How to design your yard in Bulgaria
People do not pay enough attention to their yards’ design very often. They probably think that two paved paths, a few evergreen shrubs, some pretty seasonal flowers – and voila – the yard is ready. But a beautiful yard is far more than two paths and shrubs. Just think how much time you spend there during summer, quite a lot actually. So a well arranged yard full of greenery no doubt will bring you piece and joy and will make you feel proud of what you have created.
Otherwise said the yard is like a puzzle that requires careful setting and much patience. Imagine a puzzle – you spill its elements but they themselves do not form anything. You have to set all the elements on their right places to be able to see the entire picture. If you already have your own “picture” we can help you make it real – much more colorful and unique. We will try to explain in brief how to design a yard on your own just follow these tips and you will have it beautifully arranged. If you do have ideas but no courage or enough time leave it to us and we will be pleased to design your yard according to your requirements. If you put your trust in us we guarantee the final result will exceed your expectations.
We can show you many model photos and drafts of paths, platforms, stairs, pavilions, benches, fences, garden lighting, artificial ponds, etc. but without a planning project the result will not be impressive. That is why our explanation on some designing rules is based on the principal “correct-incorrect”. Be aware none of us was born learned but with much desire, lots of love and a little help anyone can create a masterpiece.
The paths in your garden
Paths can be completely informal, or formal, depending on their intended purpose. If a path connects high traffic areas for example if it is to lead from the porch to the entrance door of your house it should be constructed wider, straighter and of solid, more expensive material. The back yard path can be more informal, it is usually narrow, simply designed and of cheaper material. If you wish to place a curb onto the edges of the paths note it has to be unnoticeable.
Paths are not just an element to the yard landscaping. Their purpose is to connect all points of interest such as a unique shrub or plant group. Steps are placed only if the terrain requires it. Aimless placing of steps looks out of place; it is unnecessary and costs money if the terrain is flat. On the contrary if the path has a slant you may place a few steps to “catch” the slope. Be sure not to place them too far apart or too close together and you better form some small groups of steps. They are always odd in number. Length (a) plus double height (h) of the step has to be equal to 60 – 62 cm.
The right size of the steps: ‘а + 2h = 60 сm’
Step’s width is equal to the width of the path. They are constructed from the same type of material used for the paths. If the steps tower over the terrain you may cover their side edges with plants.
Decking areas & Patios
They allow you to maximize outdoor living space by providing a relaxing setting for recreation and entertaining. Usually they are located close to some interesting architectural elements in the yard such as a well, a sculpture, a fountain; around the garden furniture – a bench, a pergola, a summer house or near to frequently visited areas of the yard – BBQ, pond or scenic plant group. They vary in size and shape but all should be in a harmony with the paths’ design. You do not need to place railings on all decks, but many decks look better with railings. Decking area can be constructed from material different from the type of material used for the paths but the flooring has to be solid and flat. Do not locate it in the middle of the yard of close to the house; better use some of the corners of the yard. If the terrain for the deck you choose has a slope you have to construct a support walls to improve the displacement of the area. By means of these support walls consequently horizontal platforms are being constructed. Do not use shiny, expensive and exotic coating for the deck; use more natural materials to be in a harmony with the surrounding area. Trees, shrubs, walls, garden flowers, fences can provide shade in the summer and act as windbreaks in the winter. And finally your deck design should keep the deck in proportion to your house. An oversized deck will minimize a small house, but a tiny deck may look awkward in an expansive yard.
Two things are very important when talking about a fence: to provide privacy and to add a finishing touch to the yard. Sometimes, fence design is driven by function, other times by appearance. The combination of a stylish yard with a solid wall is out of place as well as a traditional rural house with a metal fence. Choose a natural stone, iron or wood and do not try to decorate the fence additionally. Its main purpose is to outline the yard from the surrounding area and to be almost unnoticeable. Anyway you may add some decorative elements that reflect to your personality. A purely decorative fence made of expensive materials is a waste of time and money.
