2016 is the year of the nook. As more and more people seek solace from the unending stream of digital information infiltrating their lives, quiet places where one can ‘escape’ and ‘switch off’ are becoming more common both indoors and out. This week, we take a look at this garden landscaping phenomenon and run through the five essential ingredients of a garden nook.
1. Comfortable furniture
If you’re going to design a secluded spot where you can escape from the world for a few hours, then comfortable seating or lounging arrangements are a must. Nook seating can be as simple or as complex as you like; choose a simple timber lounge or create an elaborate little shelter that’s the adult equivalent of a tree house or cubby.
2. A ‘hidden’ feel
The definition of nook is ‘a secluded or sheltered place, a retreat’, so having it hidden away from the view of the main house is crucial to giving it that escapist feel. Screening such as a trellis covered in vines, or tall foliage which is layered to create a dense, living wall is the best way to achieve this.
3. A winding pathway
A nook is an extension of your outdoor living space, and it’s important to define it from the rest of the garden with paving and a path leading up to it. Aggregate concrete is ideal for this purpose as it’s subtle, natural appearance will easily integrate with the existing landscape of your yard.
4. A feature plant or ornament
All the best garden nooks have a central feature to define them, and make them feel special from other parts of the garden. Water features are a perennially popular option as they encourage contemplation and relaxation, but you might choose to express yourself with quirky garden ornaments, or a cluster of potted plants.
5. Shade and shelter
The Australian climate is harsh, but you’ll want to be able to enjoy your nook during all seasons, so some form of shade or shelter is a must. Plants are the easiest way to create shade, and the quickest and easiest way to to create a lush canopy of green is with a garden arch and some climbers.
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