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How To Make Your Garden Significantly More Functional

We all want our gardens to be attractive spaces, full of beautiful plants. But if we want to enjoy them, we also need to pay some attention to making them functional. After all, just standing around and looking at a garden won’t encourage you to use it month after month. 

The good news is that there are now dozens of ways to make your garden more functional. And each of them offers a host of benefits that are simply impossible if your only goal is to make things look pretty. 

Add A Pergola

Pergolas aren’t just focal points for your garden. They also serve as shade during the day, with the level of shade changing as the sun’s position in the sky moves. 

When choosing a pergola, select a design that is at least seven feet tall. You’ll also want to make sure that you set it back from your pathways (if you have them) so that people can pass them comfortably, without hurting their elbows. 

Plan For Growth

Gardens’ appearance changes dramatically over the years. What starts off looking like sparse beds eventually becomes full and even overcrowded once life gets going and takes advantage of all available resources. 

For this reason, it is critical to plan for growth. Don’t worry if things look a little patchy when you are first starting out. Consider how they will look in the fullness of time.

Remember, you need your pathways to be wide enough to provide walking space, even if adjacent plants become overgrown. If you’re dealing with tighter spots, you may want to use artificial plants instead that will never cause a problem. 

The same principles apply when planting trees. At the start, your garden will look hopelessly sparse. However, as the decades pass, it will quickly fill up and, eventually, the trees will come to maturity. 

Lay Down Turf

Whether or not you lay down turf is a matter of personal preference. However, if you are the sort of person who wants a thriving green lawn without having to put in years of effort to get there, you might want to consider laying down convention turf.

Laying down turf makes an enormous difference in how much time you have to dedicate to your lawn. You no longer have to scarify, remove existing weeds, plant new seeds in bare patches, and so on. 

Laying down turf is also something that you can do once your lawn starts to look a little past its sell-by date. Adding new turf keeps it looking green and fresh all year long. 

Put Down Pavers

What’s nice about pavers is that they look natural but also keep your garden functional at the same time. Pavers also mature beautifully as the weather gets to them, complementing your property’s organic aesthetic. 

When choosing pavers, though, be careful. Some are prone to moss and can become extremely slippery underfloor in wet weather as the years go by. 

If conventional stone attracts you, make sure that you pressure wash your pavers regularly or buff them with a sanding machine. This will remove any organics encrusting the surface and make them less slippery in the autumn and winter. 

When placing pavers for a path, make sure that there is a slight slope to allow water to run off during rain storms. If water always pools on your path, it will make it less functional and could shorten your pavers’ life. 

Add Portable Seating

You can add permanent seating fixtures to your garden (such as stone chairs around a fire pit). But portable seating is generally more useful and functional. 

When choosing chairs for your garden, pick those that are both comfortable and easy to move. While wrought iron chairs and table sets can look attractive, they aren’t somewhere you want to place your bottom all afternoon. 

These days you can buy rattan and nylon chairs with outdoor cushions that are comfortable all day long. Many designs look similar to indoor chair styles, offering 70 to 80 percent of the comfort you get inside. 

You’ll also want to explore wheeled outdoor table options. These are easy to move around and reposition as the weather or your garden’s layout dictates. 

Add A Greenhouse To Grow More Food

Collectively, we don’t grow enough food in our gardens. Instead, we largely squander the space when we could be putting it to good use. 

Greenhouses make home cultivation much easier. Because they have a different internal climate than the rest of your garden, you can grow a wider selection of fruits and vegetables. Look here to see Victorian style greenhouses.

Add More Privacy With Shrubs

Shrubs are a great way to subtly add more privacy to your garden – and an affordable option, too. You can use them along your boundary, garden paths, and around patio or entertainment areas. 

Different types of shrubs grow to different heights, so you’ll want to consider this when making your selection. Taller evergreen shrubs are perfect for adding privacy to your home’s boundaries, while shorter versions are great for anyone looking to add privacy to decking or seating areas. 

Open Up The View

Most people consider their homes and gardens as separate spaces. However, the trick is to merge them together as one. This way, you can bring more nature into your home and comfort to your garden. 

But how do you do this? The best way is to install a string of bi-folding doors to the rear of your property so that you increase the size of the interface between indoor and outdoor areas. The best solutions are those that run along the entire rear of the house. 

The more you open up your views from the interior, the more connected to your garden you will feel. Even if it is too cold to go out in winter, you can still enjoy it through the glass. 

Add A Larger Shed

Chances are if you have a small garden shed, it is full to the brim with stuff, so much so that you can hardly use it. 

The trick here, as you might guess, is to add a larger shed. The more storage space you have in your garden for things like lawnmowers, the less clutter you’ll have. 

If you’re planning on building a large shed, make sure that you construct a concrete foundation first. This way, you’ll avoid rot and, when the shed does finally come to the end of its life, its replacement will also last a long time. 

Be More Mindful Of The Plants You Plant

Functional gardens should look beautiful in all seasons. However, many gardens only come alive in the spring or summer for a few months before wilting away. 

The trick here is to plant a mix of flowers in your beds so that new plants come up as old ones recede and die off. This way, you can have a beautiful yard year-round, not just for a couple of months of the year. 

Add More Deck

Decking is a wonderful alternative to a patio and helps on properties where the garden slopes downwards away from the main home. When constructing decking, build roof features into the design. Make sure that you have plenty of shaded areas so that people can spend more time outdoors. 

Also, utilise the space under the decking for extra storage. Here, you can place large chests for garden supplies, outdoor games equipment, and extra seating. 

So, there you have it: some of the ways to make your garden more functional. Which will you try in your home?