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Modern Outdoor Garden

Modern outdoor gardens are the backbone of modern landscape design and contemporary landscape design.  These designs minimize the importance of organic features in landscape architecture and look instead to geometric forms, relationships between geometric points, and sophisticated materials that communicate a mentalist and highly subjective aesthetic.

The geometry used is always that of familiar geometric shapes or derivative forms thereof.  Quadrilaterals are favored linear forms that allow gardens to follow building walls, contemporary koi ponds, infinity pools, and residential home architecture.  Triangular forms are often built to compliment avant garde contemporary sculptures. Circular designs are commonly used as focal points within the landscape, or as aesthetic foundations for contemporary fountains.

The materials that we use to construct the garden must always be highly reflective and catch the attention of the viewer.  This is because inorganic elements frequently constitute more than 90% of the entire modern outdoor garden.  It is therefore essential that we choose materials that will reflective light during nighttime hours as well as during the daytime. 

A number of polished rock surfaces and masonry elements can work superbly for this task.  Granite and marble often provide the building blocks for architectural walls that frame the garden.  We can also build patio areas out of polished limestone or stepping stone.  Sections of these surfaces can then be removed for selective planting of small trees, ground cover, and white flowers.  Concealed landscape lights can be installed that will create a reflective glare over the hardscape that makes both geometric design and greenery stand out at nighttime.

Steel is also a popular construction material to use in making a modern outdoor garden.  Steel posts can be used as centerpieces in gardens where a fountain is not present.  If we really want to minimize vegetation, we can concentrate vine growth only on these posts by running a cable between them.  The vines can then grow up the posts and across the wire, creating a curious blend of steel and greenery that confuses the boundaries between the organic and the inorganic.  

We can also build place steel posts to either side of the center of a modern outdoor garden and build a glass wall between them.  Glass makes an excellent frame for a fountain that is flowing in the background of the landscape.  It also provides one of the most interesting and interesting surface areas for outdoor landscape lighting.  These lights can be concealed at an angle behind the wall to shine through it.  If we want to create a prismatic effect, we can use opaque or beveled glass to disperse the beams into a rainbow of nighttime colors.

A fountain can also be built at the center of a modern outdoor garden.  This is very popular when creating a courtyard design in commercial environments where water provides relaxation for employees on break.  Any number of custom fountain designs can be built in these areas.  The important thing is to keep the size of the fountain proportional to that of the surrounding hardscape, and to make certain that the design of the fountain itself compliments the geometric designs of neighboring garden elements. 

This article was published on Saturday 03 October, 2009.

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