River House contemporary glazed pavilion home

By Mark Latchford

Capturing the View in Garden Design

Although in summer we long to spend as much time as possible outside, across the whole year we spend far more time viewing our garden from within our homes, rather than actually being outside and appreciating the views first-hand.  It’s known in the landscape design world that in fact glancing out a window while opening the curtains in the morning or looking up from chores in the kitchen is estimated to take up 70% of our experience of our garden.

As such, considering how the space looks from these angles should be an important part of the planning process in a garden design project.

Minimally framed oversized glass link modern new build country home
Innovative riverside modern new build home with cantilevered elements

Your garden views should be focused to look inviting whilst also engendering feelings of wellbeing and calm as it draws your vision outside and connects you to nature.  There are many ways to achieve this, all of which centre around guiding your eye out.  It’s worth thinking about how your garden will look across the seasons – if you always want to look out on colour, choose a planting scheme that means there will be a changing range of shrubs in bloom.

Listed heritage country homes architect
Summer planting schemes cottage garden landscaping design
Modern family garden design

Your garden views should be focused to look inviting whilst also engendering feelings of wellbeing and calm as it draws your vision outside and connects you to nature.  There are many ways to achieve this, all of which centre around guiding your eye out.  It’s worth thinking about how your garden will look across the seasons – if you always want to look out on colour, choose a planting scheme that means there will be a changing range of shrubs in bloom.

Japanese green planting garden design family home
Contemporary surrey kitchen games room renovation
Chic london aesthetic living room renovation interior design

Sculptures, water features and specimen trees are all elements that can be used to create focal points, capturing key views from the house.  In the project below, we designed a water rill that mirrors the symmetry and clean lines of the new extension at the rear of the house.

The rill lines up with the ground floor home office, creating a soft and tranquil view from the desk. In another project, we introduced a corten steel water bowl overlooking the view across the lawn, which provides a soothing sound as the water gently cascades down the sides of the bowl.

Garden design water features

Another method is to create a sense of cohesion between the interior and outdoor living spaces, blurring the boundaries between our indoor-lead lifestyles and the nature outside.

We went for an intimate feel in the design of this garden and extension below, using large glass patio doors to create a direct sight-line into the green outdoor space from multiple angles within the home. A sculpture was placed at the very centre of this main viewpoint, creating a coherent focal point within the design that can be seen from the front door through the whole of the ground floor.

Choosing a lush, verdant green planting scheme is a great way to reconnect with nature. The human eye is able to detect more distinct shades of green than any other colour on the spectrum, meaning that subtle hues can be balanced and contrasted for a refreshing and calming effect. For this project, the result was an almost seamless merging of the two spaces, with each living space enjoying a sense of seclusion and nature-led surrounds.

Japanese green planting garden design family home

Stepping stone paths draw your eye out into the garden. The light stone contrasts with shades of green shrubs, and can be used to good effect in a contemporary outdoor spaces.

Garden lighting is another way to bring the garden ‘in’ and extend your living spaces out at night. Uplights are a useful and often dramatic technique used for highlighting the focal points in your garden. Usually situated at ground level, these upward-facing lights can be orientated at the architectural or planting features or used to add contrast to flat surfaces like walls and fences. As more projects complete soon, we’ll bring you photos showing other features of landscape design zoning and lighting.

Japanese style garden design

What’s Next?

We provide Landscape Design services throughout London, Surrey, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and the Cotswolds.

If you need a garden design to extend your outdoor living space, or if you have finished the hard landscaping and need to transform the area with planting, we can work with you to create an outdoor space that seamlessly links with your property, sits well within the landscape and will be truly unique to you.

Contact us for an initial chat about your project and we can discuss the various options or read more about our Landscape Design Services.