Mexican architect Luis Barragán once remarked, "A garden must combine the poetic and the mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy." If you're in search of inspiration for your outdoor space, take a leaf out of his book with our guide to the latest landscaping trends.
Design a garden you can socialise in all year around. Create a welcoming area for guests by arranging a rattan sofa and chairs around a granite fire pit – a setup that will take you from afternoon tea parties to evening cocktails, even during cooler months.
If you live in an area with higher than average rainfall, a Scandinavian-style wooden cabin with sloping walls and a pointed roof provides a cosy space for entertaining during the wet season.
The green light
Installing lamps on exterior walls or stringing fairy lights across a pavilion are simple ways to transform your garden at night. Portable spike lights can be used to draw attention to seasonal plants or illuminate walkways for outdoor entertaining. Light-up lounge tables are a sophisticated option for evening parties, as are traditional Belvedere or Moorish lanterns hung from trees. Dark green and copper fittings work best as they’ll blend seamlessly into your garden. For effortless control over the atmosphere of your outdoor space, you could even sync smart garden lights up with a phone app.
The trend for vegetable gardens is set to flourish in 2016, and you can still cultivate your own green space if you live in a city. Flowering Japanese apricot trees, for example, are small enough for rooftops or balconies, with the added bonus of bearing attractive double-white petals and an almond scent. Ornamental cabbages in magenta pink or snowy white provide colour and texture with their ruffled rosettes and scalloped leaves. Flowers such as African blue basil not only attract bees to boost your garden’s ecosystem, you can also scatter them on over a garden salad – best enjoyed al fresco out on the decking.
Shrubs that require less water have obvious benefits if you live in a drier climate, but they’re also aesthetically pleasing. Breeds such as California poppies or butterfly flowers areself-seeding and will plant themselves again each spring without the need for frequent care. Mediterranean breeds such as the pink orchid rockrose or the aromatic artemisia herba-alba also thrive in dry and sunny conditions. River pebble paths, rock features and marble sculptures are also unique alternatives to trees and plants, as are the natural gravel gardenstypical of the Greek islands.
If you’re searching for a perfect garden of your own, Engel & Völkers can be of assistance. From fragrant Mediterranean havens to traditional English country cottages, our global portfolio includes a wide range of luxury properties in 36 nations across four continents.