Add an Outdoor Room to Your Living Space
Ever notice how when people see a beautiful garden they want to stop, breathe in the fragrance, admire the vivid colors and linger a while? You can make the beauty of nature a year-round part of your life by turning a section of your lawn or garden into an “outdoor room.”
These four tips will ensure that your room is well suited to your family’s needs and is used frequently.
Think about how you’d like to use your outdoor room and plan accordingly. Want a place for your children and pets to play? Choose more rugged plants and place your flowerbeds away from tempting play locations. Tall or fluffy grasses can withstand errant soccer balls better than tall slender tulips and lilies will. Kid-friendly designs avoid anything with thorns and plants that develop ornamental berries or pods that could end up in little mouths.
Create an outdoor room by framing an area of your lawn with shrubs, trees, flowers or ornamental grasses. Build in privacy by planting larger bushes around the perimeter of your outdoor room. Add color with annuals and flowering bulbs. Walls, fences and lattice add structural elements that are especially useful in late autumn when leaves have fallen. Even in winter, when it might be too chilly to use the room, there’s something comforting about viewing a well designed outdoor room from an indoor window.
Add individual charm to your outdoor room by including whimsical garden accessories, such as birdbaths, ornamental spires, rustic wood or metal gates, ceramic garden animals and/or colorful pots for container-grown plants. Interesting recycled frames with wire or lattice interiors make excellent “walls” when affixed to the side of a rectangular planter and used for climbing vines like morning glories, clematis, honeysuckle, ivies and even colorful Scarlet Runner beans. Craigslist has a “Materials” section where sellers frequently list items that, with a bit of imagination, can be repurposed to create unique frames.
Use an existing deck or patio, a garden bench or a gazebo to make your outdoor room a place of easy comfort. Add sturdy cushioned seating for relaxing and dining. Site your room to take advantage of shade provided by existing trees or create shade with a vine covered trellis. The space doesn’t need to be huge, just cozy. Then invite a friend over, pour some lemonade, sit back and relax. In other words, enjoy!