Staying Outdoors While at Home

Although the COVID-19 lock down is being lifted, in the future we will all be spending a lot more time at home. While this has its benefits, it can also become a source of stress and tension for a family. Creating a landscaped yard enables everyone to spend time outdoors without leaving the security of the home.

COVID-19 forced us all to spend far more time at home than we ever did before. The lock down restrictions are now slowly being eased and going out and resuming some semblance of “normal” life can be anticipated. However, the “new normal” and the way we will live will be different from what it was in pre-pandemic times. How things will pan out remains to be seen, but one thing all the experts agree on is that we will be spending much more time at home.

Being stuck indoors for long periods can be very stressful, especially if it looks like the walls will be a major part of your life in the future. This is where the phrase “climbing the walls” came from. There is a way out – literally. The solution is to spend more time outdoors without actually leaving the house. Taking a chair and placing it in the back yard will not work. The family needs an open area that is calm, soothing, relaxing and appealing so that spending time there will not be just to escape the confines of the house but to actually enjoy the ambience of the place. Creating a beautiful garden/yard is not a luxury. It is an investment in the well-being of the family while increasing the home’s curb appeal and adding to its value. Here are a few ideas for you to think about.

Landscaping Concepts to Think About

  • Put in an arbour or a pergola. Small landscapes benefit from this because it creates a focal point which adds depth to the vista.
  • Break up the open area into smaller spaces using shrubs, trees, plants, etc. This will make the landscape appear larger.
  • Create a small cozy space for those who want a little alone time. It will be a place where they can read, listen to music or just unwind.
  • Use retaining walls to create multiple levels. This will not only add to the appeal of the landscape but it will also give it more depth.
  • Use lighting to give the landscape a different look and feel after sunset.
  • Add more color and variety to the landscape by going vertical. This means using plants and shrubs that are slim and tall so that more can be planted in a limited area without making it look overcrowded.
  • But also make sure that you do not get carried away with these and other concepts you come across. Adding features to a landscape increases its beauty and appeal, but if overdone, it can create the impression of messiness and clutter.
  • Think about maintenance. A beautiful landscape needs to be kept that way. Think about how much time you will be able to devote to caring for it and what your budget will be.

A landscaping professional will be able to create a landscape which will give you the peace, tranquillity and freedom that you need at home. In addition, you will be free from maintenance worries and will be able to enjoy your beautiful landscape in peace.

Creating a Tranquil Landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragedy, experience and learning opportunity all rolled into one, something we will never forget. Among the lessons that it has taught us is the importance of finding peace, comfort, and tranquillity at home. Home is not limited to the built-up structure – it includes the open areas around it, the yard and the garden. Creating a landscape where you are relaxed and can unwind adds a huge amount of value to the home. Being able to de-stress and relax in the open brings balance and energy to your life. Creating the perfect landscape is a matter of personal taste. However, a landscaping professional will be able to present you with ideas and concepts that you might not be aware of to increase the pleasure that the open spaces can bring you. These are a few popular ideas to consider:

Create a Private Area: 
A small section of the yard can be made into a secluded area surrounded by plants and shrubs where anyone in the family can spend time alone to unwind and let go of stress and tension.


Comfortable Seating: 
Outdoor furniture needs to be weatherproof and easy to clean. That does not mean that it has to be ugly or uncomfortable. Outdoors seating is available in all kinds of styles, designs, and materials. Creating a comfortable seating area where a group of people can sit and chill out gives a place for the family to gather or for friends to be entertained. It is important to ensure that the seating fits in with the plants and shrubs of the yards to form a harmonious whole.


Add a Water Feature
Having a pond or small waterfall can enhance a garden’s appearance. The sound of running water is relaxing and watching the flow of the water helps the mind unburden itself of negative thoughts and focus on the positive. In addition, a pond may have colorful fish or plants in it and adding a well-designed waterfall will add a level of sophistication to the area.


Install Lighting
A yard is not meant for daytime usage alone. It is a great place to spend a quiet evening with family and friends. The plants and shrubs form the soul of the landscape but using the right lighting at night can transform the space and either give a new look to the yard or create a completely new ambience.


Think About a Gazebo
Gazebos serve two purposes. First, they add another feature to the yard which serves as a counterpoint to the foliage. A gazebo also provides shade and protection from the elements if the weather is not ideal for spending time outside.

Have a Storage Space
Depending on what the yard is used for, there may be all kinds of odds and ends that are used only occasionally. Having these lying around at other times can be unsightly and give the yard a cluttered and untidy look and feel. A storage area, built into the landscape design so that it blends into it, will keep things neat and tidy.


The way a landscape can be created and the aura it projects is limited only by the preferences of the homeowner and the design skills of the landscape professional.

