Modern clean styling is a very popular choice for homeowners and interior designers. It's also a really effective theme for a garden. If you like clean lines, high impact planting and that chic feel, then a modern garden design is for you. Forget about soft curves, cottage planting and pots. This design style is about bold statements and strong structures.

Modern style chic garden design can turn a garden into a room you just can’t wait to be in. Summer evenings are spent sipping fizz out in your garden terrace, with careful mood lighting, dramatic planting and the feeling of privacy. What’s not to love? This garden design client had just moved into a new build executive home. Everything inside the house was contemporary and super stylish. However, the back garden was a basic box of low-grade turf and not much else. It was overlooked, in part shade and had zero curb appeal to it. The last thing you would want to do is sit out drinking wine there!

Lack lustre new build back garden before the transformation

Modern style chic garden design

Garden Ninja was called in to create something reminiscent of a high-end boutique hotel. With Asian inspired colours and planting this project was a fantastic piece to show how careful theming with high-end materials can create a look that will be the envy of your neighbours! Planting with colour blocking and creating both a dramatic and calming feel in different zones of the garden was required.


Modern Style Chic Garden Design

One of the mood boards that set the ball rolling with this design

All my followers know that zoning is a key part of my garden design. You have heard about the garden as rooms, but I prefer the garden in zones. The client wanted a garden where she could return home to and sink into relaxation without the neighbours peering down on her. She also wanted somewhere that was a haven for birds so winter interest planting was required and seed heads. As the client spent a lot of time travelling she wanted something high impact but without too much maintenance. I developed zones to accommodate these multiple needs.

The zones required were:

  • Hidden seating terrace – to give privacy when sitting outside
  • Wildlife area – with water and food for birds
  • Lawn area
  • Shady planting area

The plan view of the modern chic garden design

Hidden Seating Terrace

I designed a raised rendered bed that would act as a seating area at the back left of the garden. This would help give the feeling of privacy when sat out in the garden. It also allowed for some serious mood lighting in the evening with build in lights in the paving. Nice! This area was going to be paved in the same consistent dark grey granite as the paths. This was key to the cohesion of the garden. Keeping the materials consistent throughout the garden helps bind it together and give it a nested feel.

Different Textures

I used gorgeous grey granite paving to give a real solid design feel to the garden hard landscaping. I then used cobbles in the gravel bed with grasses, an Acer and Corten steel bowls which would be filled full of water. This was to attract the birds and help give that Asian inspired feel of Buddhism where the connection to water is profound. I was careful not to use too many materials to keep the theme strong. The use of repetition in the planting also helps with design in ensuring all the zones connect to one another. Carex and grasses are used to connect zones and add calm to the garden.

Modern Style Chic Garden Design

An example of Corten steel water bowls as seen in this Tatton Flower Show Garden 2016

Modernist Planting Scheme

The key to the maintenance issue was to use a modernist planting style. Where groups of the same plants would be planted together. This gives a real high impact in a small garden but also mean that they keep their form a bit longer. So any that start to die back can be hidden and they can hold their own. If you look at the prairie border below you can see what I mean. By grouping them as some flowers fade others take their place and it’s not as obvious that they need deadheading.

A mix of flowering and deceased plants which still holds interest

Shady Fern Border

The far right wall was predominantly in the shade so we worked with this using shade loving plants. I also incorporated some more delicate specimens such as Thalictrum and Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ which would give a really floaty calm planting scheme in this darker area. Woven in with some evergreen Skimmia for winter structure. When you look over through the other bed to this area it will seem really inviting and calm away from the main high impact socialising area.

Work in progress!

This garden is due to be finished shortly so check back for the finished transformation!