How to Design a Contemporary Family Garden

A contemporary garden is something that many homeowners aspire to, however this can be difficult when you have a family especially with small children who want to enjoy the open space. Getting the right balance of a practical garden that is suitable for children to play in, combined with a stylish, modern design can sometimes be a challenge. Now that Spring has arrived you may be looking to plan a redesign for your garden later on in the season. We have put together some ideas in this guide which will hopefully inspire you to create your own modern garden that is also suitable for all the family to enjoy.

Define Spaces in your Garden

Introduce decking or paving into your garden. Decking provides a sturdy surface for children to play on and it can also help to keep them off your lawn. Decking also creates a wonderful contrast in your garden especially if your space is currently dominated by grass. Garden decking is beautiful in Summer months as it is perfect for garden furniture therefore you can enjoy outdoor dining and endless hours relaxing in your garden. The huge benefit to wooden decking is that it is extremely low maintenance. There is the option however to become creative and introduce some wonderful pots and planters to your decking area.  Pots and planters are available in a wide range of sizes and designs and offer an elegant, contemporary feel to your garden. At Gravelmaster we stock environmentally friendly fibre clay plant pots in a range of sizes. These would blend naturally into any garden design.

Design VS Practicality:

The trick with a family garden is to get the right balance of style along with practicality. After all a garden not only needs to look aesthetically good, it also needs to be enjoyed by your family. To create this we recommend a variety of surfaces and materials, grass more often than not provides the basic for most gardens however if you have the space playbark is fantastic. If you have climbing frames or other activities for children changing the surface from grass to playbark or rubber chippings will not only create a safer surface it will also offer a wonderful alternative to grass. This contrast in surfaces and textures can help add character to your garden and will contribute to achieving a modern look. 

Plant for Interest and Low Maintenance:

Not forgetting the plants, introducing plants into your garden is very important. Plants can help to add interest, shade and even a food source. A major advantage to flowers is that they can instantly help brighten up your garden with the huge variation in colours available. Of course the flowers you select is essential, if you are looking to achieve a contemporary garden style we would recommend the following plants:• Black Bamboo
• Lily Turf
• Blue Fescue
• Lavender
• Phormium Cookianum
• Alliums

The chances are if you have a family there may be little time to care for your garden therefore low maintenance plants may be a suitable options. Lots of perennials will look beautiful in your family garden and these are extremely easy to maintain. You should also ensure that you position plants that need the most sunlight in the sunny areas within your garden and plants that love shade in more shaded areas. This will ensure you have little upkeep but your plants will remain healthy.

Make your garden borders easy to care for

As mentioned previously it is all about creating a low maintenance, stylish garden. If you haven’t already we would recommend creating a garden border. Garden borders are a neat and tidy way to showcase your plants. They also add charm to your garden and can easily break up your garden design. There are lots of handy tricks that you can work into your garden design at this stage saving you time in the future. Edging your borders will save you immense amounts of time as you are not required to continually trim them with shears when they become overgrown. Mulching your garden border won’t just keep them looking beautiful and tidy but it will also help to protect your plants from harsh weather like wind and rain. Mulch can also keep your soil healthy and retain its moisture. Mulch is also perfect for inhibiting weed growth, this is only if it is applied over a weed resistant barrier. We would highly recommend this as it will save you time all year round.

There are many materials that can be used for mulching your borders and if you are looking to create a contemporary design the materials listed below would be ideal: 

Crushed Slate- Crushed slate chippings, offer chic, attractive shapes that are perfect for adding a touch of style to any garden. At Gravelmaster our crushed slate chippings are available in Plum, Green, Blue and Grey, offering a range of colours that will complement your current garden design.

Pebbles- Pebbles can add an elegant look to your garden, available in a range of different sizes and designs. Polar White Pebbles would offer a simplistic look, or perhaps if you were feeling more creative Flamingo Pebbles would add character and a great way of introducing colour to your border.

Decorative Gravel – Decorative gravel gives you flexibility as there are many different types available in a wide range of colours. If you were to opt for contemporary plants a simple Cotswold Chipping will help create a modern stylish design. However if you wanted to create a focal point you could use a stunning Golden Gravel that would reflect the light beautifully.

We hope that this guide can offer you some inspiration on planning your own contemporary family garden design. The important factor to remember is that you achieve the right balance of modern style combined with practicality. We love receiving customer photographs so please feel free to send us pictures to of your own garden.