Planning an Outdoor Space with Mother Nature

When planning an outdoor space, let nature be your guide. Your outdoor living space should be where lifestyle and nature meet. During the planning process, survey your yard and find the natural features you enjoy. Those features can include flowering plants and bushes, trees, a particular view, a pond, stones or even a rolling hill.

The appeal of an outdoor living design space is the natural environment. Your favourite characteristics should be incorporated into the design. Natural features of your landscape can be beautiful as well as functional. The following are some ideas for how to integrate nature into your outdoor space design.

Trees can be utilized for shade. They can also be used to frame views in your yard or used to tie up a swing or hammock. Trees will naturally offer your yard varying heights for visual interest.

Flowering plants, shrubs and bushes can provide boundaries used to define different spaces and establish walkways. They also provide privacy from neighbors and parts of the yard you don’t necessarily want on display such as hoses or storage areas.

Grass is the perfect, lush and colorful flooring material for kids who want space to run around and play. Grass can also serve as coverage, hiding private getaways, while adding a 'natural, unaltered' feel to the landscape.

Vines and climbing plants such as wisteria can be placed over a pergola for natural, organic shade and it can be placed on a fence or wall for additional color and texture as well as privacy.

Views around your home should serve as a focal point for your outdoor living space. The location of your space can be determined by the scenery in your yard or the direction of the sunrise or sunset.

Integrating the natural features of your landscape into your outdoor design will help the space blend with the environment. Harmony will be achieved between the landscape and your outdoor space. This integration supports a sustainable lifestyle. Sustainability is minimizing the negative impact you place on the environment. The fewer disruptions to the natural features that make up your landscape, the more sensitive you are to the environment. A smaller disturbance to your yard means less landscaping and more money in your pocket.

The use of local materials in your outdoor living space also promotes sustainable living. Purchasing products made and grown locally are beneficial to you, your community and the environment. Buying locally can reduce your carbon foot print by decreasing transporting from long distances. It will also stimulate your community’s economy because the money spent on your goods will most likely be funneled back into the same area. A well designed outdoor living space with indigenous plant life can minimize maintenance requirements. Plant life native to your area will improve water efficiency, minimize insects and eliminate plant disease as well as restore clean air.

There is no need to demolish your yard to build an outdoor living space. Natural features will work to compliment your new space with texture, color and unique visual interest. Working with nature will minimize maintenance and maximize savings. Investing in sustainable practices while designing your outdoor living space by utilizing natural resources will leave you and your yard feeling good.

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