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The Definitive Guide to Contemporary Gardening


Our busy modern lifestyles mean that there is a growing desire for some simplicity in the farm. Adopting a contemporary gardening style is therefore the most suitable step for you to take. If you have a family, you can add some stylish and uncluttered couples benches that require little maintenance and space. This makes your garden an extension of the home!

A contemporary garden resembles a modern day kitchen. It is sleek with clean lines and amazing features and colours. You’ll find some raised beds with neat and structural plant rows that bring out the geometric spaces and other exciting features.

In this article, we will go deeper into the world of contemporary gardening. We will explain modern farming and advice you how to go about activities such as hiring a garden designer.

What Is A Contemporary Garden?

The term contemporary just means all that is happening at present. Modern-day gardens stand out from other traditional gardens. They are unique and beautiful. But what makes them stand out?

Well, it’s difficult to identify the real reason behind the beauty of these gardens. However, you’ll find that in the modern day environment, gardens are far much more than just a mere collection of different plants. The best examples of such garden designs are mostly contemporary in character. They deliver excellent outdoor space that is both stylish and highly functional.

The contemporary modern day garden delivers on different fronts. It aims to:

  • Prolong the available living space by making a fully functional outdoor environment
  • Make the outdoor area meet all the needs of you as the homeowner
  • Make sure that they use plants in a simple, architectural and highly dramatic way
  • Require less of the owner as it is low maintenance
  • Creating a modern garden gives your home a real ‘wow’ feeling. In a short while, we can expect the world of modern gardening to increase in value.

Here are some attractive designs:

Japanese Style Garden

The beauty of having a Japanese style garden merely is its design. You can design the boundary and fencing walls throughout planting and floor levels. The Japanese garden has a pond made of stones and a dry feature where paddle-stones offer the fantastic effect of ripples running through water.

The stunning resin gravel and sawn York pieces of stone compliment the interior of your house. Once you go into the garden, the rough riven stone offers an old kind of appearance. Architectural and lush planting furnish and soften the courtyard to provide a fantastic look!

Contemporary Garden with Pool

Enjoying the serene environment of a garden pond

(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-back-view-beautiful-bench-316889/)

These types of gardens provide new entrances, gates, driveways, and paths. You can even put terraces and wooden benches like Lutyens Garden Benches to give a modern feel. To complement the new look glass, different alteration provides excellent space for sitting and eating.

There is a semi-circular beech hedge that gives the garden the right height and structure. If you have some sculptures, you can fix them in key positions within your garden. There is also a reflective black-lined swimming pool, designed with a more modern cuboid summerhouse for additional accommodation and of course, a comfortable changing room. You can even decide to fix some art in the gallery spaces.

The Contemporary Garden with Both Wood Store

Here is another fantastic modern garden. It’s designed to incorporate planting, a pond and a wood store. It also has some stone planks which help you to move across the pond as you enjoy the serene garden environment.

Small Contemporary Garden

Contemporary linear terracing makes use of grey natural stones. It’s made using blue sets which are separated by different plants and a fantastic slate feature filled with water. You’ll also find a corner terrace built with perfect decking and a well-painted wall on both sides. The wall here is surrounded by beautiful plants!

How to Achieve a Contemporary Garden

A simple wooden bench in a beautiful modern garden!

(Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/trees-in-park-257360/)

Here are some of the essential design tips that lead to fabulous modern gardens. By going through them, you’ll note that the process is not as complicated as it sometimes appears.

Everything Depends On the Design

It’s essential to remember that contemporary gardens are designed statements. Such means that unlike in any other style garden, their hard landscaping needs are more important than planting. Therefore, you’ll need to think more regarding garden design and architecture.

The appearance you want is minimalist and streamlined. You can achieve this by linking from your outdoor to your inside space. It creates a seamless type of transition and spacious feeling. So, avoid feeling disappointed and spending too much time as you plan to build a contemporary garden. You don’t have to keep researching on the different features and materials.

Style on Its Own Is Never Enough

The importance of an excellent contemporary garden is getting the function and style right! Here, you want an outdoor space that’s open for use. In this case, it’s important to be clear from the beginning about what you need. For instance, you may want a dining space, an outdoor kitchen and a maybe a space for your general relaxation. You can even fix a hot tub if you want!

Once you have a good idea of the essential features for your contemporary garden, you should think carefully about where exactly you want to put each element. Some of the issues that you’ll need to put into consideration include the sun, shade and the amount of privacy (for your tanning on the Adirondack lounger days).

Geometry Should Much Help You Out

It’s also necessary to use natural geometric shapes as one of the original designs of your new garden. Combine rectangles and bold squares as these two works perfectly. You should make it look a little bit more interesting by allowing the use of shapes to interact and intersect with each other. For instance, a rectangular raised seating area or bed might be just what you’ll need to create an impressive contemporary garden.

