Whether you had a rough day at work and need some alone time or you simply can’t stand being inside the house all the time, having a small, secluded spot where you can sit just back and unwind sounds almost too good to be true. This is where secret gardens come in, as they offer a place where you can relax and enjoy some quality time alone of with some friends, without having to worry about prying eyes. Here are some tips you can use to make your own little piece of paradise, right in your backyard.
Find the perfect spot
What most people fail to realize is that secret gardens don’t require that much space. In fact, you need just enough room to fit a small, comfy chair, a couple of plants and a few hedges. Pick a spot which makes you feel comfortable and offers some level of privacy. Instead of simply looking around, grab a chair and have a seat, a change of perspective might be helpful. Don’t worry if you don’t have a secluded area in your backyard, you can always grow one with a line of shrubs or fir trees. Alternatively, you can always build and install a pergola and make your secret garden a little bit more formal.
Surround your secret garden with hedges
If you have the time and resources, you should start your garden off with some hedges and similar bushes. They grow rather quickly and offer some additional privacy from prying eyes. There are numerous types of hedges, but the most popular choices have to be Hawthorn and Alpine currant. Both of these plants provide flowers in the spring and berries during autumn in order to attract the birds. Just be careful with Hawthorne. As the name implies, it really does grow thorns. If hedges aren’t your thing, then bamboo might be your best choice, as long as you make sure it doesn’t overtake the other plants.
Embellish your garden with some hardscape
You can use rocky landscapes to make your secret garden feel enclosed and even more secretive. Don’t use small rocks and instead, use those who are big enough for plantings to climb over them. The ideal size for that is around 8 inches, give or take an inch. If you’re having a hard time finding just the right rock for your secret garden, then you should check out your local garden supply stores, as most of them offer some kind of decorative rocks for the garden.
Add plantings to complement the hardscape
Once you’ve found just the right rocks and placed them in position, the next step is to add some plantings such as creeping violets and ground ivy. You should plant them in such a way that they spill over the hardscape. Although these two are ideal ground covers, they are aggressive plants and will quickly spread out if not maintained regularly. Have in mind that ground ivy looks awfully similar to henbit and purple deadnettle, so pay close attention so you don’t mix them up.
Create a path leading to your garden
One of the best ways to emulate the feeling of entering a completely different space is to add a flagstone path which leads to your secret garden. For an added effect of moving through different spaces, you can always combine a trellis with some climbing flowers such as honeysuckle and morning glory. All those plants will require constant watering and a simple plastic hose can ruin the subtle beauty of your secret garden. If you’re investing only in the best plantings, hedges, and materials, you can invest in the best garden hoses as well. Just because it’s a hose, doesn’t mean that it can’t look appropriate to its surroundings.
Finally, complete your secret little garden with some scented plants. The most popular choices are jasmine, hyacinths, lilacs, sweet pea and roses. Or you could add a stone birdbath and help keep our feathered little friends fresh during the hot summer months. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, you can decorate your secret garden with a water fountain. The possibilities are endless and as this is a kind of job which can easily be accomplished during the weekend, the only real constraint here is your budget.