10 New Ideas For A Secret Garden Nook Designed Just For You
In turbulent times, what could be more soothing than to carve out a secluded spot in your garden in which to relax alone or with a loved one, or to entertain friends? These clever screening ideas ensure that it won’t feel as if the neighbors are joining you.
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1. Shelter with climbers. The spot where we entertain outside is often where we want to feel most secluded. Here, an arbor curves over the top of the garden’s dining area. Once climbing plants grow along the structure, dinner guests will not only feel out of sight, but — if the plants grow vigorously — they’ll also be sheltered from sun and perhaps even showers.
2. Raise a roof. A pergola with a solid roof, rather than plants, will give you a year-round extra room. Simply add fairy lights and outdoor heating or a fire bowl, and grow climbers up support poles.
3. Plant slim trees with bushy tops. To avoid being overlooked by houses at the far end of a garden, how about this neat idea? Without taking up much precious ground space, these lovely, lean white birch trees don’t spread out until above fence level, creating a cozy nook for the table.
Single-stem or specimen trees are pruned to grow in this shape.
4. Create secret walkways. Leafy canopies aren’t just for sheltering dining spaces, as this lovely arbor illustrates.
Depending on the size of your garden and how bushy your trained plants are, this idea has the potential to provide a sense of seclusion beyond the area directly below the arbor itself.
Though this garden is generously proportioned, even in a smaller patch, the idea of creating separate zones and secret gateways is a counterintuitive trick many designers use to boost a sense of space.
5. Dine in a corner. This banquette seating area in the walled corner of a London garden is excellently positioned for privacy.
Tall trees, in the foreground at left, further screen this secret little lunch spot. Note how the plants (though still new and small) go right up to the eating area: A more obvious choice could have been to extend the hardscape, but closely surrounding the dining nook in greenery really helps increase the sense of immersion in nature.
6. Go high. Roof gardens tend to overlook spaces as much as they are overlooked. However, you can treat an upstairs outdoor space just as you might a ground-floor one — by surrounding it with a wall. Spend time in the space before building to get a feel for where the sun falls so that you don’t end up with an entirely shaded area.
7. Get wild. Secluded spaces aren’t always simply spaces where tall trees, plants and structures block views into the garden. This little patch is bursting with low-growing shrubs, giving it a cozy vibe. Adding to the secret-garden atmosphere is a little wooden arch and that almost-buried bench at the end. The lesson here: For a sense of seclusion in a wild, cottage-style garden, pack ’em in and avoid overly structured plants.