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How to create an irresistibly romantic garden…. – The Middle-Sized Garden

    How to create an irresistibly romantic garden.... - The Middle-Sized Garden

    February 12th, 2017
    Posted In: Decorations/parties, Garden style & living

    What is a romantic garden?

    Everyone will have their own definition. So with Valentine’s Day looming up, I’ve picked out ten ‘romantic garden’ ideas.

    romantic garden ideas

    Just a little bit wild…

    A romantic garden always has something hidden away. You can’t quite see everything.

    This is a corner of a garden called Tara Tieve near Melbourne in Australia. Parts of the garden are smartly cared-for. But this little shady area shows how important it is to have secret spots where nature appears to be gently and beautifully taking over.

    vintage gates

    A close-up of a Victorian ‘heart’ gate at Tieve Tara, Melbourne, Australia.

    Soft, lush planting and old-fashioned plants

    Soft, subtle colors and billowy blooms make a romantic garden planting. Garden maker Posy Gentles describes the color palette in her own garden as ‘being like old lady’s knickers’.

    Romantic garden plantings

    Romantic soft peach and hints of pink in Posy Gentles’ ‘old ladies knickers’ color scheme.

    I always thought she meant that ‘old ladies knickers’ were the baggy (sometimes knitted) underwear in over-washed soft peaches, pinks and off-whites that hung on washing lines in the 1960s and 70s.

    Posy actually means those delicate silk and crepe-de-chine scraps of pale peach or pink lingerie and lace found in charity shops when very elegant old ladies die.

    romantic planting

    My French garden chair again – I think hydrangeas are romantic plants because they’re in soft ‘old lady knickers’ colours, and are blowy and slightly old-fashioned.

    Romantic garden gates

    Garden gates have always been romantic. Perhaps it’s because they stand between the public road and the intimacy of a private home or garden.

    victorian garden gate

    A Victorian garden gate in Norwich, England.

    Romantic garden gates

    This 1960s gate in Faversham is painted in a soft, romantic blue and looks wonderful against a mass of erigeron.

    Romantic garden gates

    Victorian ‘heart’ gate at Tieve Tara, near Melbourne, Australia.

    To buy antique or vintage garden gates, either search a local reclamation yard. Or Google ‘vintage gate’. You will get hundreds of results, many for sale through architectural salvage yards, eBay or other online auctions.

    You can also find vintage designs in newly made galvanized garden gates here.

    Note: There are some affiliate links in this post, which means you can click through to buy. If you do, I may get a small fee.

    For the romance of discovery – the garden path

    Romantic garden paths

    A romantic path is just a little bit overgrown. Where does it lead? We have to follow it to find out. This is at Doddington Place Gardens in Kent.

    Romantic garden paths

    Another delightful path leads the eye on – at Pheasant Farm, open for the NGS on 14th May and 11th June.

    Romantic grass garden path

    A grass path is romantic too. This one is at Littlebredy Walled Garden in Dorset.

    Romantic garden furniture

    You don’t have to have hearts and flowers to make your garden furniture romantic.

    Although I do love my French wrought iron heart chairs, bought from a depot sale in the South of France for £20 each in the early 1990s. We brought four of them back to England on top of the car, which presumably cost us a fortune in petrol.

    Snow on romantic garden furniture

    Snow is definitely romantic. And it looks more romantic on wrought iron furniture….

    New wrought-iron garden furniture, such as this set from Charles Bentley, is widely available.

    There’s more about garden furniture here.

    There’s lots of second-hand metal garden furniture around too. Check your local junk shops regularly. Faversham (Kent), is just around an hour and a half from London. It has a vintage and antique fair on the first Sunday of every month. There’s always vintage garden furniture in the mix somewhere.

    Faversham Antiques & Vintage Market

    Faversham’s Antiques & Vintage Market is on the first Sunday of every month.

    Whether you buy new or second-hand, your furniture will look a bit more special if you paint it. We painted our French garden chairs in a soft grey, very similar to this Winter Gray Chalk Paint.

    When choosing a colour, bear in mind that colors look paler outside than they do inside. Our gray garden chairs look white outside. But the grey-white is less harsh than a pure ‘white’ white.

    Paint romantic garden furniture

    A close-up of the French garden chair. It looks ‘white’ but is actually a pale to mid-grey tone.

    Somewhere to sit and talk

    A romantic London cottage garden

    Julie Quinn’s London cottage garden – abundant planting and a strongly defined use of colour. See more about this garden on Julie’s blog London Cottage Garden.

    Romantic garden benches

    A slightly curved bench, like this one at Clinton Lodge, Sussex, makes it easier for two people to chat. Clinton Lodge opens for the NGS.

    Romantic lanterns and lighting

    If you don’t have electricity in your garden, then solar lighting is now both effective and inexpensive. I’ve had two strings of Blingstring Solar Fairy Lights in the garden for more than six months. Both are still working.

    blingstring solar fairy lights

    We strung these round a pergola in August. In the summer, they last almost all night. In the winter when nights are longer and there is less solar light, they go off around 2am.

    They were sent to me for review, so I have both the warm white and the blue light. I rather like the contrast of the two together, but it’s always worth checking you get the one you wanted.

    Romantic tea lights

    Use glass jars or glasses for nightlights in gardens.

    Cushions and rugs

    Faded, vintage cushions and rugs make a garden look romantic.

    romantic garden furniture ideas

    Hugo and Anna Campbell make the most of a small space – comfortable cushions for seating and storage under the bench.

    Vintage cushions and furniture.

    Vintage cushions in Posy Gentles’ garden. Photo by Caroline Garland.

    And roses are romantic

    'Lover's Meeting' rose

    This 1970s rose in a neighbour’s garden is called ‘Lover’s Meeting’. She says she chose it because her house is in a corner and she likes to think of lovers arranging to meet there. It seems to flower for nine months of the year.

    Romantic climbing roses.

    Climbing and rambling roses are romantic. These are on a wall at Goodnestone Park Gardens.

    romantic pots

    romantic pots

    I think romantic pots are bursting with colour. This is lavender, purple petunias and Panicum ‘Shenandoah.’

    Edgeware Road Tube station planter

    This pot, surprisingly, is at Edgeware Road tube station. It’s an ordinary concrete planter, painted a pale pink. Looks great, I think! Very romantic for a railway station – although, in themselves, stations are quite romantic places.

    And, of course, a romantic shed

    Romantic shed

    There are so many romantic sheds out there – but I think that if I have to pick one, then this one by garden designer and topiarist Charlotte Molesworth must be the one. It was converted from an old swimming pool changing room, using found wood and Charlotte’s creative talents.

    Let me know about romantic gardens you’ve been to, either in the comments below or on the Middlesized Garden Facebook Page.

    And to get Middlesized Garden inspiration and tips into your inbox every morning, just sign up in the box top right. Thank you!

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