3 exterior garden design hacks experts use

How can you get your garden to be the best version of itself?

When revamping your outdoor living space, you'll start on your phone or computer for the all-important research phase. The problem is, that you're being bombarded with an endless supply of garden design possibilities.

We’re heading towards the warmer months and it’s time to unravel the hammock, lay out the table settings and get your patio umbrella in place for the social events to come.

Kids parties, family barbecues and social drinks around the fire pit will all be elevated with an improved outdoor space that’s been enhanced with these 3 design hacks that exterior (and interior) designers use for their clients.

1. Use low maintenance plants.

Plants are the low-hanging fruit of any outdoor space revamp. It may seem obvious but it’s often overlooked. The key here is to choose plants that require little-to-no maintenance such as the popular-again succulent. Succulents are great for forgetful gardeners and aesthetic enthusiasts alike.

Elephant Bush Portulacaria Afra

A medium to large succulent with prominent stems. The plant can grow quite large when given the right nutrients and space. The Elephant Bush can be a great feature in your planting plan or used as a spiller plant in a succulent arrangement

Snake Plant Sansevieria Trifasciata

An evergreen plant that features a striking snakeskin pattern running up the stem. A popular indoor plant due to its purported air purification capabilities, the Snake Plant works great on a patio to add depth and texture to space and like other succulents, doesn't require constant attention or a green-thumb.

Hares Foot Fern Davallia

The Davallia genus of ferns share a pleasant trait: they all grow from fuzzy rhizomes that sit on the soil bed. The Hares Foot Fern is great for hanging planters. As it grows, the ferns and rhizomes begin to crawl over the edge of the planter adding great texture to any space.




2. Create an outdoor room as an extension of your home.

Consistency and intention are key in any design. Everything you do should have a reason and be linked in a way to an overall theme, style or aesthetic.

When you’re bringing a new (outdoor) room into the mix, it’s important to draw inspiration from the rest of your home and pull it through to the new space. It doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be a carbon copy of any adjoining room’s style but, perhaps, think of it as a soft gradient transition.

Example: your dining room and kitchen lead out to your patio dining area, flow the colour of your accessories through to the patio, a lighter blue for the inside cushions and a rich, dark blue in the outdoor setting. The soft brown carpet/tiling in the dining room can transition to a classy stained wooden patio deck.

It’s important not to jump around in your design choices so it doesn’t feel disjointed and unwelcoming. Try to use colours and textures that complement each other.

3. Invest in outdoor shade.

If you’re going to be spending any amount of time outdoors you’ll need to have shade. Protection from the sun in the warmer months and coverage from light showers in the winter is important to enhance the usability of your outdoor space.

When you’re spending time outdoors enjoying the warm weather and company of your friends it's important to factor in the strength of the sun and its harmful UV rays. Outdoor umbrellas provide UV protection all year round to ensure a safe time for all.

Outdoor patio umbrellas are the perfect solution to shade your friends and family. Modular, easy-to-use and unobtrusive, they are the perfect complement to your outdoor space. Cantilever umbrellas are great as they can rotate and tilt to follow the sun’s path all year round and with the pole mounted to the side of the umbrella, they have free, unimpaired space underneath, allowing optimum use of the shaded area.

Center pole umbrellas are the classic outdoor patio table umbrellas that will augment your garden design.

Wall mounted umbrellas are a prominent choice for the home and garden providing another opportunity to be creative in your layouts or to make the best use of small spaces.

Outdoor umbrellas are great because they’re customisable. You can match the rest of your design themes with a custom Sunbrella Fabric canopy and a frame finish. Shadowspecs outdoor umbrellas also feature built-in LED lights to provide an outdoor lighting experience.

Garden design can become an endless spiral of choices, distractions and conflicts. Shadowspec hopes these hacks set you in the right direction by providing a starting point for your planning. Our outdoor experts are always happy to supplement this guide with a conversation on the phone or via email so feel free to get in touch.

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