Being outdoors is sometimes the best therapy a person can get.
Fresh air, nature and sunshine are all fundamental elements for a healthy mind and body. Creating an outdoor area that’s an extension of your home, someplace you can go for peace, privacy and reinvigoration is a wonderful endeavor. However, the thought of all that work can be a daunting prospect. Fear not, following these simple tips can help you to get excited about creating yourself an outdoor oasis.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Consider what you’re confident do yourself what you should designate to a professional.
Decide whether you’ll design a new garden from scratch yourself, or work with your existing yard and add small touches. If you design from scratch, make sure you’re creative and knowledgeable about plants, building and maintenance, or you can hire a landscaping company to design and do the work.
You can also hire help just for the manual labor or you can hire a design company that will do it all. If you’re doing all the hard work yourself you can find products like greenhouses and other equipment at Sage Horticultural, and save yourself a bucket load.
This is your sanctuary.
What relaxes you and makes you feel at peace? Is it water? Birds chirping? Laying on grass? Sand? A garden full of flowers?
Incorporate things that speak to you.
If you love laying down to unwind, incorporate a daybed or a hammock. If you love animals bring in a bird bath and seed feeder. Do you need a lawn for activities or just a spot to sit? Take into consideration your neighbours, if they are in close proximity. How much privacy you need and how much noise there is to block out? Think about your lifestyle, favourite activities as well as what your future lifestyle will be and work with that.
Once you’ve decided on features you’d ideally like for your backyard, think about your financial limitations, and in what time frame you’d like it done. Unlike interiors, if there is a high cost you can space it out over time. Improving your outdoor area is an investment and if done well improves resale ability. If you only want to add small touches to your yard, or you can do everything yourself (and enjoy your time doing it) there may only be a small spread out cost.
Creating an entirely new outdoor area can be costly, and is a long term investment.
There may be a large outlay to uproot your garden and replant, but a garden is something that can mature slowly, and grow better with time. If you move it’s not something you can take with you, so before you invest a lot of time and money ask will it be you enjoying your garden in years to come, or another family.
If you’re putting in permanent features such as large trees, make sure you stay true to the style and era of your home, as well as choosing plants that are more ‘classic’ and won’t date quickly. If your home is ultra modern I would still advise sticking to more classic styles such as hedges for your plants and adding modern features in your hanging plants, flowers and furniture.
Do your research with any long term plants, find out whether they are deciduous, if they are poisonous to children or animals, and how large they grow. For smaller and less permanent plants like flowers, simply choose something you love and that makes you feel serene and happy. If something requires a lot of maintenance and you love to garden regularly go ahead, but if you’d like a low maintenance yard make sure you choose self sufficient plants.
A great rule for creating a serene garden is to add touches of each element.
Have somewhere you can sit by the fire on cold evenings, somewhere you can touch the earth, like grass sand or wood, and a feature with water. There are solar fountains for smaller areas or if you’d like a soothing water element as your main feature. A tiered,trickling water fountain is both majestic and relaxing.
When designing your area, make sure you think beyond looks and take into account the practical side. Have you allowed shade, comfortable seating, as well as a yard that’s easy for you to maintain. You can opt for umbrellas, a tree or pergola and many things in between for your shade, but make sure your seating is sheltered or you won’t want to stay out there long.
If you have animals don’t put anything that they are tempted to destroy, or you will feel anything but relaxed.
Creating an outdoor haven is a rewarding and enjoyable experience, you can add infinite touches to make it uniquely yours. With the right approach you’ll glean just as much pleasure creating it as you do from the finished product. Who needs a holiday when you can step into your own outdoor sanctuary anytime you like.