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How to change your garden…structure

Structure in a garden is absolutely essential and without it your garden will become a completely blank canvas in the winter.  When people think of what needs to be in their gardens they will think of plants that flower – often perennials and maybe some shrubs.  Perennials look amazing when they are at their peak, but only few offer any 'structure' beyond this time.

So, while you may be happy with your garden in the summer, if in winter you are thinking there's definitely room for improvement, it could be time to get the 'structure' right.  

Structure in this garden would transform it from being a 'field'
A garden through the seasons, the evergreens, background trees, arch and swing seat bring shape to the winter garden

Structure in your garden is like the skeleton in a body, it helps to create a framework in the garden when the summer planting has gone.  It creates shapes, outlines and, simply, something to look at. It doesn't matter if your garden is small or large, without structure it will look boring and uninteresting.

Raised beds create additional  structure in this garden

So what is structure?  Basically it's where designers begin bringing their design to life.  Structure can be added in many ways:

  • Trees and shrubs – both evergreen and deciduous
  • Raised hard landscaping features, eg pergolas
  • Paths and steps
  • Hedges, fencing and screening
  • Raised water features
  • Garden furniture
  • Garden ornaments and sculptures

This arch creates support as well as an invitation to explore

As well as how the structure affects the overall look of your garden it can help create different zones and areas within. It can also be used to create a partial glimpse of a garden beyond that draws the eye and creates the feeling that you want to go further into the garden to see what is beyond.

Structure can also be practical by providing support to some of the garden's perennial planting and can screen areas of the garden that you don't want to be seen, the compost area for example.

Structure needs to be proportional to all that it relates. That doesn't necessarily mean that in a small garden everything should be small.  Designers understand the relational link between sizes that often makes their garden designs stand out.  So, experiment in your own garden, as much as you are able to, with some kind of 'template' for the same size as the mass of the feature to see how it relates to the space.  If this is difficult, always measure the heights and widths of features and check those measurements in your actual garden.

Alternatively contact us and we can discuss what assistance we could be to creating a better garden for you.

More Inspiration needed? Try this article by Alan Titchmarsh

If you want a garden that will look good in winter, give it some profile with topiary and evergreens.
How to change your garden...focal points
How to change your general

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