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The Complete Guide to Contemporary Garden Design in the UK

contemporary garden design - supertramp

Ever thought about making your garden look cool but not sure where to begin?

Today’s modern gardens are all about sleek lines, natural materials, and low-maintenance but high-impact plants. 

If you’re looking to create an urban oasis or a relaxing retreat or want your garden to reflect your modern home interior. In that case, contemporary garden design is the way to go. This style works with any size or shape of the garden, so you can achieve a stylish space no matter how little or much space you have.


First let’s understand about what is Contemporary garden design? Contemporary garden design is about making your garden look new and stylish. It involves using simple shapes, modern materials, and a mix of nature and human-made elements. Instead of being complicated, it’s all about being simple, neat, and useful. 

This kind of garden isn’t just pretty; it’s also easy to take care of. You might see straight lines, clean edges, and a good mix of things like plants and furniture.

Contemporary garden design is nowadays hugely popular in the UK. Homeowners are moving in favour of minimal, low-maintenance spaces. By the end of this guide, you’ll have the knowledge and inspiration to create a garden that’s high on style but low on effort. Let’s get started!

This guide is for you. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to transform your outdoor space into a contemporary garden.

Essential Elements of Contemporary Garden Design

Choosing local plants adapted to the UK climate ensures a low-maintenance and stylish outdoor space. Think succulents and grasses for a modern touch with minimal effort. Mixing different leaves and skipping high-maintenance lawns keeps things sleek and stress-free. Now, consider water features,whether it’s a gentle fountain or a sustainable rainwater system, incorporating water elements adds a refreshing and harmonious dimension to your contemporary garden.

Plant Selection

For contemporary garden design, plant selection is critical. Focus on:

  • Native and adapted plants suited to your region and climate. These require less maintenance and resources.

  • Contemporary spaces often incorporate architectural plants, succulents, ornamental grasses, and drought-resistant shrubs. These options are eco-friendly and require minimal fuss.

  • A mix of delicate, coarse and shiny leaves adds depth. Smooth stones, pebbles and boulders also introduce different textures.

  • Minimal lawn. Replace high-maintenance lawns with walkways, patios, decking, gravel, or ground cover plants. This reduces mowing and creates usable space.

By selecting the right mix of plants and materials suited to your needs and contemporary style, you’ll have a sustainable, low-key outdoor space pleasing to the eye. The lush foliage and sparse pops of colour will create an oasis of calm in your garden.

Water Features

To provide visual and auditory interest, consider incorporating minimalist water features into your contemporary garden design.

Fountains, ponds and waterfalls are popular choices, as the gentle trickling sounds can be very soothing. However, opt for sleek water walls, spillways, or rain curtains for an ultra-modern look. These provide the same calming effects using recirculating pumps to create flowing sheets of water over various surface materials like concrete, steel or slate.

Sustainable rainwater collection systems are an eco-friendly water feature option. Installing rain barrels, cisterns, or tanks allows you to harvest rainwater to use in your garden, and some models can also include fixtures for irrigation or creating small water features. The collected rainwater reduces the demand for municipal water supplies and is better for plants.

Whatever water feature you choose, consider both the visual and acoustic effects to achieve a balanced, cohesive, contemporary design. The integration of water, a life-giving element, helps bring your garden space alive.

Enhancing Your Garden Experience with a Trampoline

contemporary garden design - supertramp

Creating a vibrant and inviting garden is an art that extends beyond the blossoming blooms and neatly arranged shrubs. Incorporating playful elements like a trampoline can transform your outdoor space into a lively haven, providing joy and relaxation for both young and old. 

There are various advantages if you are including a trampoline in your garden.

Physical Exercise:

The inclusion of a trampoline encourages physical activity, providing an enjoyable way for both children and adults to stay active.

Enhanced Social Interaction: 

The lively bounce of a trampoline becomes a focal point for social gatherings, fostering a sense of camaraderie among family and friends.

Outdoor Fun: 

With a trampoline in the garden, outdoor play becomes synonymous with laughter and joy, offering a refreshing break from indoor routines.

Health Benefits: 


Regular use of a trampoline contributes to improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, and coordination.

Creating Ambience with Furniture and Lighting

Make your garden a great place for fun and relaxation by planning it well. Choose comfy furniture and cool lights for a cosy atmosphere. Adding a fire pit or heater can keep you warm in the evening. Organise your space into different areas for hanging out, eating, and playing. Use smart furniture that can do more than one job and keep things neat with storage. Now what?  Let’s talk about these these elements in detail:

Contemporary furniture and accessories

Choose weather-resistant furniture, cushions, rugs, and accessories in contemporary styles. Metal, teak, and synthetic wicker are great options. Look for clean lines, neutral colours, and minimal embellishment.

