There are plenty of iconic images that come to mind when planning a romantic evening – a bouquet of roses, a bottle of wine, a cozy fire in the hearth. But how often do you imagine your back yard as part of that scene?
Perhaps a balmy summer evening stirs amorous feelings, but how about the rest of the year? Do gusty autumn days inspire you to romance? How about crisp winter temperatures? They should!
Today we’d like to inspire you to look at your landscape a little differently. We want to explore simple ways that you can incorporate a bit of dreamy romance, and turn your yard into a place where you can get lost in a daydream or enjoy some time with a special someone.
Some of these ideas require a little bit of planning – after all, romance wasn’t built in a day! Others you can probably include right now if you’re really motivated. But all of them will show you how you can add some ambiance and make your outdoor space a special place that you can enjoy any time of the year.
Add Some String Lights Or Fairy Lights
Let’s face it – most lighting will add ambiance and there are plenty of tricks you can use to set whatever mood you choose, from dramatic to cozy to playful and plenty more. But nothing says romance quite like the tiny, glittering points of string and fairy lights.
For winter charm and even a sweet Valentine’s Day surprise, add white lights (or red if you’re feeling bold!) between trees, above a patio, or through a pergola or gazebo.
Choose the technique that creates the mood you want to set. Lights wound through tree branches may look a bit too “holiday-ish”, but can be enchanting when strung strategically between nearby trees. Lights encircling a patio can define the space, making it feel more private and cozy.
Lights come in so many colors, shapes and sizes that it’s only a matter of imagination. Blue lights can be soothing, orange invigorating. Small, delicate bulbs add a sense of ethereal magic, while larger, bolder bulbs have more of an open, party feel. Choose the ones that work for you!
Turn On The Fire Pit
Of course you can light a fire indoors, but even the chilliest winter evening is no match for a great fire pit. There is something inherently cozy and romantic about a warm fire, whether it’s lit at the end of a summer pool party or enjoyed with a few blankets on a February evening.
There are, of course, different types of fire pits for you to choose from. There are portable patio fire pits that you can unbox and assemble quickly, and there are custom-built fire pits made of beautiful natural stone.
Need something for next weekend? You may want to go with the portable version, at least for now. But for something that becomes an integral part of your landscape, that you can enjoy any time of year with ease, consider having one built to suit your space and your aesthetic preferences.
We probably don’t have to convince you to use a fire pit when the weather is comfortable, but how about in the heart of winter, or for a Valentine’s Day treat? Don’t be afraid to get outdoors with some pillows and blankets and enjoy the warmth of your fire pit! Grab that glass of wine, or a hot beverage, don’t forget the box of chocolate, or maybe toast up a few wintertime s’mores, and you’ve got an evening worth remembering.
Feed The Birds
Romance isn’t just for evenings. You can bring a little love to the daytime, too, and one of the best ways to do that is by inviting company – the company of birds, that is. Birds add motion, sound and color to your space, and their enthusiasm for flirting is bound to bring a smile to your face.
With the right plants and shelter you can create an attractive space for birds any time of the year.
Start with a naturalistic landscape. That means using native plants and wildflowers, especially those that include berries or seeds that birds can count on as a food source during bare winter months. Use tall grasses where birds can nest and hide. Include a water source, like a fountain or pond where they can bathe and play.
You can just as easily include a bird house (or two!) to double as a bit of rustic and eye-catching décor. If you’re feeling creative or you want to get the kids involved, try making your own bird-friendly garlands for winter fun. Blueberries, cranberries, nuts, seeds and grapes can be strung together for some color and as a welcome to hungry birds. This trick is especially effective during winter when your eye yearns for a little color and life.
Just Add Water
There’s a reason that so many romantic images include sunsets and walks on beaches. Water has a romance all its own, whether you’re listening to it, wading in it, stealing a kiss beside it, or enjoying the sight of it from a kitchen window. Not too many people are fortunate enough to have a beach view from their back yard, but you can still enjoy the beauty and benefits of water.
Water is a natural source of tranquility and healing. It reduces stress, soothes your mind, and instills a sense of calm peacefulness – all of which are important parts of enjoying some romantic time with your partner!
For romance, just about any kind of water feature will do. A pond offers plenty of charm, from the relaxing sound of a waterfall to the cheerful sight of fish. A pondless waterfall brings the sight and sound of water to the smallest of spaces. Even something as simple as a garden bubbler or bubbling column can create an engaging multi-sensory experience.
Water is something you can enjoy year round, too. Ponds, waterfalls and bubblers can be kept active no matter the season, bringing color and life during warm months, and stunning winter scenes and ice sculptures during cold.
Plant For Four Seasons
Have you noticed a theme throughout this post? If there is one common thread tying all of these ideas together it’s this: you can enjoy them differently – and just as much – whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall.
It takes planning and creative thought, but a four-season landscape means that you never have to suffer another dull, uninspired season again. The right plantings mean that there will be something different to enjoy each season, whether in color, texture, height, or movement.
Consider not just what you use in your landscape, but how. The placement of elements, from plantings to fire pits to water features and gardens, means you can enjoy those elements whether you’re outdoors, or watching from a window during inclement weather.
With Valentine’s Day coming, romance may be on everyone’s radar, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t be enjoyed all year. And there is no reason why a bit of a winter chill should keep you from enjoying this holiday outdoors!
If you’re planning a romantic day, or if you just want to curl up with your special someone and enjoy a little time together, we’ve put together a playlist of love songs that you can enjoy whether you’re lounging on your sofa and gazing out a window at the sunset, or braving the cold to enjoy the blaze of your fire pit. We hope you’ll take some time to relax and enjoy the people you love.
And remember, if you want to talk about creating a landscape – romantic or otherwise – get in touch for a consultation and we’ll help make all your outdoor dreams come true.