Tips for creating a stylish contemporary garden

 In Garden Design, Landscaping, Landscaping Services

I’m often asked to design and build contemporary gardens to compliment traditional Somerset properties. Here are some of the techniques I use for creating a stylish contemporary garden.

Tips for creating a contemporary garden

  • Use bold, strong, geometric shapes
  • Keep the features simple and uncluttered
  • Have a strong colour theme
  • Use contrasting colours to highlight and accentuate shapes
  • Make full use of texture
  • Light and shadow are as important as colour and texture

Using shape to create a contemporary garden

Contemporary garden with contrasting paths, lawns and buxus balls

This garden in Burnham on Sea is awaiting it’s finishing touches, but you can already see how we’ve contrasted the angular path with circular buxus balls.

Garden lighting has been planned and built in to the paver. The wiring is in place and we’ll be adding the lights once all of the structure is complete.

contemporary garden with interesting shapes

This back garden in Glastonbury uses shape in a very different way. This  “swoosh” will become a lawn but this picture shows how it overcomes the challenges of a sloping garden. NB the shape is based on the spiral of life – just like a snail shell. A theme which is repeated throughout the garden (see if you can spot the same shape in the pavers).

Simple garden features

A contemporary garden uses bold, yet simple features. No complicated planting plans, no mish mash of colours, just clean lines and simple materials that are easy on the eye.

contemporary garden with porcelain paving and lawn

Simple doesn’t mean boring. By using a bright white porcelain paving to contrast with the natural lawn, this garden has clean lines but plenty of interest.

Using colour in a contemporary garden

Colour is always a matter for personal choice but in a contemporary garden I try to stick rigidly to the rule of 3. 3 materials, 3 colours, 3 textures etc

white rectangular planter with purple themed planting

The white rendering on the house is picked up by the planters, and the paving, the brickwork is a similar colour to the timber and then we have a strong contrast with the purple planting. These plants are perennial, those leaves are evergreen and although the verbena will die back for winter, it will be back next summer. We’ve contrasted the very angular shapes of the hard landscaping with lovely round shaped foliage.

Using texture to accentuate shapes

series of steps with timber risers and aggregate surface

This garden in Templemain shows great use of texture. The structural elements of the garden are very similar but just look at the contrasts between the timber, the aggregate and the pavers.

The effect of light and shade

Garden lighting is an important part of contemporary garden design. When you have strong shapes they can throw some really interesting shadows. Using uplighters, downlighters and spotlights can really make you feel as though you are in a completely different space.

twighlight garden with planting accentuated by garden lighting


Useful links to inspire your garden makeover

If you would like help designing or creating a contemporary garden, please get in touch to discuss your ideas.

Here are some examples of our work

Contemporary garden makeover in Rodney Stoke

Patio Terrace in West Huntspill

Modern family garden in Chilton Polden 

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professionally built garden with timber structures and evening lightingearly stages of garden landscaping with mini digger clearing site