Source: http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2020/04/creating-tranquil-landscape.html

Creative Outdoor Room Ideas

The wonderful season of spending more time outdoors is finally here! The pleasant weather makes it fun to chill out on the porch, in the backyard, or on the deck. While you’re ready to just lie down in the grass, you can plan transforming your yard into a haven with just a few design and creative tips.

Use rugs
Use outdoor/indoor rugs for defining and anchoring your space. Another idea is to make use of gravel and pavers, if they easily fit the layout of the area.


Beat the heat
Get respite from the indoor heat by creating an outdoor kitchen. Choices abound beyond merely throwing some hot dogs and burgers on the grill. You can customize your outdoor kitchen with a roll-down gate for securing the appliances from natural elements, or installing a grill which is covered, a small fridge to keep the drinks cold and a cabinetry or counter for serving and storage.


Raise the roof
You can make use of arching trellises over the dining table. Suspend a chandelier from them to offer soft lighting. Strategically planted shade trees will grow for creating a canopy on the outdoor space with dappled sunlight glancing through. Pergolas can give your space some structure and define the area, but can also offer some privacy if you have neighbors.


Use drapes
Enliven your porch with drapes to make sure the sunlight filters in while blocking harmful rays. Fit drapes around a frame to offer a cabana-style. It is best to choose lightweight fabrics for a fresher look.


Furnish well
You can install weatherproof cushions and furniture to create a cozy and comfortable seating facility, just as you have in your family room or living room. You can fit a ceiling fan on your porch and a heater too for stretching its use beyond a few months’ span of warmest months.


Install sliding panels 
You can install sliding panels to divide the available space for different uses within your rooftop deck or yard. Apart from this, you can exploit it for privacy too.


Grow floral enclosure
Grow living walls of plants for creating privacy; you can also hide a wall or a fence with flora. Use container plantings on a low wall or ledge, particularly if you’re planning to use bamboo. Alternatively, grow a sturdy shrub such as boxwood to put up an elevated hedge.


Create a reading nook
Use a built in bench, beanbags, chaise lounges, or cushions and poufs to create a reading nook. Make it more comfy with a rocking chair, or erect a “treeless tree house” for a private haven.


Use Water
If you do not have enough space to create a pool, you can make a small water feature, such as a small pond. Another great idea is to create a fountain out of a large urn. Move it anywhere you want. It adds peacefulness of running water in your backyard.


Maybe you are not sure how to make the most of your yard? Get in touch with a reputed professional landscaping expert for help!

Source : http://blog.doolinglandscapeservice.com/2017/10/creative-outdoor-room-ideas.html

Great Outdoor Lighting Ideas

Thoughtful outdoor lighting can be a treat for your eyes. You will have passersby coming back to take a second look because of the interest these lights can create. Here are eight great outdoor lighting ideas to make your landscape stand out.

1. Solar lanterns

If you wish to create a festive mood in the garden, especially in the evening, then colorful solar lanterns make a great addition. These lanterns come with small photovoltaic panels, LED light bulbs and a rechargeable battery. As it gets dark, a sensor turns the lights on, which start to glow for several hours.

2. Path lights

You can make use of different styles of lamps to add a creative touch to path lights in your garden. Path lighting can get a bit tricky: whether you choose pricier fixtures or inexpensive stakes, placement can be critical. Let them offer subtle hints of where to go next, instead of outlining completely the pathway. Less is always better!

3. String lights

Draping string lights across a wall or some plants can add a lovely but soft background touch to the outdoor greenery. You can also pile them into a glass vase to make them a pretty centerpiece.

String lights also make an affordable and easy way to turn a dull porch into a charming oasis. Let the lights drape from the railing or the ceiling, or let them hang from a wall.

4. Chandelier

If you have a small outdoor dining area, then add class to the space by hanging a chandelier from above. There are varieties of chandeliers to choose from. Opt for the one that goes with the décor.

5. Pool lights

Nothing adds glamour and brilliance to a pool like pool lights. A well-lit pool can offer visual pleasurewhen seen from inside the house. The same pool may seem dull without proper lighting. It is best to consult a landscaping expert before getting the pool lit.

6. Choose warm lights

Make sure you choose warm lights. While it is possible to use too much color, most landscaping experts use warm white lights to showcase the landscape and the house instead of creating a light show.

7. Tiki torches

You can opt from a range of Tiki torches, such as gaslit or solar-powered ones. However, the most common and affordable ones are oil light torches. Apart from providing beautiful lighting, Tiki torches help in keeping mosquitoes away. However, avoid placing the tiki torches under a tree. Also, make sure they are kept away from flammable materials.

8. Entrance lights

Entrance lights can help define the very charm of your landscape. There are wide varieties of entrance lights that suit every budget.

With just a bit of creativity and maintenance you can make your landscape stand out. Although you can always choose outdoor lighting on your own, it is best to contact an experienced landscaping expert to do the job for you. Since they have the expertise, they will help you make informed decisions and best buys.