Modern houses also need a modern garden design. It’s not okay to design a cottage garden for a new house, rectangular, flat roof, lots of white walls, large window fronts and stainless steel railings. The character of the garden must match the style of the house. That is not to say that a modern garden does not contain flowers. It can look just as lively as a cottage garden.

lines and shapes

Formal gardens usually go best with modern houses, i.e. clear lines and shapes, precisely structured and delimited areas, paths and squares. Curved shapes are more for natural gardens, farm and cottage gardens and the like.

Modern gardens are currently Japanese gardens, gravel gardens, gardens with various water basins, prairie gardens or the simple “modern garden”, with a clear style and limitation to the essentials. Minimalism and purism rule here. Implementing this is not easy. The garden should look cool, not cold. Unfortunately, it’s often the other way around. The garden appears cool and spartan.

When it comes to the Japanese garden, you can often see that one day it should be one. A few typical details are present, but a Japanese maple and a Buddha figure do not make a Japanese garden. Gravel and prairie gardens are often better to implement and can also look great. In addition, they are very easy to care for and easy to plant in such a way that something is always in bloom.

Ultimately, how you design your garden is a matter of taste and a question of finances. The motto “Less is more” goes well with modern garden design. Fine materials, clear shapes, lots of free space, plus great lighting effects, modern furniture and a few well-chosen plants, all of which characterize a modern garden. You have to make sure that it is comfortable too.

The basic outline

Whenever possible, a modern garden should be formally planned, not free. This means that the areas are divided mainly in geometric shapes, starting from one or more axes (depending on the size and shape of the garden) and that there is a symmetry. This type of design is particularly suitable for small gardens. If they are then evenly rectangular, the style is particularly suitable. Freely planned gardens, on the other hand, are characterized by curved lines.

The wishes of the individual family members must also be taken into account in modern garden design. If the children’s climbing tower doesn’t fit into the concept, it’s placed in such a way that it can’t be seen at first glance. The areas visible to neighbors, guests, pedestrians, etc. should match the house. What you do in your secluded garden is nobody’s business. So, one should consider everyone in the family, the children, the pets, the adult hobbies or likes, and the common interests.

When the house is up, you make a plan of the garden. All areas are recorded and measured. Then you can start designing. I always advise hiring a professional for the design. Although he costs money, which is usually lacking after the house is built, his ideas are often priceless. Not everything has to be implemented immediately. However, he does provide a plan that takes into account whatever the customer dictates and can help break down what needs to be done first and what needs to be built in for later. Especially as a garden newbie, it is often not clear what you have to lay in the ground. If you want light at the barbecue area at the other end of the garden, you have to lay the cable at the beginning or you then dig up the beds and areas again. There’s so much to think about.


Modern houses are often white, many in combination with gray roofs and gray windows. Gray or anthracite-colored natural stone tiles (granite) are ideal for this type. The terrace can be laid well with large-area tiles. Of course, for cost reasons, those made of artificial stone are also suitable. There are now great shapes, colors and patterns, often deceptively based on the original.Such slabs are also suitable for the paths, but also other stones, clinker stones or gravel. It’s more difficult to walk barefoot, but it looks great. Gravel can even be used for seating. He’s cheap. Later on, a layer of wood or natural stone can be laid over it. Of course, the construction under the gravel has to be done correctly. I find small natural pebbles better than gravel, but they are more expensive.

“Typical” hedges or fences are often no longer used for privacy protection, but rather privacy screens, often made of concrete, but also made of plastic or corten steel. Gabion walls are also often designed in the meantime. Glass, opaque and sometimes slightly tinted, is also a good privacy screen. I wouldn’t use it to separate the garden from the neighbors or from the street, but it’s great for protecting the terrace from prying eyes.

to form

As already mentioned, a formally designed garden is often the best choice. This clear and austere garden goes very well with modern homes. It can be broken down into different areas. It is ideal to subdivide these areas with low hedges, such as boxwood. Small gardens in particular get more space. A central design element around which the whole garden is built is favorable. A garden is particularly beautiful when all areas are clearly separated from each other and the individual areas are repeated, for example opposite. So if you have a long, narrow garden (terraced house), you divide it into three parts, the middle and the two long side parts. These two are planted in the same way, of course inverted. The middle forms a separate part, with the central element, e.g. a water basin, a large topiary or a modern pavilion. This repetition of elements is typical of modern, formal garden design.