The gate has to be from the same type of material as the decorative parts of the fence. Fences over 2.20 m. are not attractive and do not match to any kind of yards. Hedge or green fence is a very good choice especially for a rural house because this type of fence has a specific charm that mixes well with the typical rural scenery. Do not place the decorative elements too close together but let the yard “breathe”. Never use pieces of glass, pottery or other ceramic items, sculptures, sharp points, wagon wheels, animal figures … unless you wish to win the reward for “the ugliest fence ever”. Follow the advice: “better one less than one more”.
Solid and stylish fence
The wall fountain is never in the centre of the yard. Its location depends on both design and purpose for use: if it is attractively designed it is good to be seen but if it is simple it has to be hidden. If it is to be used for watering, the wall fountain has to be in a close distance to the plants and near the house if possible. It needs flooring to the front and some large plants (shrubs or roses) or some big stones to the back. It should not be placed under a tree or stuck in to the house. Wall fountain is a single architectural element and as such it has to be in a combination with a bench, a deck, a plant group or a sculpture.
It has to be real (functioning) not artificial. It is a very attractive decorative element. Classic well is usually built of stones. Its wooden roof construction is covered with hewn stones or with Turkish tiles. Do not spoil its appearance by placing lamps, power points or cables but keep its original features. Water is the most important for setting its location. If you have the possibility to choose do not place it in the middle of the yards. It is better to be near the house, BBQ or by the fence. You can make the area around the well more attractive if you plant some flowers and shrubs or just place a small wooden bench.
It is a very popular amenity but it is eligible for yards and gardens designed in classical European style. Anyway if you wish to have it first consider the type of fountain depending on your yard’s appearance. Make sure your fountain matches well with your existing landscaping; otherwise it will look out of place no matter how fantastic it is. The reservoir in which the water is contained varies in forms and styles. The only thing that matters is that the fountain head pours the water back into the reservoir. All the rest is as to your imagination. Do not place rubber items (ducks, boats, etc.) into the water. Water lilies can not stand rough waters so better forget about them. Add some finishing touches – plant plants, add decorative bricks or small stones and enjoy your fountain.
Waterfalls are amongst the most delicate water effects in landscaping. The falling water and its sound can add more beauty to your yard than you can imagine. The main point is the placement of the stones. Consider the materials available on site or the most readily available materials in your area. Choose interesting and different in sizes and shapes stones but have in mind they have to be from one rock type. The amount of water that pours down your waterfall garden is important. A big flow is great, but too much can be very noisy and expensive. If the stones are too big the water will tend to flow underneath and can’t be seen. It is much very attractive when the width of the cascade changes downstream. Water plants or other landscaping vegetations can be used around in order to create a good overall balance to the waterfall.
If you wish to have a pond in your yard think whether you could maintain it first. The pond has not to be too small (at least 3sq.m.) in size to be reasonable to build it, but it should be in proportion with the overall size of the garden as well. When considering a pond`s location do not choose a central position. Forget about geometry and symmetry – It is recommended that you try to avoid acute angles as gentle curving shapes look better. Use paving slabs or stone to edge the pond but do not make them the edges too high. As to the depth, it should be 40 cm. at least, if you will plant some water vegetations. You may plant reed, decorative grass, some big flowers or a weeping willow around the pond. Placing a small bench is also a good idea as you will able to have a sit and relax while enjoying the sight.
The rock garden is a specific landscaping element that can be built anywhere in the yard. The usual form of a rock garden is a pile of rocks, large and small, esthetically arranged, and with small gaps between, where the plants will be rooted. Use rocks of one type only and do not mix angular stones with round river stones. They have to be in a same color group and of different sizes; it is easer to arrange them. Place the rocks in a natural position and remember an informal design is most effective, and simplicity is very important. That concerns the plants too – you can plant them in small groups by leaving a space between each group. Avoid the use of large masses of plants with intense colors. Place the lowest plants and shrubs on the upper part of your rock garden and always look for symmetry. And finally do not think that that a pile of rocks means a rock garden, so use your imagination but try to make the design look as natural as possible and the result will be an attractive rocky sculpture.
