fragrant herbs nom, nom.
Sometimes a theme is inspired by the architecture of your home. In which case the vibrancy of an English cottage garden is going to feel out of place in a contemporary Urban Chic home but will fit in perfectly in a traditional cape vernacular style house.
A theme may also be inspired by your travel adventures. Remember the summer you spent in Provence, the lavender fields and festivals, the olive oil, olives and garlic.
Then a Mediterranean style garden is just the thing to help you relive those memories.
2 . Select a Colour palette
Choose a colour scheme and stick to it. Now this is the fun part. It's also the part where you get to inject a bit of your personality in to the garden. I'm an introvert in general (unless the situation calls for 'extrovertedness') so I'm energised by solitude and I gravitate towards cooler colours. In general those who are extroverts are energised by being around other people. So they love to entertain and in general they tend to gravitate towards warmer colours.
Which colours do you tend to gravitate towards? Are you a warm colour person red, oranges and yellows? Or are you a cool colour person, blue, purples? Do you like contrasting colours ( blues and purples with a touch of the warmth of a red or orange). Or do you prefer a monochromatic colour scheme?
Choose purposefully and remember less is more, you'll be much happier with the outcome of your design if you picked just three or four colours for your garden. This will help you create balance and not throw the garden in to chaos.
3. Evaluate every decision you make against your theme and your colour scheme.
Have you ever been to the theater and you just didn't get what the play was about? I feel stupid, disappointed and frustrated. I feel stupid that I'm not smart enough to understand what the play was about. That is followed by the disappointment that I paid so much money only to be confused and now I'm frustrated with myself that I feel stupid and disappointed over something that is totally not my fault.
Creating a garden is a lot like staging an theatrical performance. Part of piking a theme is to make sure that the narrative you tell on the stage of your outdoor space is clear to yourself and to those who will visit your garden.
When the story of the garden is clear the outcome is that much more enjoyable.
Therefore every decision from the plants to the paving material, the type of pool and outdoor furniture should compliment your theme and/or your colour scheme for a well balanced and cohesive garden.