Creating Views and Vistas in Your Garden

Whether your garden looks out over a lush landscape or your neighbor's home, careful planning can enhance your garden views.

Excerpted from Garden Design
View of Garden from House Dictates Layout Plan Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Planning Your Route

What's more inspiring than one gorgeous view? A series of them, as in this long, thin family garden. Reveal your garden's beauty slowly by varying the sizes of open spaces, dividing the space and adding focal points. Don't forget to plan for the view looking back on your garden.

Outdoor Eating Area Against Hedge Offers Seclusion Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Outdoor Dining

Keep the table and chairs close the house for ease of serving. A simple green hedge creates a comforting sense of seclusion.

Tool Shed is Both Decorative and Functional Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

The Tool Shed

The slim shed on the patio is both decorative and functional, adding a focal feature to this area of the garden.

Look Through Plantings to Seating for Less Formal Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Shifting Perspectives

From this angle, looking across the plants to the benches beyond, the garden's somewhat formal layout takes on a more organic appearance.

Water Feature Creates Focal Point in Garden Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Water Feature

A glance to the side reveals another eye-catching feature. Hostas and grasses frame a discreet, low bubble pool.

Shady Corner in Yard Home to Shade Loving Hostas Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Shady Corner

Let the character of the garden's different areas guide you. This open area, hidden from the house and quite shady, provides a perfect space for leafy hostas.

Swing Seat Creates Relaxing Family Area in Garden Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Relaxing Family Area

Tucked around the corner, just beyond the pergola, the wooden swing looks out over pretty pavers and a shade garden.

Circular Features Soften Straight Lines in Design Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Focal Point

Circular features break up and soften long, straight lines. The flower-filled container, sitting on a brick circle, is a focus for this space and can be viewed from all sides.

Play Area Hidden from Rest of Garden Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Play Area

Try to separate the play area, both physically and visually, from the rest of the garden.

Window Frames Tree Topped Hillside in Distance Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Borrowing Beautiful Views

If you can see the surrounding landscape from your house try connecting it visually to your own garden. Consider framing a key view, as with this window which opens to a picturesque tree-topped hill. Or, open up your garden using a discreet barrier, such as a low hedge or picket fence. Try to imagine what the view will look like in different seasons, for example when deciduous trees go barren in the winter. You may also need to adapt your own garden planting to blend it into the landscape.

Garden Shed Disguised with Rambling Climbing Rose Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Disguising Unattractive Views

Not all views are wanted. Garden sheds or garbage cans make for unpleasant focal points. Neighboring houses may spoil the view and compromise privacy. Screens and tall planting can mask these blemishes. Remember to consider what they'll look like in all seasons - this rambling climber is a good summer disguise, but less effective in winter.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

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