We've noticed recently there's been a definite increase in the popularity of our terracotta bird feeders and bird houses. This got us thinking that maybe there's a mood at the moment to create more rustic gardens, a growing trend to look at more simple styles and personalities in our outside spaces. So if you're thinking about designing a more rustic garden, where do you start?! It's important, before you design any space, that you think through how you will use it. Somewhere to relax? Somewhere to entertain? Somewhere for the kids to play? All these elements must be considered at the beginning of the design process. If you love to relax and to entertain then you might want to incorporate paved areas or decking. If you're more Alan Titchsmarsh than socialite then you may want to make space for more flower beds, veggie plots or a greenhouse. A simple way to introduce a more rustic style to your garden is to give cast-off items a new home. Vintage finds from flea markets and car boot sales can bring heaps of character. Think a planted old galvanised tub or porcelain sink (ensure you have drainage holes in anything you plant in), a watering can collection full of personality with vintage styles or re-purposing old timber to create a fence with personality. Old garden tools are always to be found at car boot sales and with a bit of imagination they could create an eye catching display in your garden, and a talking point. If you're creating a paved area then consider using old bricks which have instant characteristics like chips and dents which will bring rustic style, and they are often cheaper than new paving stones too. Pick a colour scheme and work closely to this. You want your flower beds to look coordinated rather than a mismatch of bright colours. This is also true of the accessories you introduce. White, terracotta and a simple other colour make a great rustic garden pallete. Wildlife should be encouraged and considered with any garden space designed, we all have a responsibility to make our spaces as friendly to nature as we can. You can introduce colourful garden birds to your garden by providing a space to nest and a space to feed. The terracotta birdhouse from the Green&Blue range makes a beautiful addition to a rustic garden and will provide a nesting space for bluetits, whilst the terracotta belle bird feeder is a simple yet stylish way to feed fat balls or kitchen scraps to garden birds and you can also place nesting materials in it during roosting season. And above all enjoy your garden, make it work for you and make it work for nature too.