Here’s how to choose a spot for a nook and eight design moves to make it feel like your very own secret garden destination.
To create an intimate nook-like seating area, look for sites in the garden that feel secluded and somewhat enclosed. Alcoves created by hedges, walls and fences, or an area under a large shade tree, are good bets for placing a small seating area.
Swap out furniture as needed. For example, a small foldable cafe table used in spring and summer could be traded for a movable fire pit to anchor a seating nook in fall and winter.
Bamboo is a great choice for small gardens in need of quick cover. The plant grows faster than almost any other, and its skinny, upright form doesn’t take up too much floor space in a small area. To avoid bamboo spreading by underground runners — which will make you no friend of your neighbors — choose a clumping bamboo variety like ‘Golden Goddess’ (Bambusa multiplex ‘Golden Goddess’).
The screening itself, whether you’re using fencing, walls or hedges, provides a perfect opportunity for nestling in a seating arrangement. Here, the designer used wood slat screens running laterally across the lot to selectively interfere with how far you can see and carve out multiple nooks for seating.
To enclose a garden seating area with greenery, leave room for planting a variety of perennials, shrubs and trees in beds around a patio or in large pots. Hanging a feeder or including pollinator-friendly plants like nectar-rich salvia or cape honeysuckle will help attract wild birds to your garden, if this is also one of your goals.
This garden pavilion in a backyard east of Edinburgh, Scotland, includes wraparound bench seating around a central table — a great setup for entertaining a small group, even in wet weather.
Another idea: Convert all or a section of an existing garden shed into an inviting nook by swapping out storage space for a cozy chair, blanket and side table.