A contemporary garden setting has become a very popular style of garden design. It is often used for small garden settings where there is little space, or for gardens were the owners seek to be water-wise, or for a garden that is easy to care for. The idea is to have a tidy and well kept garden, using architectural plants, often dwarf varieties, as the focal point for the setting.
The contemporary garden has an emphasis on a hardscape of stone, incorporating bold architectural plants, the use of water features and sculptures, and container gardens. Plants may be fewer in number but they play an important part, adding drama and beauty. The plants in a modern garden are more likely to be noticed because they are not competing with many other plants to stand out!There are some basic elements that are important for contemporary landscape. For example, when it comes to trees, they tend to be more upright with small canopies. They provide an architectural element, creating a wonderful hedge for example. Japanese maple is a popular dwarf tree for a contemporary setting. This prized tree has a beautiful leaves, and stunning foliage that turns shades of orange, red, and burgundy.
When it comes to an actual garden for the contemporary landscape, this often takes place in the form of a container garden. Usually an upright growing plant is best for this setting. Also, tall growing grasses can make a great focal point when placed in containers. They key is to keep them well trimmed and neat. Containers need to be neat and tidy as well. Some important accents to use in a contemporary design include steppers and cobbles. Concrete steppers are inexpensive and create the perfect geometric form. Using cobbles, with their round natural shape, will add beautiful contrast to the industrial use of metals that come with this style. Cobbles are also inexpensive and come in many colors and sizes.
Any furniture added to the setting should be contemporary in style. This would include incorporating stainless steel and chrome. This will create a stylish sitting or dining area. The idea is for the furniture to be useful and stylish. Placing containers are important for your garden setting. The containers need to be modern as well. They can be cylindrical or square, and they should be resin or ceramic. If they are cast stone they need to be sleek, and free from color. Metal shades are the best to use in this type of setting. A great container with a beautiful topiary tree will make a bold focal point for your setting.
Finally metals are a great feature. This can be in the form of a sheet of metal used to create screening or weatherproofing. Or metal grids that make great fencing materials as well. These are very modern techniques that use no plants for the process. For a modern garden setting, this is the way to go. If your garden is too small to place a regular sized fountain, you should considering finding a tabletop water feature that can easily be added to your contemporary garden furniture. With many different shapes and styles available, tabletop fountains are often the perfect way to add a miniature version of the large fountain you simply can’t use because of your lack of space.
These ideas will help you create a contemporary garden setting. These often involve little maintenance, as the focus is on the accents more than the plants. The plants should be simple and neatly trimmed. This setting is perfect for homes with little space or for people who want little work for their outdoor setting.
By: Susan Soler of the Garden-Fountains.com Team