What is atmosphere? Is there a difference between that and style? How do we create a great, atmospheric garden?

I believe we’re sensitive to our environments, more so than we realise. Walking into restaurants, for example, we imperceptibly adjust to their particular vibe; buzzy and flirty, or maybe refined and sophisticated. Both may be styled, say, art deco… but their atmospheres will bring out different moods and behaviours in the diners. The lighting, scale, textures, art, temperature..all these layers combined prompt an emotional reaction.

What about a meandering garden populated by the odd brightly-painted rustic chair, rambling, almost chaotic planting, all lit by theatrically-dripping candles? That’d bring out the bohemian in me; possibly bare-footed and toting a bottle of red wine.

The same long garden space set out as a defined series of paved terraces, linked by pergolas and flanked with obelisks and clipped yews? I’m walking a little straigher and I seem to have swapped the wine for a historical novel.

With an atmosphere in mind the layout, planting style, choice of materials, colours and furniture can be combined just so, to give the garden a wonderful sense of character and personality.

In the ‘Garden Ingredients’ section you’ll find an increasing section of different moods and inspirations… which is your favourite?

pink woodland sunlight

chaumont jungle atmospheremidwestern orange atmospherewaterside chair atmosphere