With Spring on its way we are all getting Spring Fever and the best thing we can do is plan while we have time indoors during the cold winter days. The ground will be thawing soon but it will still be too cold for planting, so this is the best time to plan and install an Outdoor Living Area.
Your Outdoor Living Area needs will depend on the type of use and the size of the area available. For a townhome the back landscape area can be smaller therefore the patio area may replace a smaller existing turf area. By doing this you will extend you living area outside. It can be complimented with a water feature such as a bubbling fountain or a small pondless waterfall. The sound of water is very relaxing and it attracts wildlife. At my house the birds use the pond to drink from year round, especially in the winter when a lot of water sources are frozen up.
For a mid-sized landscape area, the Outdoor Living Area will encompass a greater area for the patio. I usually like to start with a minimum of 16' by 16' for the patio area. The patio area can be natural and flowing or geometric and softened with planters. The patio is the foundation; from there you can add furniture, planters, and sculptures. The outdoor living area is softened with plantings that will add interest all year such as spring daffodils, summer roses, fall foliage, winter berries, and evergreens.
A larger Outdoor Living Area can have multiple patio areas, walls, fire pits, fire places, gazebos, and water features. The space will have an area for cooking, eating, entertaining, and relaxing. Large boulders and large waterfalls are a way to bring the mountains to your backyard.
Outdoor Living is about relaxation, turning off all the electronics and reconnecting with your family. In our backyard we built an outdoor living area with two patios and a fire pit. I placed landscape lighting in areas for soft accents and near steps. Since we have built the fire pit both of my sons have used the fire pit many times all year round to have friends over. It is great to hear their laughter at the late night hours in the backyard not needing to wonder where they are. Near my front door I have a small pond with a waterfall. At the front entry I have ornamental redbud trees shading the front porch and a bench next to the pond. The sound of the water is very relaxing and cooling at the end of a long hot day. Also in the winter I look out and see the birds and squirrels drinking from the pond from my window. After a snow storm the pond and waterfall is simply beautiful. Simply Outdoor Living!
See some process photos from a recent install below.