When warm weather arrives, most people prefer to be outside as much as possible, making an outdoor space more than just a garden. Today, gardens are multi-purpose areas that reflect personal interests and personalities, and are often used for the same activities that take place indoors. A garden can serve as a much-needed retreat that – when well-designed and decorated – can help to increase a home’s liveable space.

Over the next 26 days, we’ll focus on the backyard by letter, with an A to Z guide, full of smart and stylish outdoor decor ideas, along with useful and unique garden elements.

Did we miss something? Tweet your photos and ideas @MovatoHome! Use this backyard bible to transform your outdoor area into a relaxing personal sanctuary that can be enjoyed all year round.


Z – Zen Garden Elements: Introduce a little east to your west with key zen design elements. Taking cues from a Japanese garden will help to instil a peaceful atmosphere within your outdoor living space. It will also provide a tranquil place to de-clutter your mind and nurture your spirit.

A zen landscape consists of simple, clean lines which avoid symmetry. In essence, the design should replicate the randomness of nature, alter perception and engage the senses. It should offer a sense of mystery and magic without being pretentious or unnatural and — just like a fine wine — it should improve with age.

While a zen garden doesn’t require or expect any single component, some common features that are typically depicted include bridges, islands, ponds, streams, waterfalls, basins, sand, pebbles, stepping stones, sculptural rocks and plants, pathways, lanterns, bamboo fencing and Buddha statues.


Miss our last post from this A to Z guide? This guide is full of garden goodies, great ideas and practical solutions to help you create a summer-ready outdoor retreat. Just in case: 

A — Al fresco dining; B — Bunting; C — Cinema; D — Daybed; E — Eco Garden Room; F — Fire Pits; G — Glow-in-the-Dark Elements; H — Herb Garden; I — Irrigation System; J — Jumbo Joss Sticks; K — Kitchenette; L — Living Wall; M — Mosaics; N — Night Lighting O — Ornaments & Sculptures; P — Pizza Ovens; Q — Quirky Accessories; R — Recycled Elements; S — Solar Shading; T — Terrariums; U — Umbrellas; V — Vegetable Patch; W — Water Features; X — Xtras; Y — Yoga Area


That’s a wrap!  You now have absolutely everything you need to spring into action and convert your outdoor area into an oasis. It’s time to get out into the garden and embrace the joys of alfresco living.