SARAH’S GARDEN JOURNAL
Making Rooms In Your Garden
“Every garden is unique with a multitude of choices in soils, plants and themes. Finding your garden theme is as easy as seeing what brings a smile to your face.” – Teresa Watkins, Gardening With Soul
I love visiting Open Gardens and find I’m particularly drawn to the ones that have well defined areas, or garden rooms.
Over the past nine years, my own garden has evolved this way too. Much like renovating a house, creating garden rooms is a slow process, with lots of trials, errors and expense along the way but the end result is well worth the effort. And while there may be some occasional tweaks with the decorating, once established, garden rooms can help create a cohesive peaceful environment in which to relax and enjoy.
The Reception Room
The “reception room”, or front garden, is the introduction to your home, and you know what they say about first impressions! True to my home’s weatherboard façade, my front garden is a cottage-y affair, complete with roses, aquilegias, foxgloves, buddleia and irises. And of course, the front garden of Violet Cottage is carpeted with violets.
I’m on a corner block so the side garden is comprised of a narrow border facing a side street. Due to its limited size, this garden area has been a challenge. I’ve finally decided to not over-clutter the hallway, and keep to a simple layered design of buxus, bearded irises, Duchesse de Brabant roses and a backdrop of murraya. In this area, less is definitely more!
The Living Area
The back garden – a place to relax and entertain. There has to be a tree, preferably with a seat under it. In my garden, this is in the form of a towering macadamia nut. The parterre rose garden, humming with bees and bursting with colour, provides better viewing than any TV show and there’s a small carpet of lawn to walk barefoot on in summer and sometimes a dining table in the form a picnic rug.
Just as the kitchen is the heart of every home, the kitchen garden, or vegie patch is truly the beating heart of a garden and without a doubt my favourite room. Ever-changing and requiring the most amount of hard graft, work in this room will reward you with fresh, organically grown produce with food miles of a mere few steps.
Every garden has a utility area, housing essentials such as garbage and recycling bins, compost bays, gas tanks etc. My utility area is in a shaded spot alongside the house where little other than violets will grow. I’ve created a mondo-lined pathway for easy access and screened this area from view with a white picket fence.
It’s a common view that only large expansive properties can have garden rooms, but with a little imagination, even a standard size block can have areas with their own unique character. What rooms can you dream up today?