With so many of us staying at home this summer, doing our part for our greater community, we can often find ourselves missing the outdoors, parks and gathering spaces that we would otherwise be visiting this season. This time can be troubling, and as human beings we need to go outdoors and soak up some vitamin D every once in a while to feel normal and happy. For this reason, we've seen a rising number of home gardeners and landscapers, trying their hand with some outdoor creativity to make a beautiful space.
Here at HomePro Match, we're in the business of making people happy, and helping out during hard times. In the spirit of doing so, we've come up with a list of design ideas to help get you going.
Getting Started with your Landscape Project
It can be an overwhelming thing to start a project all on your own, which is why it's usually advised to reach out to a professional landscaper in the area. Having someone with experience dealing with the natural flora of the area can be a really wonderful resource when going into the creation of an outdoor space.
From here, you have to evaluate your space, and the climate of your area, as well as the climate of your yard. How large is the area you want to work in? How much sun does your yard get, and at what times? What is the soil like? These are all factors that will influence your end space, so it's important to make note of them early.
Of course, there's the option to remove a particularly botherstomly placed tree, or an old planting bed, patio or other yard feature, if you choose to. However, many homeowners aren't looking to tear up the yard before making it pretty, and landscaping doesn't inherently require construction--though it certainly can, if your budget allows.
A Wealth of Design Options
Over the course of human history, designing gardens and landscapes have been prevalent forms of artistic expression. There are magnificent gardens around the world that date back hundreds of years, and luxurious pleasure gardens in resorts across the globe. With so much inspiration to draw from, there are countless ways to make a space that's all your own.
Each family and home is different, and the yard should work for you and your family--whether that's relaxation after a long day, a safe place for the kids and/or animals to play, or an entertainment space.
A popular design technique, particularly among families with young children, or pets, is the creation of separate spaces for separate activities. Typically, these yards are mostly grass or otherwise usable yard space, with the rest segmented into entertainment, eating, or relaxation areas. Add privacy fencing, variation to the landscape with plants, elevation or additional features, and create a useful escape from everyday pressures.
This style is commonly associated with the 1950's and 60's, when it was invented and became popularized among homeowners around the world. The developer credited with this style was named Joseph Eichler, who built thousands of homes out in California during this time period. The style was meant to facilitate a feeling of indoor and outdoor living, blended together, focusing on lots of natural light and sharp angles, creating a modernist landscape, punctuated with stone and stained wood against the green and natural elements of natural flora.
Perhaps one of the most iconic styles of gardening and landscaping, the English Garden style evokes a timeless feeling of quaint peace. Known for its common use of simple materials, such as stone paths, natural flower beds and trellises for climbing plants, an English Garden offers a natural space with little grooming to enhance it's charm.
Zen is an Asian cultural term that means "absolute peace and/or clarity". This concept has been interwoven with the practice of gardening and landscaping, even home design and furniture placement, for thousands of years. Though there is no one way to create a Zen Landscape, common elements are sand, large stones, natural grain wood accents, and often shallow pools, or fish ponds.
These yards give off a similar feel to the English Garden, but with even less structure. Commonly designed in yards that press-up against natural forests, or stands of trees, they are designed to give off a feeling of seclusion, and being surrounded by nature. They are often dotted with paver paths, shrub-like plants, groundcover, and sometimes water features to enhance the natural feel of the environment.
Additional Yard Features
Many homeowners who choose to landscape their yards do so with a goal in mind. A space perfectly outfitted for relaxation, escape and seclusion from the stress and pressures of the outside world.
To achieve this, people typically want a comfortable atmosphere, which can include:
- Outdoor furniture- provides a place to rest, take in the environment around you and unwind, either by yourself or with those that matter most.
- A shelter from the elements- a little rain shouldn't break up the party, so many homeowners decide to add a canopy, or structure within the yard to provide a place to go when it begins to drizzle.
- A fire pit or fireplace- fire evokes warmth and can bring about images of cozy summer nights with friends. Being a natural source of warmth, having a fire pit or fireplace can eliminate the need for outdoor heating, or simply add an extra element to the space.
- Outdoor lighting- is especially useful in the summer, or in areas where the climate is warm year round. Without light, it can be dangerous to spend time outside, as there are many tripping hazards that we could easily fall victim to with our much-lacking night vision. As an extra bonus, lighting can do a lot to influence the feel of an overall space.
- Decking or patio areas- are some of the most common hardscaping found in yards and gardens around the world. With variations in height and color, you can do a lot to make a landscape unique by mixing processed and unprocessed elements.
- Outdoor entertainment systems- with more people than ever feeling the loss of public activities, we've seen a rise in the old trend of Drive-In Movie Theaters, and public viewings of movies in large outdoor spaces on projectors. This is a trend that you can bring home, or you might want to stick to an impressive outdoor sound system.