When a perfect, sunny spring day invites you to the garden, taking time to sit and soak up some sunshine or meander down a bloom-filled path is a treat not to be missed. Just make sure your exterior garden space rivals the beauty and personal touches of the interior of your home. An outdoor garden room designed for this Gainesville couple (above) echoes a sunporch that was recently added to entertain family. Inspired by the cottage charm of their original house, an antique brick pathway brings visitors into this separate garden from the driveway and is in keeping with their traditional architecture. Here is an inside look at the creation of their garden room.
1. Establish the flow for your outdoor room
Having a well-designed outdoor area adjacent to your main entertaining rooms is a great way to get more space and to add value to your home. In this case, the extended sun porch left an awkward L-shaped lawn area with no relationship to the rest of the landscape. Turning this lost space into a separate garden room was visually appealing, and the new path establishes a clear delineation within and throughout the garden beds.
2. Add architectural details
Each new space beckons you to interact with that part of the garden differently. A variety of plants can either define the space or add color. Here, evergreen boxwoods define borders overflowing with Belinda’s Dream roses and antique lavender phlox. Tall hollies and camellias anchor the corners of a brick wall designed to camouflage a utility area for garbage and recycle bins.
3. Furnish your newly created space
Furniture is as important to your outdoor space as the inside of your home. Adding a bench to an outdoor room creates a welcoming area for you to relax and enjoy the multiple features of your garden.
4. Invite wildlife into your space
Enhance your outdoor experience by inviting wildlife to your space. Adding a bird bath to your garden defines the space and attracts many species of birds. Butterflies are also regular guests to this garden room, drawn in by nectar-rich plants like erigeron and verbena. “Build it and they will come” has never been truer than when you create your own garden room.
is the owner of Cottage Gardens, Inc., a Gainesville-based landscape design and installation firm. Jon has been gardening in North Central Florida for more than 30 years. You may contact his staff at www.TheCottageGardener.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.