You can even go a step further and add curves or circles to give a good fluidity sense. One of the ways would obviously be creating a specific area by inserting a wooden decking circle into a rectangular or square area made of paving stones.

Use a Repetitive Blend of Materials

While still answering the question on how to create a contemporary garden, you should also observe the contents. Here, you should choose those that complement your apartment or house exterior. Natural wooden decking and stone paving are just some of the most famous choices.

You can also use repetition to make a consistent appearance. For instance, if you have chosen slate paving type in creating your patio area, you could use the same slabs to top off the raised gardening bed edges. You could also use similar wood for both your seats and decking of fixed benches.

You can also use the element of surprise by adding more natural materials like Perspex, glass or other metals such as zinc, copper or stainless steel. These minerals should screen different areas or clad a section of your wall.

Constant Watering Is Important

A water feature is also essential in any modern type of garden. Water is a well-known for its stress-relieving and soothing properties. The feature brings even the smallest yards to life. Here, you should not think around the lines of a traditional garden pond. Instead, you should consider a rectangular water sheet either built up or at ground level to the height of a sitting area or raised bed.

By also using a dark lining, you will improve the reflective components of your pond and give an additional dimension to your overall garden design. Use freestanding or vertical flowing water together with your garden pond to create a more attractive contemporary garden. Water fountains and walls made from stainless steel introduce movement and sound into your overall design.

Proper Lighting!

Why should you go indoors once the sunsets? Merely install outdoor lighting that you can easily enjoy at any point in time during the day or night. Creative and practical light is arguably the best choice!

Practical lighting for bar and barbeque areas help you to see all that you’re doing. You’ll find that blackhead lights are the best to use here! When it comes to mood or creative lighting, these should highlight certain features to bring out a more dramatic effect.

Is it also too cold to move outside? A perfectly illuminated garden viewed from inside your home area improves your garden space and creates an extra dimension to all your property.

Less Is Always More!

You should include well-picked garden accessories in your modern garden design. However, you should not go overboard. The look you want should be both minimal and sleek. Choose garden furniture with unusual and clean-lined materials. Some of these include metal and wood that go a long way in complementing the robust landscaping.

You should also give some thought on the fabrics used in canopies, cushions and garden parasols. These add to the general effect that you desire. Contemporary containers and planters are also useful. You can carefully space each row of identically planted and tall metallic planters. This makes your garden attractive and can also be used to delineate a particular type of gardening area. Also, you should keep it as simple as possible and avoid using a hotchpotch of various materials and shapes.

For additional impact, put some few pieces of modern sculpture to make it more attractive and also to act as critical points in your new garden. So, are you short of cash and space? The circular stainless steel metal features we’ve mentioned also serve modern types of sculptures.

Declare War on All Clutter

There’s no point in designing a garden that is attractive but lacks functionality. Here, you should really think about utility areas and storage from the start to keep clutter at a minimum. Such should include built-in storage and screening in your garden design.

Of Course, Do Not Forget The Plants!

Plants are an impressive addition to your contemporary garden!

(Source: https://pixabay.com/en/herbstastern-asters-autumn-flowers-2773261/)

We’ve talked so much about landscaping and you may think that plants aren’t so important. Well, the facilities are outstanding here but appear a little bit different when compared to traditional designs. Therefore, you should use plants to adorn and emphasize on the garden’s landscaping features.

You can use repeat plantings of a variety of plants chosen according to their architectural features. Ask yourself how these plants will improve your garden design or how they will blend with the hard landscaping. Here, you’ll probably need a combination of sorts.

Some of the exciting plants that you could choose from include palms, bamboos, and silver birches. Magnolias and Japanese maples come with more spreading but are very sculptural in form.

There are also clipped box hedges and topiary that make it simpler for the planting to echo through the landscape. Repeat planting of low growing types of ornamental grasses creates different sheets of excellent texture!

Pay Close Attention to Detail

Across the entire construction, planning and planting process, only one thought should be in your head. Here, remember to always pay close attention to detail! You’ll find that this is what separates a mediocre modern garden design to an amazing one.

How to Choose a Garden Designer

A majority of people think that the idea of hiring a garden designer is too farfetched. They see it as something done by those who have more money to spend. However, this is not always the case. With the growing rise in TV shows and landscaping magazines, the process has turned out to be a little bit more accessible.

Are Garden Designers Cost Effective?

First, let us observe the financial situation in a more logical sense. A garden designer will cost you cash which you wouldn’t necessarily have to spend if you do the design all by yourself. After all, you can look at magazines and view different shows. In doing so, you’ll quickly pick up those ideas that suit you. You can then move on and implement them in your garden just as just as anything else.

