The territory of a country house is rarely limited to the outer walls of residential premises. And this is understandable: the transition between the house and the garden not only adds convenience, but also allows you to harmoniously integrate an artificial structure, such as a house, into the surrounding wildlife. You should think about what this buffer zone will look like at the planning stage of building a house.
The smaller the area, the more important the transition, buffer zone is. The simplest example is a porch with a canopy, where you can change your shoes, take shelter from the rain for a short time, or just relax, sitting on the steps and watching the work in the garden of your household.
This can also serve as a wide blind area, covered house grounds, various light extensions. Their main task is to soften the borders of the house, as well as to green the space and add the chirping of birds, the smells of flowers and cut grass. Staying in the country within four walls is a very dubious pleasure, so many owners of country houses try to stay more in the air, while not depriving themselves of comfort.
Terraces and verandas
The most common options for light extensions are terraces and verandas. Generally speaking, these concepts are very close and they are often confused. But still, a terrace is usually called an open or covered area, which is often surrounded by a fence in the form of a lattice or balustrade. The terrace is usually adjacent to the house, but sometimes it may be slightly off to the side and connected to the house by a path or covered walkway.
The veranda is a direct extension of the house. This is a more substantial structure attached to the house on one or more sides. In summer, the verandas becomes a hall, dining room or living room, in winter it can serve as a storeroom, and when the heating is turned on, it can even serve as a winter garden.
Verandas are open (then they almost correspond to terraces) or glazed, with Windows that open into the garden on fine days. Outdoor verandas benefit from more direct contact with the garden’s nature.
Along the verandah, you can place beautiful flowering shrubs, such as Syringa, Philadelphus, Deutzia scabra, various Spiraea and Bush roses. As a lining, perennial herbs are planted that fill the air with aromas, such as Nepeta faassenii, Mentha piperita and Mentha arvensis, Lavandula angustifolia, Salvia verticillata, Salvia officinalis and Salvia nemorosa, Monarda didyma. Surrounded by decorative greenery and covered with vines, the veranda is perceived as a living element of the garden, rather than as a building.
Near the main entrance or near the back porch, you can arrange a patio area adjacent to the wall of the house. The platform, which, in fact, resembles an open terrace, is paved with stone or paving slabs. Partially or completely enclosed by a wrought-iron fence or light wooden grating, the patio area will also appear as an extension of the house and expand its boundaries. The arch that invites you to enter the site from the garden is supported on both sides by unpretentious and elegant thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’ or ‘Spiralis’, grafted with weeping larch or flowerbeds of high structural perennials.
A wooden garden platform or decking can serve as a substitute for paving in the patio area. Raised above the ground, it seems to push the living space of the house into the garden, becoming its continuation. Very impressive planning solution, in which wide sliding or swinging glass doors from the house lead directly to the platform. On the warm, sun-warmed surface of the platform, it is pleasant to walk barefoot, and that the coating is not slippery in wet weather, its surface is made ribbed.
Wooden panels or boards with antiseptic impregnation allow you to create a comfortable, beautiful and long-lasting coating that requires minimal care. Recently, by the way, plastic coatings have also appeared. The dimensions of decking and garden decks must match the scale of the house. For example, the width of an open terrace or platform is made approximately equal to or slightly greater than the height of the first floor of the house, that is, about 3-3. 5 m.
On a raised platform in the patio area, wicker garden furniture is displayed, and from the hot sun rays they hide under a large umbrella or awning. Along the edge of the cover, you can put plants in clay pots or wooden tubs: Lilium, Iris, Hosta, compositions of pretty annuals. They visually limit the cozy private area and at the same time provide a gradual transition to the natural part of the garden.
Another opportunity to design the boundaries of the house is provided by the vertical structures attached to it. Wide canopies on supports, arcades and pergolas over the path leading to the entrance, wall trellises allow you to hide the true size and shape of the house, to soften its sharp borders. The materials used for their manufacture must be combined with the materials from which the house is built.
For the design of attached structures, the entire Arsenal of vertical gardening is suitable, including woody and herbaceous lianas, including annual ones: Lathyrus odoratus, Ipomoea, Tropaeolum, Cobaea or Humulus japonicus. In addition, the winding plant hang hanging pots and baskets with a bright basket annual plants.
The area adjacent to the house can be designed especially interesting if it is built on a slope, and the terrain of the site allows you to form terraces on different levels. This applies equally to the smallest garden houses, and more impressive cottages that will evoke associations with villas from the Italian Baroque period. In this case, the boundaries of the house can significantly expand and include an attached greenhouse and winter garden, a pavilion and a covered gallery.
Returning from the heights of garden Olympus to the ground, in our small garden, we emphasize that the comfort of staying on the plot depends significantly on the device and design of the border area around the house.
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