Planning an Outdoor Space: Creating a Space that is One with Nature

For most people, the only chance to appreciate nature is when they have planned a camping trip, a hike or an exotic vacation. These experiences are definitely worthwhile, but why not have a personal slice of nature just a few steps outside your door. When planning an outdoor space, take a moment to see what the space already offers. Perhaps you have a magnificent oak tree but it interferes with a potential deck extension. Instead of removing it, ‘be one with nature’ by creating a harmonious design that integrates this natural focal point into your plans.

A creative outdoor living plan incorporates natural characteristics existent on the property with the personal needs and desires of the homeowner. If successfully executed, the space will showcase an aesthetically pleasing area that reflects a respect for the environment and a unique design feature.

Source out natural resources to incorporate locally developed materials. This will help reduce the environmental impact on various levels, save you money and demonstrate your creative knack for designing innovative outdoor space.  Below are some pre-planning ideas that will help create a natural outdoor space.

Take Advantage of Existing Trees

Planning an Outdoor Space - Trees - Nature

Existing trees will create a relaxing atmosphere, the whispering leaves and cool shade creates an ambience that is hard to replicate. Shade trees can put money in your pocket by lowering energy costs while making your outdoor space a show-stopper. Also make use of existing evergreen trees that create a natural windbreak and block chilly winds.

Utilize Existing Foliage and Native Plants

A natural palette of native plantings supplies both beauty and lovely fragrance. Established native plants are hardy, drought resistant, easy to maintain, and significantly reduce the need for fertilizers, pesticides, and lawn maintenance equipment. As an added benefit, native flowers and grasses provide food and shelter for a host of birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.

Transform Ditches into Dry Creek Beds

Planning an Outdoor Space - Dry Creek Bed

Landscape any natural ditches in your property into swales that resemble dry creek beds and allow drainage solutions to enhance your landscape and protect natural waterways. Add natural beauty by lining with it river rock and along the side plant evergreen ferns, sedges, winterberry, grasses, rugged prairie plants, or other native plants that thrive in fast-draining soil.

Make Use of Existing Stones and Wood Mulch

Features such as natural stone and wood mulch add tactile elements with rugged, smooth, or refined textures. If your property naturally contains a lot of rocks and stones, you have free, accessible, and versatile landscaping materials. Rocks add texture and contrast, serve as a durable groundcover, and require little or no maintenance. Composted bark, leaves, grass clippings, and pine needles are useful for natural mulches. Scrap wood chips and existing rock or gravel can be used to create pathways as well.

Incorporate Edible Landscaping

Planning an Outdoor Space - Edible Landscaping

You can have your landscape and eat it too.  Incorporate any existing fruit trees, raspberry or blackberry bushes, nut trees, or wild strawberries into your outdoor space and you’ll have a cornucopia of fresh, organic fruits, nuts, and berries at your fingertips.

With the popularity of green, sustainable landscape design, more homeowners are incorporating the natural characteristics of their property to create an aesthetically pleasing outdoor living space while harmonizing with the outdoor environment. By using natural resources in your own backyard, you can produce a stunning, durable, sustainable, and functional outdoor space that artfully blends in with the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Retractable Solutions for Outdoor Spaces

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