Is your garden in San Francisco looking a little tired and dated? Does it need a facelift to restore its former luster? You need a garden overhaul with design ideas that can breathe new life into your landscape. Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to make your garden a source of pride again.

Here are five unique garden ideas that are both beautiful and functional.

1.    Mannerist Garden

Mannerist gardens first made an appearance in the 15th century in Europe, according to The Family Handyman. Elegant and classical, these gardens feature exotic and fanciful embellishments, and have formed the basis for many garden designs throughout the Mediterranean. While ordered and formal, they offer a touch of whimsy as well.

To achieve this style in your backyard, you can:

  • Line pathways and terraces with manicured box hedges.
  • Include geometrically-shaped topiaries and trees in terra-cotta vases.
  • Tuck amusing statues and fountains in far-away corners.

If you consider yourself an eclectic-style gardener, this design trend may be for you.

2.     Zen Garden

Zen gardens are symbolic representations of nature in its spiritual and earthly form, drawing inspiration from Far East aesthetics and traditions – specifically as they relate to the peaceful and contemplative Buddhist philosophy. The centerpiece of this Japanese-inspired garden is a chip-gravel pit (shallow in nature) that can be formed into gentle swirling patterns when raked.

Zen priests used to use this technique to emulate waves or ripples of water to spur concentration and focus. To achieve a Zen garden, you can use these other minimalist techniques:

  • Utilize plants sparingly.
  • Use bamboo or ornamental grass privacy screens.
  • Add a stone Buddha statue.
  • For nighttime lighting, add lanterns.
  • To symbolize the purity of water, install a small pond, fountain or trickling stream.

3.    Butterfly Garden

It’s believed that when a butterfly lands on you, it is a sign of good fortune to come. Why not build a whole garden around this belief? Create a butterfly habitat in your own backyard with lush flowering plants that not only attract butterflies, but bees and other creatures that love plants.

Balance out the garden with a mixture of native plants that produce nectar such as:

  • Buddleia (AKA Butterfly Bush)
  • Honeysuckle
  • Marigolds
  • Phlox
  • Butterflyweed
  • Herbs (thyme, fennel, dill, lavender)

While you’re at it, add a butterfly house where your winged visitors can hide from predators, as well as a drinking bowl with water and stones on which they can perch.

4.    Water Garden

Water gardens are a calming and relaxing way to unwind in nature. You will want to incorporate aquatic plants and even fish into your garden landscape, as well as small cascading waterfalls and pools. How big you go with this is up to you: you can have small water features in ceramic bowls set on your patio, or you can install a large koi pond.

Plants like lotus or water lilies attract all sorts of wildlife, such as frogs. Here are some examples of floating plants that don’t require soil:

  • Fairy moss
  • Duckweed
  • Water lettuce
  • Water hyacinth

Here are some examples of deep-water plants that grow at the bottoms of ponds, with flowers that float to the surface:

  • Lotus
  • Yellow dwarf water lily
  • White water snowflakes

And finally, here are some examples of oxygenating grasses that help get rid of algae:

  • Variegated sweet flag
  • Cattails

5.    Rose Garden

You don’t see many true rose gardens anymore, but when you do, they are breathtaking. Building a garden filled with these beautiful blooms is an homage to the flower that has been revered by humans for 5,000 years.

You will need to incorporate flowering plants originating from the genus Rosa. You have many species to decide on, as there are more than 300 rose species in the world. You will find that they are grouped into the following categories:

  • Erect shrubs
  • Trailing
  • Climbing

Many people think rose gardens can be too stuffy and formal, but they are actually quite approachable and welcoming – not to mention intoxicating to sniff. There are so many ways you can design your rose garden aided by your landscape designer. You can:

  • Plant roses along hedges and fences.
  • Grow wild roses for a more natural look.
  • Cover garden walls with climbing roses.
  • Plant climbing roses near trees so they can meander over the branches.
  • Plants roses over a gazebo or arch.

As you can see, there are many unique garden design ideas to try on your property. Discuss your wants and needs with your landscaper to develop the ideal layout.

Transform Your Garden With a Free Quote From Inside Out Landscaping

If you need some inspiration on how to redefine your landscape and garden, contact us today at (415) 606-7122 for a free consultation and quote. We can walk through some innovative design ideas and concepts that can result in the garden makeover of your dreams.