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What defines a Scandinavian garden?

I obviously have a thing for the Scandi style, after all, I've started a business dedicated to Scandi design and nature. And while Scandinavia has made its way into our homes, it turns out there’s loads of inspiration to be found in the gardens too!

 Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing a scandi garden.

Keep it rustic

Image of naturalistic plantingScandis have a close relationship with nature and it shows in their garden designs. The surrounding landscape is the biggest inspiration – a far cry from manicured lawns and precisely pruned shrubs. To make your garden more Scandi like start with having a look around you. Which plants thrive naturally with minimal effort? Be brave and make way for unruly wildflowers and native species. As always, less is more when it comes to perfecting the style. Low maintenance is key so don’t let your trimming instincts win!

Take inspiration from nature

Scandi style garden at RHS Chelsea 2016
Natural materials are mandatory for a Scandi feel, so again take inspiration from your surroundings. Wooden outdoor furniture, fences and deckings are the way to go, as well as using colour schemes that stay close to nature and complement your garden. Play around with different shades of green, black, grey and white. And don’t be afraid to go on a flea market hunt rather than a shopping spree on the high street. Recycling and reusing are major trends in Scandinavia. Look out for weathered wood, old benches or metal bins or cans – they make stunning planters.

Outdoors is the new indoors
Outdoor kitchen with stone oven and plant wall

When you only have 60 days of Summer you make it count. Scandis treat their gardens as an extra home – complete with a kitchen area and lounge. As a biophilic person, this is something I absolutely love and think we can learn from. Try to divide your garden into different rooms and fill it with furniture, plants and joy. 

If you already have a barbecue area, try treating it to a wall panel with a few hooks, a shelf or some leftover concrete steel for your kitchen utensils. Keep them company with your favourite herbs. Linen cushions and lanterns are perfect to make your outdoor living room even cosier and inviting. 

Treat with care

Image of tender plants summering outsideScandinavia might be filled to the brim with hygge and inspiration, but let’s face it – it's also dark and cold. Scandis tend to look more at the leaves than the actual flowers when choosing their plants, to make sure they can enjoy them for longer. It’s also common to move in with the plants that won’t make it through winter. The beloved pelargoniums become lifelong companions as they move out on the patios in April, spend the Summer in the garden and then move in again during Autumn and Winter.
Hope this has inspired you to start planning next year's garden. I know thinking about all this has made me want to go around again and plot next year!
Cosy winter nook with snow, blankets and lanterns

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