Every landscape needs a design, but where do we get our ideas? We can search the yards around us, but sometimes it helps to look indoors. It may seem counterintuitive, but contemporary interior design offers many beautiful motifs that can be applied outside. The result? A more homely and inviting exterior that jives with the style inside your home.
With the right plant combinations, you can create a contemporary style in your landscape. Here are our top choices!
Soothing Neutral Colours
They may sound boring, but neutral colours are some of the most popular and enduring contemporary interior design elements. They offer clean comfort, coziness, and mindful reprieve from a busy world. Neutrals often give up the spotlight to brighter elements but are the main characters of contemporary interior design. Three plants that bring neutral colour motifs into the garden are:
- Limelight Hydrangea: these shrubs offer big panicles of ivory petals that bloom from summer into the fall. The satin texture of the flowers brings elegance and silkiness to the whole garden.
- Karl Foerster Reed Grass: this tall grass ripens into a grand display of golden grains, and also turn amber in the late summer and keep up the display throughout the winter.
- Bridal Veil Astilbe: these perennials bloom with dazzling white flowers that have the texture of a wedding dress. They’ll bring home the neutral motif in beautiful tufts around your understory.
Comforting Cool Blues
Blue is somewhat of a rarity in the garden, yet it’s a key feature of contemporary interior design. For a style that emphasizes thoughtfulness, simplicity and a feeling of “everything in its place,” blue is a key player. Standing out amidst the neutral colours but not stealing your attention, blue offers constant comfort and gives a greater depth of beauty to everything around it. Our favourite blue plants include:
- Blue Fescue: these mesmerizing tussocks of blue grass are beautiful all summer. When the grains ripen, they bring a beige and blue zest to the garden.
- Little Bluestem: this native grass has burgundy-blue grains that shift colour as the sunlight moves throughout the day. The finely textured mounds reach 2-3 feet in height and turn mahogany in the fall.
- Ornamental Blue Spruce: this companion of four seasons brings blue needles to the landscape year-round. Both the weeping and the regular varieties are colourful and highly textured elements in any landscape.
Texture in the Shade
Texture is another player in contemporary interior design. Textured rugs, stonework, and furniture bring visual interest to a room. Plus, they go beyond optics and play on our sense of touch. Dark features are another contemporary motif, which contrasts nicely with light neutral colours. In the garden, you can play on both motifs with these shade-loving, textured plants:
- Painted Fern: they’ll brighten your shade with dazzling silver-purple fronds. With no flowers, the leaves alone are a treasure in your design.
- Coral Bell: their colourful leaves are like pastel portraits growing in your garden. Burgundy coral bells work exceptionally well with the painted ferns. With the two of them, your shade will never be dark.
- Blue Angel Hosta: here’s a beautiful blue plant that grows in the shade and shoots up tall stems of bell-shaped flowers. It’s a staple in the shade garden and plays nicely with all three colour motifs.
The beauty of contemporary design is that it is current, flexible, living, and yet-to-be-determined. It can borrow from many other designs, and anyone can contribute to it. In the garden, it’s your plants that make the design come to life, but it’s up to you how to arrange them!