No Space Balconies Can Be Magical

The city dweller has all the luxuries like entertainment, variety and the energetic pulse all at their doorstep. For most, it is a perfect life, never far from anything and always spoilt for choice, yet the one thing that could be short is a patch of tranquillity, a corner filled with greenery to make the concrete jungle a bit more peaceful.

Balconies are city-tenants escape back to nature, it is what keeps everyone sane in the concrete jungle, and in most cases the balcony is tiny. No matter the size with a bit of planning and a clever layout it could become the most favourite part of city life. The balcony needs to offer the tenant a sense of freedom, a gateway to relaxation and the perfect place to entertain. But with the correct amount of planning and a small investment, your balcony could become your private space, to special to share and a place where you get to escape the hassle and bustle of city life.

Steps Involved in Planning the Perfect Balcony

No matter how big or small the first step in transforming your balcony is considering the exposure to the sun, accessibility, maintenance and water as these are the factors that most affect the style, design and types of plants. It also determines how usable space is and if it could be an extension of your entertainment area or simply a corner of nature. No matter the design its always best to plan it with low-maintenance while keeping it user-friendly.

Grab Your Plan and Visit the Nearest Nursery

Your best advisor is the local nursery. They know best which plants thrive in what conditions. If space is cramped, you could fill it with pots overflowing with herbs or ferns.
Apart from the type of plants, the next most important is the pots or containers as these need to fit the style you have in mind for your garden. Pots could colour coordinate the look you wish for, blue and dark blue could compliment a Greek-Island style, while white is perfect for a zen-type garden, while a more forest-look could be created with natural pots in brown colours.

Maintenance and Accessorizing to Perfect the Balcony Escape

Once the plants are placed space will need to be decorated and furnished with comfortable seating, outdoor rugs and a few colour coded cushions. The furniture needs to fit the space while still leaving enough of an area to comfortably move in. Soft lighting can do wonders for a Zen-type garden, while candles, shells and a glass table will bring an element of nature. If space allows for a small waterfall, it could bring peace to the entire living area if the door is open, if not use small furniture made of glass to create a look of space. Stones are another great way to create a feeling of being outdoors, but in the end, it all starts with the planning and how much you plan to spend.

Best Gardens For People Who Live in the City

While a domestic garden may seem simplistic in name, the roots are much deeper than one would initially assume. For starters, the word domestic is taken from the Sanskrit language. If you break the word down into three parts, the Avestan demana, Damah, and Greek – you will see that domestic means house. Which in turn means a domestic garden is simply a garden what is connected to your home in one way or another.

While domestic gardens have been seen all throughout history. The earliest recorded domestic garden first appeared in ancient Egypt, and it features the similar appearance of a modern domestic garden. The only difference is that the garden which was seen back them only belonged to the rich and royalty, such as the pharaohs. Nowadays, anyone can own a domestic garden and customize it to be filled with your favorite plants as well as adding in walkways and seating areas.

Cottage Garden

The cottage garden has a rich history. When looking at its name, “cote” has a French origin. Then when combined with the English suffix was added in, a cottage became known as a property which is combined to a cote, which is known as a small shelter.

While it is easy to picture what a cottage looks like, it’s a bit harder to place what kind of plants were found in these gardens. The best place to looks is in the Middle Ages were cottages were becoming the norm regarding a living situation. Although there is no record of what sorts of plants were planted, it can be easily assumed that the land was used to sustain life instead of for aesthetic purposes. So, the safest assumption would be that veggies and fruit were commonly planted. Even when certain flowers were planted, such as roses and lilies, they were most likely used for some household reason.

This was the norm until the end of the 19th century was approaching. Guided by the rise of romantic arts which was focused on capturing the beauty, these gardens slowly became cesspools for planting a variety of stunning flowers that would cause anyone to stop to view the beauty. Since them, the cottage garden aesthetic started to bloom and became a commonly found site no matter your social rank.

Even in modern times, certain icons, such as the music legend Bob Dylan admitted that all he wanted in his life was a stunning cottage that had a garden filled with vibrant roses where he could escape to. Which wouldn’t be too hard to create depending on the area of the cottage and the person dedication to growing plants.

Herb Gardens

Herbs are nothing new as growing herbs have been in practice for centuries. No matter the culture, herbs were commonly seen for wither culinary reasons or health-related reasons. There are even reports of herb gardens being grown for pharaohs in ancient Egypt for both of the previously mentioned reasons. While today, hers is grown mainly for medical, culinary, and aesthetic purposes. They are some of the best household pans to keep for those exact reasons and could be the needed touch to make your apartment or home seem more connected to nature.

The Role Landscape Designers Will Have in Cities of the Future

The art of spending time outdoors, for most people, is one aspect of life that brings happiness and pleasure in what seems to have become a world where people spend more time indoors than out. The ability to spend that time outside in well-designed spaces is what makes like in a city more enjoyable. Knowing that, it is somewhat difficult to understand why so many cities fail to make the investment and understand the role landscape designers will have in cities of the future, let alone to properly design outdoor spaces as it impacts the quality of life of those that live there, let alone a city’s ability to attract new business and talent.

