As the winter moves out, and the warmer months are setting in, families and homeowners are getting ready to get out and enjoy the lovely weather. There is nothing more exciting than a cook-off or dip in the pool when the sun is out. Here are some great landscape design ideas to get you ready for the outdoors.
It is a well-known fact that spending time in nature and greenery can boost well-being, relaxation, and health. Depending on your lifestyle and budgets you can consider a wide variety of landscape options.
From pools, patios, and decks, to outdoor kitchens, barbeque areas, and open-air dining and seating spaces can make wonderful additions to your garden and outdoor landscapes.
If you are outdoorsy family or you love hosting people, extending your activities to the patio and garden area can add a change of scene and provide a wonderful ambience to your parties and get-togethers.
Pools are a great addition to homes, especially in the summer months. It makes a great play area for the kids and adds a significant value to your property in the long run. If budgets permit, you can even consider a swim-up bar – where family and friends can savour drinks and enjoy the pool all in one! Deck chairs and lounge chairs can be great for sun-bathing and hosting a large number of people around pool areas. Keeping in mind current sustainability trends and regulations help ensure you that there are no water shortage problems in your area before investing in a pool.
If you are big on hosting people and have an active social life, an outdoor space that is landscaped and properly planned can do wonders. It adds extended space for larger events and can add a create change of scene especially in the pleasant months. Comfortable outdoor furniture, gazebos and deck areas with landscaped plants and flora will charm all your guests. Make sure furniture is comfortable and resistant to the elements of nature.
Many people enjoy cooking, and it is also a great way to host and entertain people. Ranging from a small portable grill to an entire cooking range, there are a wide variety of additions that you can make for outdoor cooking. Ensure you create a safe area for your outdoor kitchen and there is a specific demarcation for cooking, dining and socializing.
Portable cook tops grills will give you flexibility in terms of choosing a location and also are ideal for small backyards or patios. If you stay in an area where the weather is pleasant most part of the year, and you and your loved ones are crazy about barbeques and dinners under the open sky, you can consider investing in a permanent setup with a cooking range, outdoor refrigerator and beautiful wooden or concrete countertops.
Consider sturdy, comfortable and durable materials for your outdoor furniture. Based on the look and feel of your outdoor landscape you can choose classic wicker furniture. Wicker matches beautifully with the greenscapes of your house.
When you have a young family and outdoor kitchen you can consider simple picnic table style benches in your garden area. Dot your outdoor pool or garden area with garden umbrellas. These will add splashes of colour and provide shade and protection when required.
There are many considerations when choosing lighting for your outdoor areas. Besides basic accessibility and security, you may want to list how the space will be used. Do you like to entertain and need good lighting on pathways, patios, and decks? Do the kids want to play soccer on the lawn after dusk? Or do you simply want to enjoy a beautiful view as you drive up to your home each evening?
- Downlighting – Installing downward facing lights on low heights on small boundary walls and plinths, gives a gentle sense of direction and enhances the pathways and other flooring details. This adds a soft and pleasant look to the landscaping
- Uplighting – Uplighting gives off bold shadows and strong effects. By aiming the lights upwards into a tree or onto an architectural feature, you emphasize the contrast of dark shadows with bright light
- Cross Lighting – It is when you eliminate shadows by lighting a focal point from both sides. When you are keen on highlighting a certain rock feature or dramatic plantscape in your house, these are the right choice
Make sure the lights are diffused and located with care, this will ensure they don’t hurt your eyes and make the atmosphere comfortable long conversations. Consider lights that are energy-efficient and also weather-proofed for outdoor conditions.
Basic ceiling fans can be a great saviour in the warmer months, giving relief and some circulation of air when humid. If there are no roof areas, you can also consider floor pedestal fans, these are movable and can be placed anywhere as per convenience.
If you live in a chilly area, consider a cosy fireplace. This will allow you to maintain your love for the outdoors and bring your family closer together huddled up at bon-fires.
Edible Garden Patches
The movement towards maintaining your own edible garden has become extremely popular, as many people turn to living simpler lifestyles. Edible gardens provide you with healthy vegetables, herbs, and fruit at a low cost, and they can make stunning additions to the landscape.
They’re also an economical way to reduce water-intensive lawn space, and fill otherwise empty spaces with appealing visual features such as raised garden beds and herb plots. It is also a great way to include your children in learning about nature, as they understand the importance of how food reaches our tables.
An edible garden can be personalised in any way you choose. You can make it informal or formal with fixed boundaries, and compact or large in accordance with your space and style requirements. Enquire at your local gardening shops and farmer’s markets about DIY gardening kits, these can get you onto an easy start.
So get your green thumb on!
Sustainability is now a lifestyle choice, not a passing trend. Sustainability also brings energy efficiency and budget-friendly alternatives. You can start by discussing with your landscaper and gardeners about planting local plants. These will survive better and require minimum maintenance. Consider discussing with your architects how to ensure that local plants work well with your aesthetic plans for the house.
Move away from manicured and water-intensive lawns to turf seeds or blends that require less water and don’t require mowing. This would also mean they are more resistant to pests which means you will reduce the risk of exposing your family to nasty pesticides!
There are many easy and affordable options available now for technology-powered irrigation, where smart irrigation systems enable households to save more water. These systems can integrate weather data to automatically work out how much water to apply to your garden, and you can even manage your irrigation from your phone.
A simple decision about solar lighting panels for your outdoor lights can also be incorporated into your plans. You may save a lot in the long run!