The key to good garden design is to find a balance between the horizontal elements and the vertical elements. Gardens can be faced with a dilemma when the vertical elements are too imposing, this can be the case in narrow gardens where the surrounding fencing panels make the space look awkward and uncomfortable. The opposite can occur in wide, open gardens where the low flat lie of the land is the most imposing feature and there is little else to draw the eye or enclose the space
The problem with both gardens above is the lack of balance between the vertical and the horizontal landscape. Where gardens are flat you can introduce height. A raised bed is one great way to introduce height to a garden but here are some other ways:
Trellis sections: Easy & quick to install and offer instant height and screening in a garden. They can also be used to divide and screen areas of a garden
Trees: Careful positioning of one or several trees (depending on the size of the garden) can really create an interesting space and ideally balance the horizontal of flat plain and the vertical.
Walls, screens & fencing: All 3 are commonly used to create our boundaries in gardens and their use has a severe influence on the feel of a garden or space.
To reduce the impact of a wall and to reduce its strong vertical element you can position a series of lower raised beds off the wall. These raised beds can gradually step down the height of a wall and soften the walls impact
The sharp clean lines of a rendered raised bed can also add to the horizontal elements of a garden and therefore reduce the impact of tall boundary walls or unsightly fencing
See the images above for a better exmaple of this
Another way to reduce the impact of tall boundary walls and to make the horizontal plain appear more significant and large is to incorporate a paving scheme that makes the floor space look bigger. One way to do this is to lay paving on a 45 degree angle and ensure that the paving is flat and is laid in a neat fashion
So, from above we can see that raised beds can improve the horizontal and vertical elements of a garden:
- Long, low, rendered raised bed: makes garden appear wider
- Tall, imposing raised bed: makes a garden appear taller
Raised beds can be built to any height or spec to create the necessary balance in a garden.