Homeowners are increasingly recognizing the potential of their gardens as an extension of their indoor living spaces. They can become a tranquil retreat for relaxation and a lively hub for entertainment. To achieve this, you may need to keep the squirrels away and make some design improvements. In this article, we’ll help you create an outdoor space that merges tranquility and sociability – offering you the best of both worlds.
Make Some Initial Considerations
Before you plunge into designing your outdoor space, you need to evaluate what you already have. Consider the size, shape, terrain, and orientation. Take note of your local climate, as it’ll significantly impact your plant choices and the positioning of different elements. Assess how much sunlight your garden receives and where it’s windiest. All these factors are critical in shaping your outdoor space for maximum comfort and utility.
You should also consider which parts are shaded or need to be. Perhaps you’re currently residing in a city in Pennsylvania, USA. An online search for awnings in Philadelphia can enable you to request free estimates and in-home quotes. An awning could keep your house and backyard cool, protecting your patio furniture from the elements. This could increase your curb appeal, enhance your patio and give you a great space for entertaining. If you need extra shade, another option would be to consider having a gazebo in the garden.
Plan Your Space
Start by listing what you want from your garden. Do you envision a serene space to unwind, where you have plenty of privacy? You may desire to have a kid-friendly zone, an outdoor dining area, or somewhere to host parties. Alternatively, you may prefer a combination of some of these elements. Sketch a rough plan of your garden, marking out different zones for different activities.
Think about how each area will interact (e.g., you don’t want the noise from the entertainment area disturbing the peace in your relaxation zone). This step may require several changes before you find a layout that works for all your needs. There are plenty of books and online resources that can inspire you, as well as garden centers and landscaping professionals. The latter can help you make the most of the available space, making sure everything matches in terms of decor.
Create A Relaxing Haven
In terms of seating, you might choose a hammock, a daybed, a swing, or a comfortable bench. Position this seating in a quiet, sheltered part of your garden. Ideally, it should offer a beautiful view – such as your flower beds, a stately tree, or a water feature. The latter can significantly enhance the tranquility of your space. The sound of gently trickling water can mask any noise coming from traffic, neighbors, or passersby. Consider installing a pond, a waterfall, or a simple fountain.
Additionally, choose plants that appeal to the senses. This could include fragrant herbs like lavender and rosemary or visually soothing green foliage. Another option is soft ornamental grasses that rustle gently in the wind. If you love to see and hear birds, encourage them by providing bird baths, bird tables, and nesting boxes. There are also specific plants and flowers that will encourage the presence of butterflies and bees.
Design An Entertainment Hub
If you love hosting friends and family, this is a must. An ideal entertainment zone has three key areas: a dining area, a cooking area, and a lounging area. For the dining area, choose a sturdy outdoor dining set that can withstand the elements. Position it on a flat, stable surface. A patio, decking, or level lawn area are all good options. A dedicated cooking area can range from a simple BBQ grill to a full-fledged outdoor kitchen. The latter could come complete with a countertop, sink, and storage.
Ultimately, you need to consider what suits your needs and budget. The lounging area is where your guests can relax and socialize. Why not buy some outdoor sofas or lounge chairs, and arrange them around a coffee table or fire pit? This would make for a cozy setting. A firepit could add some extra light and warmth in the evenings, and you could roast marshmallows with the kids.
Choose Lighting For Mood And Function
Lighting is a vital aspect of outdoor spaces, serving both aesthetic and practical purposes. Use it to highlight features like a beautiful tree or a water feature. It could light up pathways for safety and also deter intruders. Once it’s installed, it’ll create a warm, inviting ambiance for evenings.
For relaxation zones, opt for soft, warm lighting. Fairy lights, lanterns, or solar-powered stake lights can create a magical, peaceful atmosphere. For entertainment areas, you might need brighter lights. This especially applies in terms of the cooking space. As with fire pits, patio heaters can provide both light and warmth, extending your outdoor entertainment into cooler seasons.
Personalize Your Space
Adding personal touches to your garden will make it feel more like an extension of your home. This could be in the form of unique planters, handmade decorations, a painted mural, or any other elements that reflect your personality and interests.
Including features that cater to your hobbies can also add a personal touch. If you’re a gardening aficionado, allocate a space for a potting bench and some raised beds for your favorite plants.
Maintain Your Garden
Your outdoor area will need regular upkeep to remain beautiful and functional. Opt for durable, easy-to-clean furniture and fixtures. Choose plants that are suitable for your local climate and soil type. In turn, this will reduce the need for extra care.
Create a yearly schedule for things like weeding, pruning, and planting. Also, create a timetable for other tasks, such as watering or adding compost.
Whilst this may feel like a challenging task, you can succeed with some careful planning and thoughtful design. Irrespective of its size, your garden can become your personal haven of relaxation and the heart of your social gatherings. In time, you’ll have a personalized garden that you’re proud to call your own, offering you countless hours of serenity and entertainment.