Modern garden design ideas & pictures

What are the features of modern gardens?

Unlike natural gardens, modern gardens are characterised by straight lines, minimalism and elegance. When you’re creating your own modern garden, keep the following in mind:

·         Modern gardens follow an uncomplicated design and are created with natural materials.

·         No unnecessary pieces or overly embellished items are welcome in a modern garden.

·         Modern gardens are designed to be orderly and functional.

·         Integration with the architecture of the house as well as with the other elements in the façade is an essential part of modern garden design.

·         Furniture, plants, structures and other décor details play a significant role in the configuration of a modern garden.

What types of plants are most suitable for a modern garden?

The main purpose of any garden is to showcase nature, which means a bit of planning is vital when it comes to the plants and flowers of your modern garden. The following options are ideal:

·         Bamboo and tall grasses: These plants are distinguished by their cylindrical geometry and some of them bloom seasonally, adding beauty to the garden. They are perfect for a minimalist garden as well.

·         Ferns: Easy to maintain and ideal for vertical gardens.  

·         Plants with striking foliage: Since the modern style doesn’t go overboard with decorations, it should use natural colours, shapes and textures for beauty.

·         Grass: Simple grass kept short and neat can make a huge difference to any garden, especially the modern one where order and neatness are prioritised.

·         Flowers: Although flowers play a secondary role in modern gardens, you don’t have to exclude them. Flowers with long stems (like lilies, iris and hyacinths) are ideal.

Keep in mind the type of weather in your area when picking out plants (hail, wind, arid, etc.). Be sure to consult with a gardenerlandscape architect, or a worker at your local nursery about which types of plants/flowers are more suited for your modern garden. 

What materials should I use for a modern garden?

A modern garden should be simple but elegant, so importance should be given to the materials used in it. You will come across a choice of materials such as concrete, ceramics and stone in several types. Gravel is another material that is commonly used to pave areas in the garden to provide a contrast of shapes and textures without disturbing the sober colour palette. Bricks and wood are also commonly included to add some warmth.

What type of furniture is best for a modern garden?

Your modern garden’s furniture needs to match the architectural style. Opt for pieces with straight and simple lines, neutral colours, and natural materials (such as rattan, wicker and wood). And be sure to use pieces that are practical and will be used, not just take up vital space.

Remember that comfort is vital for any garden, seeing as you’ll be needing seating/lounging spots for relaxation or socialising.

What are the essential decorative elements in a modern garden?

Although you shouldn’t use too many decorative pieces, your modern garden can still showcase a few beautiful items. But always include a focal feature point that stands out from the rest.

·         Water:  You can add a fountain, a garden pond, and if possible, a swimming pool. Although one with sharp and rigid lines can fit in nicely, a curved one can also create contrast with the modern design.

·         Art: Sculptures can add sophistication to your outdoor space.

·         Other decorative objects: Other wooden or concrete elements such as pergolas, bridges and planters can be used to enhance the modern style, but never resort to a cluttered look. 

How important is lighting in a modern garden?

Adding lighting to a garden is for both beauty and practical purposes, seeing as it can be the ideal spot to socialise/relax in after dark in the summertime. We recommend LED lights, as they not only add magical illumination to any space (indoors and outside), but are available in a multitude of colours and designs, and definitely make a difference to your electricity usage.

Be sure to include a few LED pieces along your garden pathway (if relevant) to make your garden come alive at night.

Installing a few mirrors or reflectors can also create an otherworldly ambience while helping to spread the light around.

What colours are suitable in modern gardens?

While natural and rustic gardens might opt for loud and vibrant hues, the modern style prefers a much subtler approach: soft neutrals are ideal for creating a light and sophisticated design. This pertains to not only your garden furniture and decorative pieces, but also any architectural designs you want to include, such as a braai, patio or pergola.

Remember that those neutral hues (whites, off-whites, greys, browns, etc.) will also offset with the natural greens of your modern garden, creating a nice visual contrast while adding a touch of elegance.