The colors can be guided by your personal taste. However, it is not advisable to use too many different ones, lest it become too colourful. If you use fewer materials for the terrace, paths, fence, etc., the colors are already reduced. Repetitions are announced, I already said it. For example, if you have a terrace that is covered with anthracite-colored stone tiles, white furniture (if the house color is white), stainless steel furniture or anthracite or gray furniture look good. Brown wooden furniture is not really suitable. It is the same with the flower pots, decorative figures, trellis. Use everything made of the same material, with the same color. Colorful can also have a beautiful effect, for example a row of the same containers at the edge of the terrace, each in a different colour. Then only the planting must not bring too much color into play.


The demarcation of the individual rooms is important in a modern garden. Plants are often used for this, for example boxwood, usually as a low hedge or wooden walls, wooden beams, low stone walls, behind which a raised bed is created, or other boundaries. Raised beds or raised areas are ideal for the modern garden anyway. In this way, the few plants that have been placed have a much better effect. A side effect is the order that is created in the garden. No merging of the lawn into the bed, no slipping edges, everything is beautifully uniform and orderly. This also saves work. There are more ideas for that.

Instead of high-maintenance lawns, modern garden design often uses gravel or grit areas, either planted with a few topiary trees or with special plants that are suitable for gravel beds. Gravel looks best in its natural color and, in turn, goes well with white houses. If that’s not enough color for you, you can also use colored gravel.

Water is also a great, if not the best, design element in a modern garden. There is no natural pond or stream here, mostly brick pools of different sizes and shapes are used. One of these tanks can be enough, but often several look really great. If you have children, you should choose a different solution. Water features, either with undergroundWater reservoir or only with a mini basin and then stainless steel ball or balls, stone, glass or steel objects, everything is possible. A water basin, very long and narrow, where no one can fall in, or with a water level of only 5 cm would be an option here. If you only decide to play with water in one pool, you should stay close to the terrace. I also find water walls very beautiful, or when water comes out of a “wall” and then flows into a basin or a gutter. There is also the typical water noise.


When it comes to vessels, there is a large selection. Again, not many shapes, materials and colors should be used. In addition, the formal order must always be considered. Reps are important. I would recommend stainless steel as a material, natural stone, eg slate, the white or anthracite-colored planters with plastic watering system from Lechuza or another good manufacturer. Even the cheap polyethylene jars that are sold in discount stores from time to time can be used. Not everything has to be expensive. Of course, you can find the greatest vessels on the Internet, unfortunately many of them are also at unbelievable prices.


Not hollyhocks, marigolds and nasturtiums, but flat plantings with architectural character and concise contours characterize modern garden design. You use a few but conspicuous plants or more plants that appear interesting due to their group formation. A colorful mess is not possible. Artfully designed topiaries or those with interesting growth or great colors, such as Japanese maple or weeping beech, are better. Bamboo is also very beautiful, but only a few species are really hardy. You also have to be careful with varieties that form runners.

Otherwise expressive grasses are a good choice. At the moment, plants are popular that do not necessarily impress with their flowers, but rather with their foliage or their bark or stems. Variegated foliage (white pagoda dogwood), naturally very strong red tones (Japanese fire maple), multicolored leaves or leaves with differently colored edges or just striking leaves such as purple bells, hostas, elf flowers, these are plants for modern gardens.

Topiary trees have an effect even from a distance and are a highlight in every garden.

The motto of modern garden design is: “Less is more”. This is not easy to implement and requires careful planning. I’ve seen many failed attempts and many that I’m sure were designed by a professional. Finding the golden mean is quite difficult, but not impossible. A good plan, recorded and as precise as possible, is helpful. The technical details must also be taken into account, i.e. the laying of water, electricity and light. If you forget that, it usually means a lot of work or compromises that don’t look good. The execution of the plans is laborious and often more expensive than with a freely planned garden, where changes can easily be made. Hopefully the end result is worth the effort. I refer here again to the professional planner.

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