As architect-designed homes spring up around the country, landscape designers are creating gardens to suit. So what’s the difference between a modern and a classic garden?
In a nutshell
A classic garden has symmetrical or regularly shaped garden beds and paved areas, and is decorated with soft, ornate features and profuse, colourful plantings. A modern garden on the other hand has irregular, asymmetrical beds and paved areas, decorated with hard-edged features and stark, singular plantings in limited colours.
Mix and match?
Despite our modern tendency to mix this-with-that in eclectic fashion, ultra-modern homes don’t always flow well into classic gardens, and vice versa. A grand old home, with its mood of leisurely days, innately lends itself to the soft decorative tone of a classical garden. While the modern home, reflecting today’s busy lifestyle, merges more inherently with the slick elements of modern, artistic garden design. And luckily, there’s plenty to choose from with both garden styles when it comes to outdoor furniture and accessories.
Modern outdoor dining furniture
Modern gardens might be asymmetrical, but fortunately modern furniture doesn’t have to be. We can still sit on four-legged chairs at a regularly shaped table. The way a table declares itself modern is with robust construction, hard-edged lines and little or no decoration. Modern outdoor chairs do it differently. They achieve their contemporary look with interesting, ergonomic shapes and curves that sweep cleanly in unexpected ways. The best modern furniture for outdoor dining is as eye-catching as it is functional. Take a look at Yardware’s Quadro, Omega and Victoria Base outdoor dining tables.
Classic outdoor dining furniture
Furniture for the truly classic garden is also solid in construction. In fact, what could be more solid than a stone table with stone benches either side? Such old-world pieces, despite being rendered in stone, are decidedly soft in outline and embellished with decorative masonry. Alternatively, a stone table top can be teamed with an ornate metalwork base. And when surrounded by metal dining chairs, the two together – crafted stone and hand forged steel – create the charm for which classic gardens are renowned. Yardware’s range of classic dining tables with beautiful stone or metal bases is unsurpassed.
Modern vs classic garden décor
The chatter of water has been an element of garden design throughout the ages and fountains make a stunning feature in both new and old world gardens. In the modern garden, this can take the form of a simple sphere sheeted over with water, or a stark stone plinth down which burbling water cascades. In classic gardens, water features are usually decorative basins into which water falls with a gentle splash. And then there’s planter pots. No garden can be without them, and in modern gardens robust, streamline vessels holding sturdy plants are exactly what’s called for. Classic gardens, on the other hand, are perfect settings for ornate urns and pretty vases all holding softer, leafier, more colourful plants.
The deciding factor
If your home is neither ultra-modern nor overly classic, but somewhere in between, then either garden styling – classic or modern – will work for you. The deciding factor for most home owners is the amount of work involved in maintaining a garden. Modern gardens are low maintenance while classic gardens tend to need a bit more pottering about.
With the right features you can stamp your garden with an unmistakably stark modern or a charmingly classical style.
Image Credit: © Yardware