As most of us appreciate the time we spend outside, it is interesting to speak with people on their feelings about the outdoor spaces they enjoy most, what aspects about them they find attractive and what draws them to those spaces. For many, outdoor spaces in cities remind them of childhood memories that often are focused on outdoor activities with friends or family.

Outdoor Spaces Increase Quality of Life

Studies have shown that those that invest a greater amount of time outdoors are happier and tend to be healthier as well. The combination of the two has proven to increase lifespans, and those urban areas that feature quality outdoor spaces tend to reap the rewards tenfold in multiple ways. This includes reduced healthcare costs, increased economic output, economic growth and an overall happier population.

History has shown, those cities that fail to get this right and not have an adequate amount of well-designed outdoor space lack the ability to attract younger people to move to their cities. When you consider the cost to design and build these spaces, the minimal investment is returned for generations to come. Studies have shown it not only attracts the young but also attracts urban professionals and those entering their golden years as well who choose to move back to urban areas so as to be closer to health care facilities.

Outdated Trends Hard to Change

It seems the trend to put more thought into indoor spaces, and building designs remains firmly intact, however, what is clear is that the role designers will play in the future towards outdoor space will define a city in more ways than one. It is not uncommon when looking at waterfront cities to hear complaints about its deterioration, and subsequent investment to improve the value water front areas bring to a city. Those cities, such as Chicago that have chosen to make a concentrated effort to revitalise their waterfronts have found an increase in pedestrian traffic in those areas. That investment has allowed them to attract tourism traffic, which collectively benefits the local economy and health of its citizens as they spend more time engaging in walking, sports breathing fresh air.

What is clear is that the need to invest in outdoor spaces will be the determining factor in an ever populated world, one that has over 70% living in cities around the world. Those that design innovative parks, walkways and bike trails will be those that benefit in the future and the role of the outdoor designer will only play a larger importance as new technologies are integrated into public spaces and are combined with the qualities that are unique to our environment.

How To Construct a Maze – The Puzzle of Champions

From the hedge maze to modern day eco-houses, landscaping architecture has always combined human construction with botany and nature. A timeless art form, landscaping architecture has wowed people since it was first conceived, and it is this fascination with the creative artworks by landscape architects in thier efforts on how to construct a maze and their ability to create something profoundly beautiful and in many cases, useful – that we’re looking at in closer detail. It is time for us to take a look at a classic form of landscaping architecture, one which most of us enjoyed as children – the hedge maze.

The Early Hedge Maze

Hedge mazes also go by the names garden mazes or labyrinths, and they first appeared in Europe in the fifteenth century, created by Italian artists during the Renaissance. Of course, the earlier hedge mazes scarcely seem impressive compared to the goliaths that can be found today.

The very first hedge mazes began as sketches, some dating back to 1460. Over the course of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, the concept became a reality, and new techniques were devised to make them ever more intricate, ever more challenging and, of course, ever more beautiful.

Today, we think of hedge mazes as a puzzle, one which children, in particular, enjoy. That wasn’t their initial intention. In fact, early hedge mazes weren’t really mazed at all, but simple walkways surrounding by greenery. It wasn’t until the end of the Stuart Era that Britain got its very first hedge labyrinths and mazes. By the late seventeenth century, King William III (William of Orange) had one constructed at Hampton Court, which, although it could not rival the luxurious Labyrinth de Versailles (subsequently destroyed in 1778), brought the concept of dead ends and trick passageways to British hedge maze and landscaping architecture.

Over the years, the objective was no longer to design hedge mazes which were just beautiful or ornate, but also those which genuinely confuddling audiences. Bridges, grid-less designs, and false passageways all upped the ante for landscaping architects to design ever more radical and challenging hedge mazes.

A Child’s Dream: Modern Hedge Mazes

Today, hedge mazes are seen as children’s playthings. It is true that many national parks contain hedge mazes, and adults are still known to walk through their green roofless hallways, many of which contain exotic plants and shrubbery. However, it is children that find them the most fascinating. The desire to make ever more complex hedge mazes has also continued.

Today, one of the biggest hedge mazes in the world is located in Castlewellan in Northern Ireland. Known as the Peace Maze, this stunning piece of landscaping architecture was first planted in 2000 and was designed as a pathway to peace for Northern Ireland. A peace bell stands in the centre for anybody bold enough to finish the maze. Other notable hedge mazes include those at Disneyland Paris, Blenheim Palace, Hampton Court (William III’s original), Longleat, Schönbrunn Palace, and Colonial Williamsburg.

While modern landscaping architecture may be about eco, solar, and nature-friendly constructions such as the much-loved Hobbit-style homes. It is important not to forget that in another time, and by very different people, hedge mazes were not only the first step in landscaping architecture but also a dream where man showcased that he could, in fact, build alongside nature instead of in place of it.