For the September 2023 issue of Pro Landscaper, James was invited to write an article regarding the current trends in garden design. The article titled ‘Nailing The Garden Building’ discusses how to get the best out of your garden that is going to have an garden building included. 

For further reading please view below to read the article.

Since lockdown occurred and more and more people are still enjoying working from home outdoor buildings have been becoming increasingly popular within garden designs. More and more of our clients at The Landscape Service are looking to have that inside outside feel when it comes to their gardens and outdoor buildings are another great way to extend the property into the garden.

It is important when discussing the brief with your client to work out what the intended use of the outdoor building is going to be as this is going to have a huge implication on how the building is going to connect with the designed space.

In designs the outdoor building is either going to be seen as the focal point of the garden or is going to be that secret element that is hidden away by carefully thought-out planting. This does also depend on the size of the garden and outdoor building. Typically, if the garden is going to be used as a garden bar, summer room or even a playroom it should have easy simple links with the existing property but still maintaining a journey through the garden.

A garden room to be used as an office should have two considerations when designing this feature in a garden. Should it be located close to the house for practicality and ease? Or should it be located at the end of the garden in its own private garden, making the client go on a journey?

The location of the outdoor building depends on the orientation of the garden. When designing a garden without an outdoor building, you look to position the main function spaces where they are going to get the most sunlight. The positioning of the outdoor building needs to be thought of in the same way.

Look at incorporating the outdoor building to have its windows and doors on the South and Westerly elevations to utilise as much sunlight as possible. Not only will it make the space feel brighter to be in, but it will also help heat the building through natural heat.

Views are an important aspect to consider when designing a garden as well as an outdoor building. Typically, when designing a garden, you think carefully about what the views out of the property are going to be when viewing the garden from inside to outside. If your client wants an outdoor building, you are also going to have to think about the impact of the views in all directions and what impact this is going to have.

If the site posses’ coastal views, then aim to have the outdoor building utilise these views and design it in a location that also doesn’t obstruct the coastal views from the property. It is the same for a woodland garden, aim to have the outdoor building utilise its surroundings. Even if the desired space is not either of these locations you can still create a focal point of the outdoor building.                                                                                           

Like gardens, these outdoor buildings are to be used during the evenings. It is always good to consider the impact of the outdoor building when at night. With lighting, less is always more. Have subtle lighting highlighting the surrounding areas as well as the path leading to and from the designated area.