Although there's been an undoubted shift away from zonal or room garden designs in recent years, it still has plenty to offer. Zoned gardens are especially effective on larger plots which can seem devoid of features if they are left without the sense of journey that garden rooms create. Try to think about your garden zones as replicating the rooms of your home. Each has its own style and decorative features. As such, you should make just as much from different hard landscaping features as you should from planting. How do you go about creating a zoned garden?
A hard area of ground set in a lawn creates the dimensions for a zone within a garden instantly. Terraces and patios are particularly good at forming transitional areas between the home and its garden. Install an awning to create a ceiling for this outdoor room. In addition, awnings create shade for comfort which will encourage guests to linger in the space when it is sunny. Of course, with modern dyeing techniques, you can select an awning colour that connects to the tones in your terrace's paving, too.
Rather than planting in your garden's borders, use planters instead. This way you can create divisions in your zone which correspond to the walls of its room. Planters raise your foliage up to eye height, thus helping to create more visual impact in the zone. Bear in mind that planters can be shifted around to make new spaces, as desired. You cannot do this with a border without several seasons' worth of effort, on the other hand.
Linking the rooms of your zonal garden is essential to capture the right sense of journey. Think of them as open corridors between the main set pieces with transitional planting alongside that connects each garden room to the next. Hard landscaping for a garden pathway between zones need not be that hard, either. Gravel and mulched bark paths are just as effective as those laid with intricate herringbone slabs, for example. Allow your garden's paths to meander so that the view alters as you walk along it. Offer a semi-obstructed glimpse of the zone to come so that it whets the appetite fully. A garden that has multiple rooms will always be better when they are linked in an organised fashion. Even meadow gardens with lots of wild flowers improve with a section which has been mown down to allow you to pass along it.