This tiny garden provides a big feast for the senses: A fountain trickles softly in one corner, the fragrance of flowers floats in the air, dappled shade plays across richly textured patio floors. Plus, a peekaboo gate offers a glimpse inside the high walls that separate it from the street.
It all combines to make a garden that’s undeniably sexy.
Nancy Goslee Power, a landscape designer, describes her garden as one "you can imagine having romance in." It invites têtes-á-tetes by the fire, or curling up with coffee in a warm patch of sunlight.
The most essential element for a romantic garden is privacy. "To me, a garden is a walled space. People want to feel protected," Power says. Dividing the garden into even smaller rooms does just that.
"Arrange people so they can’t help but touch, and the evening gets more intimate immediately," says Power, a former interior designer. Add soft light, colors that flatter skin tones, and candles after dark.
Load up the garden with sensory elements: fire, water, and plants that delight with color, scent, sound, or movement. Include objects with history and meaning to give your visitors a glimpse into your private life.
Since Power’s backyard is quite small (45 feet by 45 feet), adding a long water feature dead center, where it divides the space in half, might seem counterintuitive.
But people prefer more confined spaces. "When I design, I think about circles some 9 feet in diameter. People like to be close, within 5 feet of one another," she says. "Further apart," she adds, "doesn’t feel friendly."
Rich walls and floors of Utah flagstone create a luxurious backdrop for simple, inexpensive furnishings. A romantic garden isn’t just for lovers, Powers believes.
Friends, family and casual guests all have more fun in a highly personal space. And if the object of your affection happens to encounter this all-out seduction? Let’s just say resistance is futile.
7 Elements of a Sexy Garden
1. A fountain
2. Fragrant flowers
3. Dappled shade
6. Small spaces (that force people to touch)