By Joe Raboine, Vice President of Design, Belgard/Oldcastle APG
Photographs courtesy of Belgard/Oldcastle APG
At the start of spring and summer, you likely start pacing your backyard and thinking about the tasks you need to do to prepare for outdoor living season. Warmer weather means more time spent outdoors, and you want to create a great area to relax and spend time entertaining family and friends.
Depending on your goals and budget, there are several ways you can upgrade your outdoor living space this year, large and small. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Invest In Your Garden
A garden is always an amazing addition to any yard. Whether you have an existing garden or are starting from scratch, you can create a truly unique space that promotes relaxation and wellbeing – or provides food for the family.
If you have a smaller yard, consider a vertical garden. This adds height to your outdoor space and can also create added privacy. You can use wood planks, pergolas or hardscape materials to construct a vertical garden, and the plant possibilities are nearly endless. For a more modern look, use different varieties of greenery. Add creeping flowering plants like morning glory if you like a little color. You can even plant herbs and small fruits and vegetables so you can pick right from your garden for an evening dinner.
If your space and budget permit, think about creating a Zen garden or adding a labyrinth or gazebo. Formal garden spaces are becoming popular again and are beautiful spots for entertaining guests.
2. Refresh Your Landscaping
Updating the landscaping around a home is a natural first step for spring and summer home improvement. Spend some time cleaning out any debris or weeds so you have a fresh base – a new coat of mulch makes your landscaping look renewed.
Tend to any annuals you have in your landscaping, ensuring they have a good start to their growing season. If you don’t have returning plants, think about what colors and combinations complement your home and what thrives in your area. Planting native plants is a great way to invest in your environment and support local wildlife. Think about a pollinator garden to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and more, as there’s nothing better than taking in nature right outside your window.
You also can add some finishing touches to your landscaping with pavers. Borders and edging add a bit of flair while also helping retain soil and mulch.
3. Add A Fire Feature
Even if the weather is warm, a fire feature is still a great addition to any outdoor living space. Fire pits are always a popular choice and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials to suit any aesthetic. Fire pit kits are available at many home improvement stores today and include all the materials you need to create a classic round fire pit built from sturdy pavers. Fire pits are a natural gathering place for summer nights – and the perfect place to enjoy some s’mores.
If space and budget allow, outdoor fireplaces are a beautiful centerpiece in an outdoor living room or patio area. With gas and wood-burning options, you can incorporate what works best for your space. Fire bowls are another option for smaller areas or to create stunning accents around retaining walls, pools and other features.
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