Love is in the air! It’s that time of year for romantic notions to take root – in our hearts as well as our gardens.
If you want to add some romantic flair to your landscape, there are lots of ways to do it for year-round enjoyment. It starts with a little bit of imagination, and of course planning. Here are some ideas to get you started envisioning your dream landscape.
Create Secret Spaces
Privacy is essential, whether you’re planning a romantic occasion with your special someone, or just looking for a quiet place to reflect and daydream. And it’s easy to create a personal space whether you’ve got a large, open expanse of lawn or a tiny postage-stamp-sized yard.
Structural elements are wonderful for creating everything from a cozy outdoor room to a small intimate nook. Fences, lattices and trellises, arbors, and gazebos are all structures that can create instant separation and a sense that you’ve just left your yard for an otherworldly dream space.
Climbing vines and flowers will add to the secluded feel and bring their own special romance.
You can create natural barriers, too. Bamboo is an excellent choice for creating a living privacy screen that will also add sensory elements to your space – just listen its leaves rustling in a breeze and you’ll be instantly transported to a romantic getaway.
Tall grasses, trees, even container gardens filled with climbing or tall plants can be used as privacy screening and to define the borders of your secret garden.
Add a swing or hammock, decorative bench, small fountain or bubbling water feature, or if you’ve got the room for it, a full outdoor sofa complete with big, soft pillows and blankets, and you’ve got an enchanting place for romance.
Yes, our most romantic holiday is in the middle of February – not exactly a time for lounging outdoors in a garden here in New Jersey. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy romance outdoors even in the midst of winter. If you think of your space as a four-season garden then you can add the right elements to make it interesting and lovely all year long.
There are plenty of plants that are quite engaging during winter – and even some that will bloom in February! The charming Witch Hazel is just one.
For privacy and winter beauty, try Red Twig Dogwood. This shrub will lose its greenery during winter but leave you with a stunning display of bright red branches. Or try ornamental grasses like Maiden Grass to add height, depth, visual interest and, as an added bonus, privacy.
You don’t need to rely solely on plants for beauty and romance. Other elements look just as beautiful year-round. Natural stone can be used as a focal point, an accent, or to create meandering walkways and a patio for seating in your secret space.
Rustic pieces are the perfect romantic element. Benches, tables, a gazebo – all of these have romance built right in!
And don’t overlook the visual and even emotional effect of artwork. Include treasures gathered from your travels, a favorite wicker basket, a charming planter, a lantern, watering can, or birdhouse. Anything that’s special to you or particularly appealing can give you something to enjoy no matter the month of the year.
Indulge All Your Senses
One way to create a four season space – and add timeless romance – is to think past the obvious visual appeal of the space and find a way to include your other senses.
Sound is easy to incorporate and will add an entirely new dimension to your experience. Water features, from fountains to bubblers to waterfalls and ponds, are not only lovely to look at but pleasant to hear. Water is a natural stress-reducer and will create a relaxing environment for you to enjoy a romantic moment.
Water features don’t have to be complicated, nor do they require a lot of space. You can enjoy a container water garden, pondless waterfall, or bubbling column in just about any sized space. If you have more room, a larger koi pond with a waterfall might be just the setting for a peaceful romantic interlude.
Tall grasses are another way to add an auditory element. The slightest breeze will treat you to a graceful visual dance as well as a soothing rustling sound.
We’ve covered sight and sound, but don’t forget scent! There are plenty of flowers that are not only visually romantic but smell heavenly, too. Sweet Alyssum, Honeysuckle, Dianthus, Jasmine and of course, a traditional favorite, the rose, will all bring scent – and a smile – to your space.
Wisteria is a great choice if you want a sweet smelling flower that will climb nicely up your trellis and look enchanting woven through your gazebo.
Butterfly Bush is a double-win. It will bring delightful scent as well as butterflies to your yard. It’s hard to imagine something more romantic than that!
Few things are as *unromantic* as a flat green lawn. Perfect weed-free greenery cut to a perfect two-inch height is just… well, boring. And boring is definitely not romantic. It also requires a ton of upkeep – from mowing to watering to fertilizing – which means there’s going to be less time for romance overall.
We’re not advocating letting your yard turn into an overgrown mess, but it’s time to stop stressing over the lawn and start thinking more natural.
Naturalistic landscape design is a way of taming Mother Nature into a carefully styled natural form. That probably sounds like a contradiction, but a natural, “wild” landscape is usually anything but. It does, however, skip the formality, the hard edges, the pruning and perfecting, in favor of native, soft and uncontrived.
Think vast, swaying beds of wildflowers; winding, climbing vines; meandering pathways of natural stone; soft, billowy grasses; an array of natural elements from stone to water, reclaimed wood and tree stumps; and most importantly, harmony between your home, your outdoor space, and the world around it.
A naturalistic landscape can create a sense of serenity, appreciation, and a release from the pressures of conformity and perfection. You’ll be able to enjoy colors, textures, sounds, scents and motion at any time of the year. Most of all, you’ll be able to relax, unwind, and be yourself – exactly what you need for cultivating romantic feelings.
Valentine’s Day is coming. And with it, all of the expectations that have been imbued into our lives. This year, why not step outside the ordinary and imagine your most perfect, most romantic outdoor space? You deserve to fall in love with your landscape. Whether you’re sharing it with someone or enjoying your own company, connecting with nature is an experience that you can truly love!
If you’re feeling a bit dreamy and want to talk about your vision, let us know. We’d love to create that perfect space for you.