It’s not unusual or unheard of to zone the spaces of our interior, to create areas within the rooms of our home that have a specific function. An open plan kitchen is a great example, when you’re designing an open plan living space you will design areas dedicated for cooking, eating, relaxing. It creates an organised space, a room that feels more interesting and intimate and that flows. And you can apply these exact same rules to your outdoor space.
Below you will find my guide to the different areas you may want to consider for your garden. It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or large garden, you will have the space for different zones and you can tailor it depending on what’s most important to you and how you enjoy using your garden.
A place to eat
I think that dining al fresco is top of everyones list come the summer months so consider investing in a table and chairs that you can use to enjoy dining with friends and family. Consider the location of your dining area and whether there is natural shade for daytime dining, or perhaps you need a sunshade too. Do you have a garden large enough to have more than one set so depending on the time of day you can choose where to sit and enjoy the great outdoors. During the day you may want to enjoy a simple patio set in the sunshine but come the evening you might want to be in a more intimate setting, a pergola filled with lights. The possibilities are endless. But ask yourself when you will use the table most and for what purpose and you can build your design around this.
A table for two
In our garden we have a large table for everyone to gather and enjoy dinner but also a small table for two by the kitchen doors. This is perfect for those sunny mornings, when you want to enjoy a coffee in the sunshine or a quick and simple lunch that doesn’t require a whole table with vast space between you and your loved one(s). What I love about this idea is that it’s not expensive to invest in a small table and chair set for two and it doesn’t take up very much space. I find that we get to enjoy being in the garden for lunch or dinner or just a drink much more because it’s much closer to the house and it’s simple and easy to enjoy.
Somewhere to cook
Whether you have space for an outdoor kitchen or a small garden with room for a BBQ, the rules are the same. Create an area dedicated to cooking that’s close enough to both your kitchen and outdoor dining space. By positioning your cooking area in the right location you’ll save lots of walking between areas and will be much closer to everything you need, as well as still being part of the conversation. Give some thought to where you’ll keep BBQ utensils while you’re cooking, do you want somewhere to do food prep outside and anything else you may need, a place to rest meat? It doesn’t need to be extravagant, merely well thought out to save space, feel more organised and enjoy cooking in the garden.
Somewhere to relax
It may be a humble deckchair, perhaps a couple of armchairs or even a full outdoor sofa set but creating an outdoor living space will give you space to sit and relax. Somewhere to read, somewhere to enjoy an afternoon drink in comfort or somewhere to retreat to after dinner when you’re not quite ready to call it a night and head inside. Add some cushions for extra comfort and some lights and blankets to enjoy in the evening.
Grow your own
With more people trying their hand at growing their own perhaps you want to consider an area for this too. We are extremely lucky as we have a vegetable patch in our garden but not everyone has the room or wants to maintain a large veg patch. If this is the case but you still want to grow your own fruit and veg you don’t need lots of room or time. You can use planters to grow veg that don’t need lots of growing space but also double as a garden display, such as lettuce, radishes, beetroot, carrots, strawberries, all of which are easy for first time growers too or grow vertically, tomatoes and peas.
A garden should be somewhere you can breathe and relax so create spaces that will help you do just this, spaces to encourage you into the great outdoors with ease, spaces that will help you grow.
And if you’re thinking about inviting friends and family to enjoy your new living space outside, you might like this post too: Quick tips for garden entertaining.