Tips to Design a Mini Outdoor Space
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax or entertain a few friends, a private garden nook can provide the perfect escape in your own backyard. In small gardens, nooks serve as focal points and inviting destinations and, in large gardens, they function as a second seating area, perfect for enjoying a quiet moment to yourself.
Here’s how to choose a spot for a nook and some design tips.
1. Choose the right spot for a nook.
To create an intimate nook-like seating area, look for sites in the garden that feel secluded and somewhat enclosed. Alcoves created by hedges, walls and fences, or an area under a large shade tree, are good bets for placing a small seating area. In small gardens and narrow rectangular lots, position chairs so they are nestled in a corner or backed by a wall, hedge or large potted plants and oriented to look outward. This arrangement will provide a nook-like feeling of privacy and security.
2. Keep furniture flexible.
Areas of a garden that feel like inviting nooks can change both with the seasons and the time of day. To avoid limiting your options, use easy-to-move furniture, like lightweight chairs, to be able to easily change the position and arrangement of your seating nook.
3. Lay a dreamy walkway.
Make the route to the seating nook feel like a magical journey by laying stepping stones surrounded by soft ground covers and planting lush foliage plants and fragrant blooms close by, so you might catch a hint on your walk. Depending on what time of day you plan on using the space, subtle outdoor lighting can add the final romantic touch to evening destinations.
4. Screen for privacy.
Nothing ruins the feeling of a secret hideaway like being able to see straight into a neighbor’s house from your seating nook. Increase privacy by using fencing, walls or strategic planting to cover at least two sides of a nook.
Bamboo is a great choice for small gardens in need of quick cover. The plant grows faster than almost any other, and its skinny, upright form doesn’t take up too much floor space in a small area.
5. Add a ceiling.
Depending on climate, protection from rain and wind in the winter or sun in the summer can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your outdoor seating nook. Choose among shade sails, pergolas or a waterproof awning, depending on what you need. Even if it’s not necessary from a climate perspective, seating areas can benefit from a ceiling to give them the appealing feeling of being tucked in under a structure, looking out at the garden.
6. Surround with greenery.
Surrounding a garden nook with foliage plants not only helps with privacy and makes the space feel more like a secret garden, it also ups your chances of being right up close to wild birds visiting your garden.