Garden Design – Social Spaces in Gardens

Entertaining in our gardens has long been a great British pastime dating back to the 18th Century when Queen Victoria hosted exclusive royal breakfasts for fellow royals and officials. That tradition is alive and well today, as contemporary gardens are transforming into sumptuous extensions of our indoor living spaces, offering a multitude of well-designed functional social spaces for all to enjoy.

The flow from inside out living really comes into play when you combine entertaining areas with an area to cook and serve drinks to your guests. Alfresco garden kitchens are on-trend, designed to blend beautifully into the surrounding architecture and landscaping. A beautifully designed garden kitchen with a built-in grill and BBQ, or even a wood-fired pizza oven, provides space for your guests to chat and relax. Combinations of wood and stone materials partner with the style of your architecture and lush surroundings.

Seating designs in a garden will vary according to the functional space. For areas near the cooking and garden kitchen, timber benches can be sculpted around walls for your guests to relax on and enjoy a sparkling glass of refreshment, whilst you tend the food. Outdoor living rooms offer luxurious seating to entertain or simply lounge. Materials can be left raw or combined with plush cushioned furnishings, side tables, and rugs underfoot to provide opulent comfort for your guests and loved ones. Wood burners, chimineas or fire bowls are perfect additions when the sunsets. Gather round to keep warm and delight in the dancing flames softly floating into the evening sky.

With the great British weather, canopies and roofing should be considered for Social spaces outside blending in with the architecture of the home whilst protecting you from the elements above. Glass canopies keep downpours at bay and allow sunlight to beam in. Alternatively, material canopies add an organic feel to a garden design. Consider providing areas of shade throughout your garden, particularly above dining spaces for times when the suns harsh rays could make a leisurely lunch uncomfortable. Timber structured pergolas provide ample shade, decorated with bright climbing foliage overhead will create ambience and beauty, reminiscent of days spent in Mediterranean gardens abroad.

Enjoying leisure activities in our gardens is a favourite British pastime, whether you like to partake in traditional games like giant chess, or maybe a mysterious and exciting maze for your guests to enjoy! Design a space hidden away to retreat from the main social areas where calm and serenity can be discovered. There’s nothing more enticing than taking a dip in a sparkling clear natural pool to cool off in the balmy heat and for a real adventure, a boating lake blends sumptuously into the landscape around. For film lovers, an outdoor cinema is a perfect way to enjoy your favourite film with guests and loved ones as evenings draw in.

Stunning sculptural works within a garden design provide focal points of interest and discussion for guests when entertaining. Water features create atmosphere and ambience, for quiet zones in the garden, the calming sound of water slowly trickling across stones offers a place of tranquillity to sit and contemplate. To charge up the atmosphere and create movement and drama, water fountains bring to life lush surroundings as dramatic water shoots magnificently into the air.