My name is Lisa Orgler and I love teaching garden design in a fun and simple way. Click here to learn more.

Theme Garden Design Process: Hardscapes

Theme Garden Design Process: Hardscapes


1. Pick a theme

2. Brainstorm

3. Research

4. Translate to physical form (I'll cover colors below!)

  • colors
  • structure
  • hardscapes (I'll cover this below!)
  • furniture
  • ornamentation
  • plant materials

5. Create the plan


Hardscape typically include non-living permanent materials.  These can include paving, arbors, pergolas, walls, trellises, fences, gazebos, and whatever other garden architecture you can dream up.

Try to think in three dimensions when considering hardscapes, since you are creating a garden space.  An easy way to conceptualize this is in terms of a floor, walls, and ceiling.

Take a shape or two from our last post on garden structure and try converting those to a hardscape element, plus think about how our colors can be translated to a hardscape material.

Let's start with the garden floor (paving, for instance).  For fun, let's take the idea of knitted cables.  When I look at a pattern like this, it makes me think of a herringbone brick design.  I also explored other knitting patterns popular in fisherman sweaters, then attempted to create additional options below.  

Now let's think about the walls in your garden. Walls can take many forms including freestanding walls, retaining walls, fences, the sides of a building, or even plant materials.  I've included two wall designs below, though there are endless possibilities.  An additional idea that was shared with me several times was a knitted fence like the one found here, but a reader did caution about birds potentially getting caught in it.  A solution might be larger openings or replicating the knitting pattern in metal. I thought you might enjoy a photograph of the dry laid stone wall below too by clicking here

There are also lots of options for ceilings in your garden (including none and just enjoying the sky). I've included just one example of how we could incorporate our theme into an overhead structure. This lovely design reminded me of a ball of yarn.  You can find the original image here. Other ideas included canopies that had a woven design like the one in this photograph.

I could go on and on with hardscapes inspired by the knitting theme! Again, take a look at our brainstorming and research lists and let me know if you think of other fabulous ideas.

In my next post I'll discuss how to choose furniture for our knitting garden. Until then, you're invited to peek at my KNITTING GARDEN PINTEREST BOARD where I collect images that inspire many of my design choices like the ones above. 

 You can pick up this whole process in my free eBook by signing up for my design updates.

Theme Garden Design Process: Furniture

Theme Garden Design Process: Furniture

Theme Garden Design Process: Structure

Theme Garden Design Process: Structure