The Pop-Up Garden: Creating Garden Rooms

illustration of table and chairs on patio

When you walk through a fabulous garden, do you ever wonder why you're so intrigued with it? Maybe its because that garden was successfully organized into lovely rooms. Each room has its own focus such as a place to dine, a lawn to play croquet, a quiet reading nook, a beautiful area to dry laundry, or a garden to grow vegetables. These rooms (as in your home) are composed of a floor, walls and ceiling. As you design your garden, think in these terms for the start of great spaces. Below I've described each of these garden room components, then I've included a pop-up garden template and video so you can design your own outdoor room.


When designing your garden think about what you'd like to be standing on. Is it lawn, brick, gravel, stone, wood, or moss? What activities will take place on this surface? Eating, playing, resting, or are you just passing through? Brainstorm a list of possible materials, textures, and colors that could be used on your garden floor.  


What is happening on the walls of your garden? The walls can be very powerful, since they have the authority to create lovely, unique, and comfortable space. Traditional walls could include a fence, hedge, perennial border, trellis, brick wall or even the side of your house or garage. What other elements could be used as a wall in the garden? Perhaps an old window, glass blocks, tree trunks, free standing vine structures and the list is as endless as our imagination. Walls can be 12" or taller.  They do not have to be tall.  Their main purpose is to give your room a defined edge and hopefully make it feel like it's own space.


Once you've established the floor and walls, think about how you can add sparkle to the ceiling. In most cases your garden room will simply be open to the sky. Though, if you'd like more enclosure to provide shade, shelter or added comfort think about how a third plane above can provide that special touch. Some typical garden ceilings include tree canopies, arbors, pergolas, tents, and umbrellas. How can you add extra touches to these ceilings? Think about dangling lights, weaving fabric through wood structures, and criss-crossing brightly colored banners.


To design your own garden room, cut out the template below.  It will allow you to dream up a garden floor, walls and ceiling for your outdoor space. Create one or several designs. This is a great activity for adults and children. Just click on the image below and it will generate a .pdf that you can print out.


I've also created a video so you can see how I used the template above to design my own garden room. And it doesn't end there.  I'm always adding to my garden planes board on Pinterest too. Just click here for a peek. Enjoy!


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Let's do this!