Garden pond & rock garden
Garden furniture is an integral part of yard’s landscaping. When you choose garden furniture make yourself sure that it will be in a harmony with the style of your house and your garden. Wooden furniture is suitable for yards with lots of blossoming shrubs, colorful plant groups and artistic atmosphere. Garden furniture made of natural materials such as bamboo, cane, rattan is used mainly for small and cozy yards, with exotic plants and natural stone. Furniture made of both wood and fabric is widely used because it is almost universal. Metal garden furniture suits for more formal and geometric designed gardens with evergreen plants. Yards with expensive floorings made of granite, marble, terracotta and planted with rhododendrons, magnolias and other rare plants require designer furniture. The furniture itself can not be placed at random due to the fact it is being used on different occasions (over the weekends, at parties, family gatherings, etc.) and then it is being stored. It is good to be placed on a firm flooring rather that on the grass. Avoid plastic garden furniture – it is cheap but its effect is cheap too.
The bench is universal outdoor furniture. Usually as an element of the garden landscaping it is made of stone, iron or wood. Stone benches are typical for distinguished gardens with lots of greenery and statues. Wooden or iron benches are suitable for all other types of gardens. Their design should be simple without decorations and ornaments. The benches are often arranged by places of interest such as an architectural element, a fountain, an old tree or near an interesting plant composition. Also they could be placed in some distant places in the garden if you prefer to be isolated for a while and to relax and enjoy the peace and tranquility.
It is a place for indoor relaxation in worm weather in which people get together sharing a common bench & table under a common shelter. It is mostly used for family gatherings, party with friends or just for drinking coffee with neighbors. Therefore the BBQ should inspire vitality and pleasant mood. Use light and bright building materials and avoid using concrete or iron. Do not paint it in vivid colors; do not decorate it with small lamps, festoons and bells unless on special occasions. Instead plant some climbing plants and shrubs or large perennial flowers and the decorative effect will be just perfect. Consider the location of the BBQ – do not place it to the front of the yard or next to the fence. Be aware the BBQ location requires good access to the house in order to be easily served. It has to be disposed on firm flooring with a pathway leading to the house.
Today pergolas are permanent architectural features that extend the outdoor living areas. They have to be designed in unison with the other landscaping elements of the yard. Use timber and try to build it with minimum metal components and avoid bright colors when painting it. Pergola may vary in size but the perfect proportion is not longer that 3 m. and not higher that 2,20 m. Its height should not be bigger than its length. Do not place it in the middle of the yard or attached to the house. Its perfect location is by a fence, column or near an attractive shrubs or floral composition. A pergola is a wonderful addition to any path or deck area. Climbing plants will give your pergola more privacy and some protection from the sun and wind.
Sculptures & Statues
There is not a much better way to accentuate the natural beauty of your garden than with statues. Choose the right statues in accordance with the atmosphere and the size of your garden. Brassy and bronze cherubs, angels or other religious statues are eligible for elegant and stylish yards with evergreen vegetation and flourishing shrubs. You may choose large animal and people statues if your yards is big enough and you have plenty of space. Do not place a small statue on a high pedestal and secure its “back” with lots of greenery. Combine the statue with another architectural feature – a fountain, a fence, etc.
Garden lighting is the final touch to your landscaped garden and it provides a totally different view to all garden features. The light should focus on each element – architecture, greenery, accessories, etc. from the daylight to night perspective. There is no need to arrange dozens of lights throughout the whole garden. Place them around various places of interest such as a pond, a fountain, a statue or an exotic plant and never use light of different colors. Lamps too high are not very attractive еspecially during the day but they can be always covered with climbing plants.
If you need to lanscape your yard we can help. You can contact us for a free quote.
For further reading:
- Old property renovation in Bulgaria
- Things you should know before building your swimming pool in Bulgaria
- Swimming Pool Maintenance