Landscaped design elements are meant to reflect and relate to your space as a whole, bringing the interiors and exteriors together in harmony. What’s even more important, however, is how you feel when you’re outside, in your garden, on the patio or terrace. Intelligent landscaping should be able to impact your senses – visually, aurally and kinaesthetically – in a way that influences how you use your outdoor space. These essential tips will help create a garden that will stimulate all your senses.
AUDITORY DESIGN FACTORS
- The sound of babbling water brings the beauty of nature into your home and can have a peaceful and relaxing effect. Having a water feature by the entrance to your home or garden, on a pathway or near al fresco seating and dining areas can add charm and atmosphere.
- If your villa is near a busy road the sound of traffic may be an unwanted noise. A water feature with spouts and bubblers can help to cut traffic noise.
- Wind chimes gently swaying in the breeze can create a pleasing sound. Feng Shui experts recommend using wind chimes if you want to enhance the energy around your garden.
VISUAL LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS
- The brighter colours of plants, flowers and grass come alive when the materials used for the façade of your property, paving, planter boxes and other features (such as furniture) are in more neutral colours, allowing the vibrant fauna to stand out.
- Levels play a significant role in any garden, creating different zones and influencing how you view these areas. Raised or sunken levels provide space for seating and entertainment areas, or a swimming pool. However, be aware that too many levels can hamper the flow of the garden.
- Elevated structures like a pergola or gazebo can have a big impact on a garden. Install them close enough to your house for easy access to the kitchen, which will be useful when you’re entertaining, yet not so close that the structure blocks your outlook when you’re inside the house. Alternatively, installing a pergola that’s attached to the house, extending above the windows at heights of 2.8 to 3.2 metres, can be a practical option as you won’t see the roof.
- Murraya jasmine makes a beautiful dense hedge up to two metres in height and can be trimmed. Planting this along pathway walls is a nice way to conceal tall boundary walls.
- Material selection is very important to get right, as it not only impacts your senses visually but also tactilely.
- If you walk around your garden barefoot, perhaps stepping out from a swimming pool or a Jacuzzi, having a therma-wood or composite wood flooring is nicer for your feet than stone or porcelain tiles which are harder and can be rougher.
- Porcelain tiles for pathways, stepping stones, patios and decking are easy to install and maintain as they are not affected by the heat and weather, like natural wood is.
- The look and feel of brushed travertine, flamed granite and sand-blasted limestone has a naturally rough surface, kind of pockmarked, and can be a tactile material to use on paving and walls, inviting touch which can aid directional flow around your outdoor space.
- These materials are suitable for landings, steps and risers as they are available in anti-slip surfaces, providing necessary safety. You’ll find 3cm-thick flamed granite and 2cm-thick porcelain can be used in driveways as they are non-slip and suitable for heavy, moving loads like cars.
- Our sense of smell can be heighted through the natural fragrances of plants and flowers. Plants that are wonderfully fragrant and grow well in the UAE climate include murraya paniculata or orange jasmine, jasmine sambac, jasmine creeper, quisqualis indica or rangoon creeper, plumeria trees, lemon trees, basil and rosemary.
- Growing your own herbs, fruits and vegetables not only makes the food you cook taste fresher and better, but these plants will add enticing, mouthwatering natural fragrances to your garden when you cook or eat outside.