Having struggled with our garden design for a while, we decided to use our lack of creativity as an excuse to visit the Floriade World Horticultural Expo in Holland for some inspiration. The Floriade takes place once every 10 years and this year is near the Dutch-German border in Venlo until the 7th October 2012.
There is loads to see and all though everything is on a larger scale than anything we could do in our own garden, we managed to get a lot of ideas that hopefully can be adapted to suit our smaller space.
We already attempted some basic garden designs so have a rough idea of what styles and materials we like. As we have a corner plot we are thinking about enclosing the garden with some sort of fence. We would like more privacy, but at the same time would like to still be able to chat with our lovely neighbours.
We like the idea of horizontal fencing with something vertical growing up it as contrast. Something like this…
Maybe we could have some bamboo growing in front of it. It should then still be airy and slightly transparent, but still give us a bit more privacy.
The general garden idea is to have a calm and relaxing space with somewhere to entertain. Most of the gardens that we liked incorporated a water feature. We loved the water around this seating area with a stepping stone connecting it to the rest of the garden.
The problem is that we think our garden might be too small and have no idea where to start.
There were a few really clever things to see at the Floriade. One of our favorites is a compost area that is hidden within a bench.
We already have a plastic compost bin that we bought when we first moved in to our house, but we really like the idea of integrating the compost area into the rest of the garden.
It’s just so clever. It looks good and you don’t need to waste any space in a small garden by having an extra space for your compost.
Another great idea, especially if you have a small garden are these vertical plant walls.
I’m not sure where we would be able to install one, but it would be great near the kitchen with loads of different herbs growing on it.
All though we want a relatively low maintenance garden, we still love growing our own fruit and veg. One thing that really impressed us, are the new growing techniques for salads. They float on these polystyrene like pods on water. No earth in site.
And this is what it looks like from the side.
Apparently it’s 10-15% more productive than the classic growing method. Can’t help wondering if the taste is affected though.
If there is one single thing that I would love to be able to incorporate, it would be an outdoor fireplace. This one is made of corten steel. Although the choice of material may not be to everyone’s taste, it would be amazing to be able to curl up on a comfortable lounge chair in front of it with a glass of wine, looking over our perfectly finished garden… I suppose I’d better get my wellies on!
A few things we saw were really bizarre. These huge plastic flowers for example.
Not sure if I would want these in my garden! We are going to try to attempt a garden design now. Come back to see what we come up with!