Outdoor Garden Rooms are the perfect place to unwind and let go of stress. At the end of a long day at work, the most relaxing activity for anyone is to kick back in the garden. A back garden becomes more than another household chore with the construction of garden rooms. These can be gatherings of plants, or can section your yard into spaces for recreation and relaxation.
Depending upon whether you have a screened porch or a deck, you might choose to build a garden recreation room, unattached from your house. This building can be situated in the back corner of the garden, and serve as an oasis from the house. In the 1920s, these garden buildings were called "tea houses." Of course, during prohibition, people served more than tea in the "tea house." Today, an unattached garden room structure can still provide enjoyment for the entire family.
Decorating your garden building for leisure and relaxation is just as fun as decorating a room in your house. In order for outdoor garden rooms to be most inviting, it is important to incorporate amenities that make the building luxurious, and differentiate it from a garden storage shed. The most relaxing garden retreats are fully wired with electricity. That way, you can incorporate a small refrigerator, lights and music.
Because your garden building is still outside, you will want to furnish it with mildew-resistant fabrics and furniture. Wood, wicker and metal garden furniture, with washable, water-resistant fabrics make great garden room furniture. Each surface in the outdoor room needs to be easy to clean, because it will get dirty. For more comfort, line the walls and ceiling with plasterboard (drywall). Then you will really feel that you have a luxurious "second home" right in your back garden.
In order for your outdoor oasis away from the house to add to your garden, rather than detract from it, create a cottage garden around the building. A small patio, or flagstone walkway leading to the "front door" creates an invitation to wander in. Window boxes overflowing with petunias, licorice plant, trailing vinca, geraniums and other colorful flowers will spruce up the building itself. For the easiest maintenance, install a drip irrigation system for the window boxes. These are easy to build with kits available from your local hardware store.
The garden surrounding the building should include soft-textured plants and some tall shrubs. Hollyhocks, larkspur, whirling butterflies, zinnias, and roses all contribute to the "garden cottage" feeling. To make your garden building blend with the rest of the garden and the house, add trim and details to the outside that match the trim of your house. Those details and the surrounding garden will fully incorporate the garden retreat into your yard.
Outdoor garden rooms can include a recreational garden building, or they can be made entirely of plants. A large back garden is cozier when divided into smaller nooks and crannies. Depending upon the size of your garden, you will want to incorporate several different elements.
Large gardens for big families need plenty of room for outdoor sports and activities. Half the garden - ideally the space closest to the house, can be reserved for recreation. The other half can include a patio with large container gardens and comfortable furniture for relaxing. Create a meandering path through small shade trees like river birch and ornamental fruit trees. The path should open to another seating area surrounded by lush greenery. This is the back garden oasis--away from the house and rowdy games of football!
Outdoor garden rooms can take a variety of forms. The type of "garden room," whether it is a baseball field in the back yard, or a garden building retreat, should match the needs of the family using it. If you have many children, you might want to consider building a small "bunkhouse" or "little gardener's cottage" complete with comfy beds, and spaces for make-believe to play house.
If poker night with the guys has become too rowdy for the living room, the garden building can be constructed as an alternative. (In that case, replace the cottage garden with nice evergreen shrubs like hollies, viburnum, and boxwood.)
No matter what your needs for a relaxing back yard retreat, there is a garden room plan that will work for everyone.
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