Defining_Outdoor_Space

Defining The Perfect Outdoor Space

Outdoor spaces are growing in popularity as more people look at expanding their options for entertaining. Today’s outdoor spaces are more than chairs under a shade tree. They are outdoor rooms. A simple patio or small back yard can be turned into an outdoor showplace with a resort type of ambience. Creating a nice outdoor space can increase the value of your home since homebuyers often seek move-in ready properties to avoid investing time or money in landscaping.

Outdoor living spaces can be used about 75 percent of the year in most of the U.S., warm summer evenings and cool fall days can be enjoyed in an outdoor space. Comfortable furniture and a fire pit or outdoor fireplace are the keys to making and outdoor space that is cozy during cold weather. See what your outdoor space can be by checking out this video.

When creating the perfect space outdoors, it is important to use green strategies to keep the space environmentally friendly. Include plants that attract beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies and those that appeal to small wildlife such as hummingbirds. Vegetation such as plants, flowers and shrubs help prevent soil erosion because healthy root systems help hold soil in place.

An outdoor space can be made attractive throughout the year by selecting a combination of plants that will yield pops of color even during the winter. Perennial flowering plants like tulips, daffodils and forsythia provide early color. Keep the color going during the summer with annuals like geraniums, petunias and impatiens. These can be placed in pots or planted in the ground. Knockout roses grow fast and are not difficult to maintain, but provide bursts of color from spring until fall.

When fall rolls around mums in shades of gold and purple keep the color palette fresh. Evergreens like holly bushes with bright red berries lend a holiday feel to an outdoor space. Another evergreen that remains attractive during cold weather is the Nandina. This easy to grow shrub has leaves that may turn various shades of red or purple during the winter and is dotted with reddish-orange berries. Find the right plants for your area by checking a gardening zone map such as the one located here.

Xeriscaping is a clever strategy for saving water when choosing landscape plantings. Xeriscaping is a landscaping method where plants that require very little water are used. Plants such as lantana, daylilies and others that do not require daily watering fare well in this type of environment. With exeriscaping, plant beds are mulched using pea gravel, natural mulch like pine bark or similar elements. A xeriscaped space if fairly easy to maintain. Xeriscaping is very popular in areas that receive very little rainfall.

Prior to embarking on any major changes, be sure to check with your local zoning authority. If you are in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association, make sure your landscaping falls within the criteria outlined by your association’s rules. It would be a shame to spend your hard earned money building a personal oasis in your backyard only to find out that it must be removed.

Designing an outdoor space does not require spending a lot of money, but it will take some planning and work. However, the results can be stunning and it can give you a whole new outlook on your property. If you need more information on low maintenance landscaping ideas, take a look at the following link for information about plants, hardscapes and other aspects of landscaping that will work with your outdoor space design.http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/other/landscaping/hgic1703.html

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