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Wicker sofa for neutral cushions and blue and white floral cushions

Design tips for a relaxing garden

What is a garden for, if not relaxing on a warm summer's day? However, while nearly everyone loves to kick back with a good book or catch some rays, some gardens are more coducive to chilling out than others. To help you achieve your garden zen, we've selected the 15 best design tips and tricks for relaxing gardens, guaranteed to turn your outdoor area into a stress-free zone.

When designing a calming outdoor space, be aware of your colour palette. Garish colours stimulate the senses, so plump for more neutral or pastel tones to keep your garden serene. Of course, bright accents - a pink candy stripe, say, or coloured florals - will make a garden pop, but the key here is balance.

If you're serious about upping the chill factor, a water feature is an excellent option. The gentle murmur of water helps to establish a truly tranquil ambience that's great for clearing your mind. Choose natural materials such as stone and wood to emphasise harmony.

For a casual relaxation zone, invest in oversized floor cushions, a stylish alternative to traditional sun loungers. A simple stool makes for a cheap and effective side table for resting your pitcher of lemonade! Alternatively, a hammock strung between two trees is a timeless addition to any garden. Just be sure to fill with cushions and blankets for an indulgent and inviting finish.

Perhaps you desire a more traditional country feel? Vintage-style benches nestled between lavender bushes or other scented plants will instantly transport you to a less hectic era. Informal planting will help to establish a rustic atmosphere.

A floral-patterned gazebo is the stylish option if you want to capture the feel of a laid-back garden party, while draping muslin or other light fabric over bamboo poles will provide you with a more relaxed canopy that's perfect for when you crave some cool shade. A garden room can create a tranquil space that allows you to enjoy the outdoors, whatever the weather. Browse our pick of the best garden rooms.

Relaxed garden seating
One of the most important elements in creating a relaxed garden is comfy seating... so pile the cushions high and ensure plenty of throws are available for cooler evenings.

Wicker sofa

Oka
Large cushion and throw

Ralph Lauren

Chosen by
Housetohome

Photograph by Dan Duchars