How can I make my garden more interesting?

 In Garden Design, Landscaping

Fed up with looking at the same old, unchanging view from your winter. Dan shares his ideas to help make your garden more interesting.

There are lots of landscaping techniques to make a garden more interesting. Anything from a complete garden makeover to refreshing the planting or bringing in new features.  The trick lies in creating a cohesive garden design. Plonking bits and pieces randomly in the garden can turn it into a bit of a jumble rather than an intriguing space.

Make the garden design flow

newly landscaped garden ready for planting

This is a garden we designed and built in Burnham.  As you can see – even before the lawn has been laid and the  planting completed, the layout is strong enough to make the garden interesting.

If you want your garden to be more interesting. Start with the layout.  Every garden, no matter what size, needs to include a journey and a destination.  So what will be your destination?  A seating area would be a good choice.  Somewhere to relax with a coffee, enjoy the view or spend time with friends. Alternatively, how about a beautifully furnished summerhouse or a garden office.  Somewhere that you actually WANT to be…..not just the bin store!

Use hard landscaping to create your journey – perhaps a winding path between beautifully planted flower beds. Or, if your garden is mainly paved – use contrasting materials to guide your eye and mark out a kind of pathway.

Create focal points

As well as a destination point, create one or more focal points around the garden to draw your attention.  A long expanse of hedge is wonderful for wildlife but can be very ‘samey’.   How about planting a specimen tree part way along? You could use garden lighting to highlight it.

Don’t go too mad with focal points – if you have too many of them your eyes won’t know where to look and your garden will seem cluttered.

Placing at least one focal point in the line of sight from your window will definitely help make your garden more interesting.  A piece of art? A bird feeding station? 

landscaping ideas - secret garden with raised beds

The focal points in this garden are the pot in the middle distance which then leads your eye towards the arbour at the end of the garden.

Use the art of hide and reveal

We humans are incredibly curious – and that’s what makes our world more interesting. So rather than have your whole garden visible at once – bring in some twists and turns and some hiding places.  That way you – and your visitors will always be wondering what’s through the gate, behind the screen or around the corner.

One way to harness the art of hide and reveal is to divide your garden into smaller “rooms” with structures and planting between them to give an air of mystery.  Or you could create island beds to punctuate larger areas of lawn or paving.  You’ll always wonder what they look at from the other side.

3d garden design for sloping back garden


This garden has been designed with different sections and makes full use of the art of hide and reveal

Seasonal factors

Make your garden more interesting by ensuring it changes with the seasons.  The easiest way to do this is, of course, with plants.  But it needn’t mean a big unheaval in your borders every time the weather starts to change.  Use pots and containers in an array of colours and styles and swap them around when you start to get bored with them.

Plant spring bulbs in containers in the autumn, and in summer. Once the flowers have faded, pop those containers somewhere out of your line of sight. Replace them with pots of strawberry plants and/or herbs for a delicious summer treat.  

For autumn, consider dahlias – they’re not always frost hardy, but come November, you can put the whole pot into the greenhouse and then revive the plants in May – once the risk of frost has passed.

In winter – I thoroughly recommend Sarcococca – it’s an evergreen shrub with discreet flowers in winter but oh my goodness – the scent is divine!

A modern garden design with geometric lines and neutral colours

Lots of curves and some bespoke stonework mean that this garden will always be interesting

An interesting garden will appeal to all of your senses

We don’t just enjoy gardens with our eyes.  Your design and your planting plan should appeal to all of your senses.  

Touch——different textures and temperatures. Create sheltered spots for winter and cool shady places for summer.

Hearing …. The sound of moving water or the wind rustling through trees and grasses

Sight … colour of course, but don’t forget about shadows, pools of sunshine and outdoor lighting for after dark. Oh – and movement.  Make the most of borrowed views too.  If you are lucky enough to look out onto woodland or farmyard, you are guaranteed a point of interest.

Smell….so many possibilities for scents int eh garden. The smell of new mown grass is a classic. But what about a strongly fragranced flower that invites you to find the source of the scent? Or the aromas emitted by plant leaves when you crush them?  

Taste … what will you do to make your garden taste more interesting?  Grow some herbs? Fruit and veg? Make time to cook and eat out of doors? Or will you have a lovely little nook where you can chill out with your favourite drink and some delicious snacks?

Ready to make your garden more interesting?

If your stuck for ideas and you need help with a garden makeover, SilverBirch Gardens offer a design and build service that is second to none.

Click here to start a conversation with us.

You might find these articles helpful too

How to find the right landscaper for your garden makeover

Case study: Making a garden more interesting in North Curry

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