Add lighting for ambience and to extend the hours you can enjoy the space. String lights, lanterns, and spotlights can all work well.

Consider a fire pit or outdoor heaters for cooler evenings. A fire pit gives a focal point for gathering and can be used for cooking or warmth. Heaters allow you to use the space even when temperatures drop.


contemporary garden design - supertramp

For a contemporary garden, lighting is critical. Strategically placed lighting fixtures can transform an outdoor space once the sun goes down.

Energy-efficient LED lights are ideal for the environmentally-conscious garden owner. Solar-powered spotlights, path lights and string lights are all options to consider. They provide ambient lighting without the need for wiring or an electrician.

Place spotlights to highlight architectural details like pergolas, water features or garden sculptures if you opt for low-voltage lighting. Up-lighting mature trees and shrubs is also dramatic. For safety, install path lighting along walkways.

Subtle lighting lets your contemporary garden shine day or night. You’ll enjoy your outdoor oasis long after dusk with the right fixtures and placement.

A Guide to Wildlife Friendly Garden

Make your UK garden a home for local wildlife—it’s not just about looks; it’s essential for the environment. Adding bird feeders, ponds, native plants, and animal shelters makes your garden lively and reduces the need for hard work and harmful stuff. Choose local plants from your garden centre—they’re easy to care for. These simple changes make your garden pleasant and help control pests naturally, making the local environment happy. These are some of the things that you should include to make your garden more wildlife friendly.

  • Bird feeders and birdhouses for nesting

  • A small pond or water feature for birds and amphibians

  • Native plants that provide pollen, nectar, seeds and berries

Choosing native plants suited to your region and climate is one of the most impactful steps you can take. They require less maintenance, pesticides and fertiliser. Your local garden centre can advise on the best options for your area.

A few small changes can go a long way in creating an eco-friendly outdoor space. You’ll attract natural pest control and pollination to your garden by providing natural elements that sustain wildlife.

Garden Maintenance Tips for Longevity

contemporary garden design - supertramp

To extend the longevity of your contemporary garden design, it’s crucial to have a lasting outdoor haven. Regular maintenance, including pruning and weeding, preserves its visual appeal and fosters a healthy environment for plant growth. Strategic feeding and pest control are pivotal in sustaining the garden’s vitality. Innovative watering practices contribute to overall well-being while adding mulch aids in moisture retention and weed prevention. Following these simple yet essential aspects of care guarantees a delightful and resilient garden in the long run.


Weed your garden beds regularly, especially after rain. Pull weeds out by the roots to remove them altogether. Mulching around plants will help prevent weeds.


Feed plants in early spring before buds form and again in early summer. Use a balanced, all-purpose fertiliser. Follow the directions on the product packaging regarding how much and how often to fertilise.

Pest and disease control

Inspect plants frequently for signs of common pests or diseases and treat them early. Prune out infected plant parts. For severe infestations, you may need to apply insecticides or fungicides.


Water plants regularly based on their specific needs. Most require about an inch of water per week. Group plants with similar light and water needs together for more accessible care. Water in the morning to minimise disease risk.

Following these best practices for maintenance and care will help ensure your contemporary garden remains in tip-top shape for many years. With the proper maintenance, your garden can provide enjoyment and stand the test of time.


So there, you have everything you need to know to create a stunning contemporary garden design. Whether you want to incorporate sustainable elements, focus on minimalism and simplicity or create a space for entertaining, you now have the tools and inspiration to craft your ideal modern outdoor space. The key is to choose a style you love, select high-quality materials that will last, and pay attention to the details. A contemporary garden is meant to be enjoyed, so include features that speak to you and suit your lifestyle. With some vision and patience, you’ll have a contemporary garden design in the UK that becomes your own personal retreat. Happy gardening!

A contemporary garden embodies modern design with clean lines, minimalist elements, and a blend of outdoor and architectural features, often using innovative materials for a sleek look.

Choose sleek, architectural plants like ornamental grasses and structural shrubs. Maintain a restrained colour palette and incorporate bold, geometric arrangements for a modern aesthetic.

Characteristics include clean lines, open spaces, minimalist design, and a balance between modern materials like steel and concrete, along with a mix of hardscape and greenery.

Water features add tranquillity by recirculating water through a pump. Fountains, ponds, and waterfalls enhance the aesthetic and auditory experience, creating a serene atmosphere.

Yes, a garden is suitable for a trampoline. Ensure adequate space, position it on level ground, and incorporate safety measures like a protective net for an enjoyable and secure bouncing experience. Regular maintenance is essential.

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