Contemporary Gardens

Contemporary Gardens

The term 'contemporary style' is difficult to define, but is a useful term for drawing together the many different strands in garden design thinking, from the Bauhaus in the 1920s to the present day. Style has little to do with fashion, which is a temporary thing, but the best contemporary gardens reflect the particular lifestyles of their owners and capture the mood of society at a particular time.

Some of the best contemporary gardens have been created by professional landscape architects, a role which allows for cross-fertilisation of ideas with other professions such as graphic artists, architects, fabric designers and a wealth of other disciplines, all at the forefront of current ideas. Garden design should be an ever-changing art form; the most successful contemporary designs embrace that philosophy to the full.

Modern designers look to create landscapes that not only reflect the surroundings but also include a far wider variety of plant material. Form and texture of foliage are as important in a contemporary garden as flower colour, and the current trend is to merge this into a simple hard landscape that bases itself on the geometry of the building, and then flows into and integrates with the wider landscape setting.

A number of designers are also exploring the uses of materials that are common in other industries but not in the garden, such as polyester for fencing or plastic for flooring.

However, the contemporary garden style is not to everyone's taste, and the minimalist approach in particular will not appeal to those who enjoy growing a wide and varied range of plants.