How can I create a resort-style backyard at home?

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WRITTEN BY Persephone Nicholas

The Zones landscaping team is often asked: ‘How can I achieve resort style landscaping at home.’ It’s a big topic so we asked Nichola Vague, Zones’ Landscape Architect in Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, who has worked on landscaping projects at a number of major international resorts, to share her tips on how to create a resort style backyard that can be enjoyed all year round:

How can I make sure my landscaping suits my home and the area in which I live?

‘Draw inspiration from nature and the local environment,’ says Nichola.

For example, when choosing materials think about those that can be sourced (or repurposed) locally. Wherever possible, choose resort-style plants you’ve seen growing in your area – they should be straightforward to source and will be more likely to thrive.

How can I soften up my hard landscaping?

Resort-style landscaping typically uses a lot of man-made products. Nichola recommends softening the effect and including a rich palette of organic materials. ‘Natural materials, such as stone, slate and timber, can provide warmth, texture and character to any landscaping scheme,’ she says.

Should outdoor structures be designed in the same architectural style as my house?

Whether you’re creating a landscape for a house you’re about to build or refreshing the outdoor space of an existing property, it’s important to develop a design that will complement the home. So take its style, colour scheme and finishes into account at the planning stage.

How can I make the most of views from my home?

‘If you’re lucky enough to enjoy stunning vistas from your property, capitalise on them by using walls to ‘frame’ and highlight them,’ says Nichola.

How can I use water, fire and sculptural elements in my outdoor space?

Everyone loves a backyard pool, but we don’t all have the space or budget to install one. Create a resort feel at a fraction of the cost with a spa or water feature. If you have the space, you might also want to think about creating other focal points with fire features or sculptures.

Once you’ve decided on your feature(s), make sure they are shown to best advantage. ‘Create view shafts to your points of interest’ says Nichola, ‘and make sure they are appropriately lit after dark.’

How can I create a lush garden quickly?

‘If you want to green up your space fast, then take a tip from some of the world’s top resorts and overplant at the outset and then thin the plants out as they mature and grow,’ says Nichola.

How can I include elements of surprise and discovery in my garden?

Nichola suggests including paths and gateways to areas that can’t be seen the moment you step outside, but which draw people deeper into the garden so that the further they venture the more they discover. A sculpture, feature plant or even a swing could await the explorer!

water fountain in a garden

How can I create a relaxing atmosphere in my outdoor area?

‘Every resort-style space should include tranquil spaces for contemplation and quiet,’ says Nichola.

Dedicate some space to relaxation, with reclining or arm chairs and umbrellas. A hammock or two could work well if your style is very casual. Encourage people to linger with fragrant planting such as frangipani, jasmine and gardenias.

How can I make sure my outdoor space looks good in the evening?

‘Use lighting and water or fire features to create atmosphere in the garden at night and draw you outside,’ says Nichola. ‘They will also look stunning from inside the home.’

If you’d like to find out more about how Zones can help you create the outdoor space of your dreams, why not get in touch to arrange a free consultation with one of our friendly representatives in your area.
 

You might be interested in reading this: How much does it cost for a high-end landscaped garden?

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This article by Persephone Nicholas featured on page 30 in Issue 026 of Renovate Magazine. New Zealand's first and only magazine solely dedicated to home renovations.
 

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*All information is believed to be true at time of publishing and is subject to change.

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