Gardens are created to enjoy.  While you can appreciate a garden from beyond its borders, it absolutely comes alive when you submerse yourself within its colors, textures, fragrances and movement. Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA wants to help you create your cool garden escape.

One of our favorite garden styles to design and enjoy is a cool garden. What is a cool garden? Think of a serenity garden with air conditioning.  A cool garden is a place to relax without over-stimulation, and at least mentally feel cooler.  It’s the perfect place to escape the bustle of everyday life, even if it is just for a short while.

Key Elements in a Cool Garden

Key elements in creating a cool garden include the feeling of intimacy, use of cool colors, soft textures, repetition, and an uncluttered design.

Intimacy is created by providing privacy from noise, traffic, nosy neighbors and the cars in your driveway.  Screen yourself in.  Overhanging trees help create that feeling of closing yourself in; so does setting yourself down in the garden.  Digging into a slope to create a small patio rather than perching out over a hillside feels more intimate.

Blues, purples, white and pinks are considered cool, relaxing colors. Avoiding  hot colors such as red, orange and yellow can go a long way in at least mentally making yourself feel cooler. While on the subject of colors, strong contrast of colors can also be distracting.  Incorporate two-tone green brim cup hosta instead of Patriot hosta with its screaming white margins.  Blending shades of green foliages can be soothing.

I think the proper mix of textures is the most important element in creating a cool garden.   The concept of soft versus hard textures can be hard to grasp, and best not to be over-thought.  Trust your eyes and mind on this one. You’ll know soft textures when you see them.  Some examples are most ferns, spreading yew, lamb’s ear, and astilbe.  Compared to the crisp edged, broad foliages of hollies, camellias and magnolias, soft textures help soothe the mind.

Repeating these textures takes this feeling of relaxation a step further.  A cool garden lets your eyes and mind relax. Pick a handful of plants, and use them in sweeps.  Avoid using one of this and that, and trying to make a bunch of plants stand out or catch your eye.  Settle on one or two focal points like a weeping japanese maple or a rusty garden implement half buried in a sea of ferns.

Successfully creating a cool garden can be challenging, but it may also become your favorite room of your home.

Stop by either of our nursery locations in Hickory Flat, GA or Canton, GA and let our knowledgeable staff help you select plants for your cool garden. Or, if you know you’d like to create an escape for yourself but don’t know where to start, call and schedule a landscape design consultation today!

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