Your back aches a bit more these days, and you won’t be turning cartwheels at your next birthday party. But you love to be outdoors, and just because you can’t get around the way you used to doesn’t mean you’re about to give up flowers and fresh air.
In a recent post, we talked about practical landscape design elements that can make your outdoor space safer and more accessible, even if you’re faced with mobility or visibility challenges. Today we’d like to share ideas for making your outdoor experience even better, with creative ways to have more fun and enjoy your space more.
So you love to vegetable garden, but your back isn’t cooperating. Or maybe you enjoy tending a plot of your favorite flowers but can’t spend hours on your knees plucking weeds. Being outdoors is a great health and mood booster, and you don’t have to compromise on life’s simple pleasures just because of a few common ailments.
There’s no rule that says a garden has to be planted in the ground. Raised beds make a great planting option that’s easy on your joints. Plant your best tomatoes in a raised bed that puts the ripest fruit at your fingertips. Create tiers of different heights for different types of vegetables and even flowers.
For something a little closer to your front (or back!) door, use porch and patio containers. They come in a vast array of sizes, shapes and colors and will not only offer an easy gardening experience but they’ll look great, too.
If you’re really thinking outside the planter – er, box… – trellises are another great way to bring the garden to you. There are a lot of plants, from peas and beans, to ivy, Trumpet Vine and Climbing Roses that are perfect for vertical gardens. Feeling daring? Try a whole vertical garden wall!
Seating is important for any landscape and can be especially relevant if you need more frequent breaks. Comfortable seating can be placed wherever it’s needed – on a porch, patio or deck, along a pathway, beside your pond or vegetable garden, and even next to your mailbox.
The right seating isn’t just a functional place to take a break – it’s also a place where you can sit and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors around you. Imagine watching the hummingbirds on a warm summer day, or listening to the sound of your waterfall as the goldfish frolic. Enjoy your morning coffee from a comfortable outdoor dining area, or an afternoon book under the shade of an old-growth tree.
If you’ve accumulated a few kids and grandkids along the way, ample seating can be a place to gather the family for a meal, a game, or a conversation. Invite friends to sit for a while, or engage in a favorite hobby surrounded by the beauty of Mother Nature.
You may want to enjoy your outdoor space through spring and summer, but you certainly don’t want to bake in the sun. You’re past the baby-oil-and-tanning phase, and it’s important not to become overheated. Sure, you can rely on a shady tree, but wouldn’t it be nicer to have more, and possible more comfortable, options?
Overhangs and shelters can be designed in myriad beautiful ways, from a pergola atop a patio, to a garden gazebo, pavilion or covered porch. These can create everything from full outdoor rooms to small sitting nooks.
If you truly love the outdoors and want to spend more time there, an outdoor room may be the perfect shelter for you. It can include everything your living room has – all but the walls! With a roof, lighting, furniture, décor, and accessories like pillows, an area rug, ceiling fan, and even a full fireplace, you can enjoy the outdoors in style and comfort.
Consider adding smaller shelters in key locations – beside your pond, for instance. The sights and sounds of a pond can be incredibly soothing and healing, as long as you don’t turn into a baked potato. A simple shelter with a comfortable seat may just become your most favorite outdoor spot.
Consider The View
The view from your bench outside may be simply delightful. But what can you see from *inside*? There may be summer days that would broil you in an instant, and winter days that will freeze your toes right off. You won’t be going outside, but can you still enjoy it?
Sure you can, if your home’s exterior was designed with its interior in mind! The view from your windows can be every bit as engaging as the view from your patio, if your favorite flowers are front and center, or your pond visible from a kitchen nook.
If there’s a particular feature you’d like to enjoy, your landscape architect can choose a location that will make it easy to do so, whether you’re outside picking tomatoes or gazing from a big bay window. That may mean relocating a pond to the front yard, placing a container garden close to a kitchen window, or installing a four-season feature as a focal point outside your living room window.
These are just a few landscaping ideas that will make your outdoor experience more fun and make it easy to enjoy your space from inside and out. If you’d like to talk more about your outdoor space, contact us for a consultation. We’d love to be part of creating that perfect space of your dreams.