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GardenSMART :: Garden Rooms for Maximum Impact

Garden Rooms for Maximum Impact

By Stephanie Pratt, InstantHedge
Photographs courtesy of InstantHedge

Creating a garden that is either beautiful or utilitarian is simple. Creating a garden that is both beautiful and utilitarian is tricky. There is a key secret for making this possible, and I'm about to let you in on it: use hedges to create garden rooms.

You might be thinking, 'My garden is already small, why would I waste space by dividing it up with hedges?' Think about it this way: you would be surprised if you looked at the bare footprint of your house because it would seem impossibly small. The reason houses seem larger when you are inside is because there are rooms designated for everything – dining, cooking, sleeping, working, relaxing, etc. Why should a garden be any different?

From small properties to expansive estates, designating specific areas in a garden makes it more useful, manageable, and attractive.

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Example #1: Garden Dining Room

Outdoor dining rooms might be the most commonly used type of garden room. It is usually close to the house, making it easier to carry food back and forth. Using low or medium hedges to surround it makes it a distinct space while keeping it connected to the rest of the garden.

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Example #2: Garden Living Room

Every garden needs a space to gather. This is a great place to have a fireplace, a patch of grass for lawn games, and plenty of seating. Make it feel nice and private with a surrounding tall privacy hedge.

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Example #3: Garden Kitchen

Vegetable gardens are charming, but they rarely fit the theme of the rest of a garden. Keep the late-summer sprawl from making the rest of your landscape look disorganized by surrounding the space with a tall hedge. You can also line herb and vegetable beds with low boxwood hedges for a cottage garden look. Be sure to plant plenty of flowers to attract pollinators!

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Example #4: Garden Bedroom

While the garden "bedroom" isn't necessarily a place for sleeping, it is a place to rest in peace and quiet. Surround with a tall privacy hedge to create a space that feels safe and fosters quiet contemplation and rest. And let's be real; it's a great place for a hammock if you do want to use the spot for a siesta or two!

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Example #5: Garden Playroom

Gardens are the perfect place to play, for kids and adults alike. Create a private area around a swimming pool using tall hedges, or section off a fun garden maze. This is a great space to have some open lawn for games. Surrounding with tall hedges will help protect valuable plants from flyballs and runaway frisbees!

The more space you have available, the more rooms you can implement. Formal gardens, for example, are usually walled by hedges to maintain symmetry. Cut flower gardens are useful for creating plentiful bouquets to enjoy and share. If you want a Japanese garden but don't want to follow that theme through the entire garden, make a room for it much like you would do with a themed guest room in your home.

Once you start dividing your garden space into rooms, you will notice yourself spending a lot more time in it, using those rooms for the exact purpose you created them.


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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

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