On another different point of view, the popularity of landscaping designs means that there are more garden designers around. Also, because they are now more common than in the past, you’ll probably spend less. Once you get a properly trained designer with different horticultural qualifications, you could even end up saving on cash too!

Cost Savings

There are some situations which will require you to replace various plants in your garden. Which are some of these unfortunate cases? Well, such is if you establish your design and fix plants in positions where they do not flourish or grow to the wrong height or in an undesired shape.

You’ll also find that the plant’s layout does not match your tastes or the way in which you make use of your garden. So, such mistakes will apparently cost you a lot of cash. You’ll also find that the entire garden designing process takes a prolonged amount of time. This is the time that you could spend on getting enough cash to pay for a qualified garden designer. Once you put all these factors into consideration, you’ll find that hiring a garden designer is a better investment.

DIY Garden Designs

For a majority of people, the beauty of gardening comes once they do it themselves. If you are such a person, then choosing the services of a garden designer might be the last thing on your mind. Of course, part of the fun in gardening is visiting open gardens, shows, looking at gardening magazines and coming up with different ideas!

However, we tend to forget the experience of garden designers. These are professionals who help you in developing ideas that give your garden a unique and attractive look. So, you never know, it might just be what you need to make your gardening dreams come true!

Take Caution in Choosing a Garden Designer

If you think that you’ll not benefit from hiring the services of a garden designer, well, meet a few to get the one who matches your needs. Some of the things that you’ll need to consider include their charges. Does he or she charge according to time or on a project basis?

Also, get your hands on some personal recommendations from friends, neighbours or family members who have previously used the services of a garden designer. Create a short list of either one or two qualified designers who you think are pleasant to work with.

You can even request to see some of the gardens which they’ve previously worked on and also go ahead and talk to some of those clients. If they do not want to talk about them, then proceed with caution. Better yet, avoid seeking the services of that particular garden designer. All in all, you need to be thorough and not leave any stone unturned!

How Much Does a Garden Designer Charge?

You’ll find that many homes and garden trades costs often tend to vary according to the size of the project as well as the location. A majority of gardeners start their work by on-site consultations. During such times, he or she will ask you some important questions. For instance, he will inquire about your budget, vision, and requirements.

They’ll most likely send you a written quote or report, showing costs as well as design ideas. This may be charged at an additional rate, or they may be complementary. So, depending on your location, you’ll be charged around £80 to £250 for a consultation. Services offered afterward such as correspondence, planning, on-site analysis, and correspondence are typically billed hourly. On average, all these services may cost around £60 to £50 depending on the designer’s individual requirements.

Regarding all total costs, a complete garden design service costs around £2000 to £5000. Keep in mind that the more extensive your garden, the more your designer is going to charge you. Such is because your designer will need to take more time implementing or drawing a design for a full space. For other additions such as some garden benches too, you’ll find some at an affordable price – some even go for less than £250!

The Importance of a Good Garden Design

A modern garden landscape

(Source: https://pixabay.com/en/garden-park-castle-art-2040714/)

Although some gardens are created without general plans, garden designs have evolved over the past couple of years. Different changes and elements have all been introduced. So why should we all turn to modern day landscaping?

The Elements of Design

At its purest, garden designing is all about thinking through different possibilities. Afterwards, you get the chance to decide which one offers a better look. Therefore, it helps you in knowing on the design elements that you’ll want to use. Although it might not allow you to use all of them, it still forms an excellent starting point!

The Design Style to Use!

One of the main aspects of garden design is merely deciding on the general theme. Such needs to be done early on to establish an excellent guiding principle to see the entire process through. A properly designed landscape style creates a feeling of belonging. So, it is essential to consider the setting of your garden to avoid a finished project that does not match its surroundings.

Planting and Plant Schemes

We’ve previously mentioned the importance of choosing the right plants. A good overall gardening design should consider the proper planting considerations. These may include a variety of factors such as the type of soil, the climate as well as also paying attention to other issues such as the desired colour scheme. It also helps you to address the intended use of the entire space. Such is because the plants you choose need to show what they should support.


With contemporary gardening, we can bring together both the past and future methods of cultivation to give a more attractive gardening appearance. From this article, you can see that the process is as simple as they come! You only need to understand your landscape, and you’ll have a fantastic modern garden.

Remember to hire the services of a professional designer as he or she will show you the different landscape examples. Ensure that you’ve chosen the best type of contemporary garden to avoid spending more cash in future doing different repairs.

We hope that you now have all the information to make you an expert landscaper if you intend to do it yourself. Here, remember to choose the best materials, plants and even garden benches at an affordable price.

So, which contemporary garden design have you chosen?

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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