You finally bought a house. The previous owners did some outside work, but it doesn’t match the vision of a beautiful garden you’ve had since you started stacking containers on your balcony long ago. Creating the perfect garden and outdoor space takes some careful planning, but that doesn’t mean you need to be boring. Draw inspiration from great sources online and in magazines to help plan your space.
Learn about fruit trees and which are the lowest maintenance. Consider paths, lighting, pools, and so much more. Here are some of ideas you might consider when creating that perfect outdoor area.
Decide on the largest feature of your outdoor space, and plan around it. If you want an extensive patio or porch, review the layout and square footage. It’s not uncommon for these features to take up 1/3 or more of a smaller yard. If you’ve been dreaming of a pool, plan for both the dimensions of your swimming area and the walkway and patio surrounding this space. Standard pools are usually 10 x 20 feet or 15 x 30 feet. Find more info about swimming pools, to see if you can create your own urban oasis.
Next, you’ll want to choose the type of garden bed works best for your needs. Raised beds have become hugely popular. Introduced as a way to improve soil quality, raised beds also help regulate soil temperature. These garden beds can be created from many different materials including lumber, pavers, and stone. Traditional row gardens or square in-ground beds are common for crops like cucumbers and corn but can work for almost anything. Leave enough space for plants to grow, as well as weather-related add-ons like cold frames or cloches.
Don’t forget container gardens. While a yard provides ample opportunity for larger beds, some plants still do well in containers, and you can mix and match your plants. Consider flowers in a hanging basket, or a tropical plant in a container on wheels. Containers are also ideal for delicate plants that need to be brought inside in harsher weather.
Still excited about planting? Of course you are. Planting is much easier with walkways that provide access to garden rows and don’t leave you covered in mud. Leave space to use a gardening stool and save your back. If you have a grassy area beyond your gardens, make sure to leave mower access to avoid damaging your plants.
Consider different materials to create your path. Wood chips over packed dirt work well, as do many types of gravel. Crafty people can create custom stepping stones. You can use bricks or patio pavers, choosing from both new and used materials. Heavy traffic walkways might benefit from poured cement or deck-style boards.
It’s easy to think of your outdoor garden oasis during the daytime, but what if you want to enjoy things at sunset or dusk? Incorporate lighting into your garden escape creates both a beautiful and accessible space. Pathway lighting offers subtle illumination at ground level. Often available in solar-powered options, these lights are almost maintenance-free.
Patio lighting options can be bigger, for brighter illumination. Edison bulbs have been redesigned from days past. No longer an energy drain, these old-fashioned looking string lights now sport LEDs. Tiki torches provide some real fire and can incorporate citronella to help keep your oasis mosquito free. You can also build lighting in with a contractor’s help when you create your larger outdoor living space.
If you don’t know where to start, seek inspiration for outdoor furniture online. There is a wide variety of garden furniture available to suit any taste. Consider a rough-cut Adirondack chair or a secluded rustic garden bench. And maybe add a swing beneath that apple tree. Modern tastes may love a sleek dining set with a gas-powered fire pit for sunset cocktails. Don’t forget a grill, and maybe a smoker too.
The important thing to remember is when making all these choices is that your garden should be your refuge from the stresses of the world. Your furnishings, lighting, planting, and other choices should feed toward that original vision.
Images: Coastal Point Development, LLC via Chadsworth Columns. 2: Dean Herald-Rolling Stone Landscapes. 3, 4, 5 & 6: Holder Design Associates.
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