Urban Garden Design: Some Basic Elements

Want to upgrade your cityscape but don't know how? Look no further. We introduce you to the basics of urban design, and give examples of how you can incorporate them into any metropolitan garden space.

Excerpted from Garden Design
London Urban Garden Designed by John Brookes Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Design Influences

Early city designs were often heavily planted and complex in layout, in an attempt to evoke country gardens. Today, they have become much simpler.

Stone Containers Repeated for Effect Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Dramatic Containers

Clay, stone or steel plant containers are often repeated for effect. Fill them with clipped box or - for a softer, more informal look - a mix of perennials and grasses.

Artfully Designed Furniture Gives Garden Focus Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Sculptural Furniture

Custom built-in benches, coordinated tables and other artfully designed furniture gives the urban garden focus and answers a functional need.

Plaited Trees Look Like Hedges on Stilts Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Trim Trees

Trees that are pleached, or trained and trimmed to form a high hedge, provide privacy while using little floor space. Use lime, hornbeam or evergreen holly oak. Low-voltage and LED lights add sophistication by emphasizing your garden's contours and plants.

Mix of Materials Maximize Texture and Interest Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Stylish Materials

Designers often mix materials to maximize texture and interest. Here, a colorfully lit metal cutout springs into tree-framed action from a natural stone and concrete base.

Raised Beds Around Fireplace Also Offer Seating Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

A Place to Entertain

If hard surfaces for outdoor living dominate, planting has to work harder to compensate. Choose simple, bold combinations which are stylish and easily maintained. Lighting, strategically placed, will flatter the space in the evening. For densely planted areas, keep paving simple, using strong textural foliage and color as contrast to the built-up environment. In this design, raised beds of ornamental grasses and alliums balance the starkness of the white hardscaping, and provide informal seats for relaxing around the fireplace.

Vertical or Wall Planting Optimizes Limited Space Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Soothing Retreat

Vertical or wall planting optimizes the restricted space, while retaining a softening effect. A textured panel of basalt provides sound as water trickles over the surface.

Suspended Canopy Adds Style and Privacy to Space Garden Design ©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Hidden Gem

A suspended canopy adds style and privacy to this seating seating area. Planting is minimal and restricted to containers, linking to the tones of the cushions on the benches.

Excerpted from Garden Design

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009

Advertisement will not be printed