Designing a garden can be a tricky business. But in the next few articles, I’m going to show you some handy designer hacks, with the help of Casa Mosaica.

Garden Design Hack 1 – Simplicity

You’d think this one would be simple, judging by the name, but it’s not.

Simplicity is one of the hardest garden design principles to get right.

We humans are complicated beings and we love nothing more than to make life (and our gardens) complicated.

If you want a gorgeous garden though, you have to go against your natural instinct to cram it with plants and features…

How to make ‘Simplicity’ work in your garden design

  1. Minimise the elements – particularly colour (use a maximum of 2 to 3 colours)
  2. Leave plenty of empty space
  3. Keep to a theme with your features

Minimising the elements

Pick one main colour, a contrasting colour and an accent colour – just as you would when decorating your house.

Notice how the rendered (stucco) walls match the terracotta patio tiles and even the Strelitzia (Bird of Paradise) flowers pick up the colour.

The vivid blue of the pool contrasts with the orange walls. The cream coloured pool surround  is repeated throughout the garden in the furniture, alcoves, tile inserts, parasols and even the cat!

A simpler colour scheme highlights another part of the garden (the Casita which can be rented – see info at the bottom of this page).

Leave plenty of empty space in the garden

I know it’s tempting to cram lots of stuff into your garden, but don’t!

If something is worth having, then surely it’s worth seeing, properly…

They say it’s the space between the notes that makes the music and the same is true in the garden. Empty space is just as important, if not more so than the areas you fill.

Good garden design purposely puts in areas that are empty; they are not left to chance.

Theme your features

Admittedly, it is easy for Casa Mosaica to have a theme! But even so, careful consideration has been taken with mosaics in the garden.

Each mosaic is different but there’s still continuity with colour and the repeating shapes which are echoed throughout the garden.

See for yourself…

I thoroughly recommend visiting Casa Mosaica, in southern Spain. They sometimes open to the public during the Art Gaucin week in the summer but even more wonderfully, you can stay there!

The house is full of sumptuous furnishings and of course an amazing array of mosaics, all designed by the house owner Emma Cornish.

Great Gardens Don’t Happen by Accident!

If you’d like to learn more about design then do check out Rachel’s free garden design fast-track web classes.



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    2 replies to "Gorgeous Garden Design Hack Everyone Should Know"

    • Fattaneh Kamali Zonouzi

      Hi Rachel,
      Would you please let me know if you would design the gardens in Derby? If so do you need to attend here or are you doing remotely? Could you please give me the price too for designing a 13 m2 rectangular garden which has already got the grass laid.
      Many Thanks

    • Katerina

      This is really lovely south garden, but to everyone different taste. Myself I would feel like ‘lion in the cage’. Luckily there is a step up sitting to over view the beutiful hill in the back and that is the only place I would find inspiring, spiritual and enjoyable, but as I said we have to allow different opitions and views and I appriciate that this could be for someone a dream garden. This just puts more in our mind to let create garden to our own desire.
      Thank you Rachel to all of your suggestion, it is unbelivably inspiring and opens so much to think of in very different ways.

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