Make the Most of Outdoor Space
Summer is the time to enjoy outdoor living. Dining al fresco, playing lawn games, lounging in the shade or basking in the sun are just a few ways to take advantage of this season. Whether you have a large yard or not, there are ways to enhance the experience of being outside. Here are six ways to make the most of your outdoor space.
- Create a Place To Be
Regardless if your outdoor space is a sprawling estate or an apartment balcony, the end goal is still the same: Create a place where you want to be. If you’re idea of the perfect garden is an orderly, formal, and traditional layout, consider a boxwood garden that utilizes symmetry. Even on a balcony you can incorporate aspects of a formal garden by potting two boxwoods at either end, then planting flower boxes to hand over the railing with classic choices like geraniums, miniature roses, and English ivy. Conversely, if you long for a space that is modern and clean, opt for since planters filled with succulents and tropical plants. In either scenario, be sure there are at least two comfortable chairs or a bench that fit your style so that you and a friend can enjoy a respite in your outdoor room.
- Pick a Pot
When it comes to planters, consistency is key. Nothing disturbs the eye more than seeing several different styles and colors of pots all jumbled together in the same space. Decide what your preference is, then stick with it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of variety, but the idea is to have a cohesive theme. For instance, if you like the rustic, country look, go with all terra cotta. If you like a traditional feel, try cast iron urns. For a modern alternative, use zinc or streamlined concrete planters. The idea is to allow the eye to flow from focal point to focal point without getting confused. The same goes for outdoor furniture. You don’t want your outdoor space to look like a yard sale, but rather a well thought out place to enjoy yourself.
- Layer Away
Creating a luscious and enveloping garden is all about layering, just as you would indoors with different colors, textures, and patterns. Start by determining how much privacy you want and where you want it. Perhaps you could plant a hedge or maybe it’s better to put up a fence. You may even have the ability to plant a section of trees to help control noise pollution from beyond your property. Once you have your larger elements in place, it’s time to layer other plants in. Work your way from large shrubs down to perennial flowers & evergreens, all the way to small annual plants. In addition to plants, layer in statuary, sculpture, and garden art. One lovely statue tucked into a bed of ferns can create a magical effect.
- Get a New Point of View
When planning your outdoor space, consider the view. Go to where you will be sitting or dining and look around you. What do you see? If you’re simply looking at a privacy fence, take the opportunity to add something pleasing to look at like a statue or flowering plant. Create a focal point where people are most likely to be looking when sitting down for long periods of time. If you already have a beautiful view such as water or a stunning tree, plan your seating areas around that. There’s no use having a beautiful view if no one can see it!
- Structure Your Space
What is the architecture like in your outdoor space? If it is lacking, why not spruce it up with some structural enhancements. A pergola is a lovely addition to any patio, and can help filter strong sunlight, not to mention act as a support to climbing plants. A gazebo is another alternative that can be built to suit any style. Need a place to store things? Rather than go with a run-of-the-mill shed, create something custom with reclaimed materials. Add a weathervane, window boxes, and a dutch door, and you’ve got a charming garden house that is both functional and pleasing to the eye.
- Use Plants to Show Off Your Style
The word “garden” conjures up many images for different people. Some instantly think of a traditional English rose garden, while others imagine an old-fashioned vegetable garden with row upon row of carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce. The reality is that a garden can be whatever you want. It all depends on the plants you select and how you choose to arrange them. Precisely trimmed hedges and perfectly pruned roses create a completely different style than free flowing tall grasses and exotic philodendron. Keep this in mind when deciding what plants to use in your garden. After all, a garden should reflect who you are and be a place where you are totally comfortable.