Liven up your landscaping | Columns
With the days getting shorter and the mornings colder, it seems like the perfect time to talk about landscaping! What!? OK, take it with me. We let work on the house a little. The updates include a new front door, a newly mended hole in the ceiling where the house fan was located, a new door to the garage, and last month we had done some landscaping. That got me thinking. What about those of us who still love green grass and gardens at a time when xeriscaping and hardscaping are becoming a trend? Well, do not be afraid, flower friend. Today we’re going to examine some of the landscaping trends that are gripping the nation.
As we are all directly or indirectly affected by this virus, our priorities have shifted to getting out of the house and away from our families. Are you waiting. This can not be right. The goal is simply to enjoy nature. Yeah, that sounds better. Hiding in our cozy homes this winter allows us to develop strategies and plans for our outdoor areas. You could even go so far as to save some cash on every great project you dream of this winter. Let’s dive in and help you dream.
Before we completely give up the winter season, let’s consider the outside space we already have. We have a deck with a pretty comfortable couch (although I put the pillows in the garage last month). If you have a room like this, consider these outdoor heaters or a fire pit. Anything you can do to make the room a little cozier will go a long way in encouraging the people in your household to get out of the house. Um, I mean, enjoy the outdoors. My roommate also pampered himself last year and bought a “previously loved” hot tub. Everything installed and operational for under $ 5,000. My only comment here is: do it if you can! You are heavenly. Nothing like a hot bath after a day in the snow!
As we move away from Old Man Winter, we literally go back to the back yard. Vegetable gardens were popular last summer for obvious reasons. I don’t know about you, but I hate going to the grocery store during these times. So many hands touch so many things. Instacart has become my best friend. For those with a little more gum than me, the garden is the next best thing to get food delivery. My darling carved a whole third of her back yard for a garden and it was amazing to see the amount of bounty produced (pun intended!). As long as you have decent sunlight, I can’t promote this project enough! You will not be disappointed.
On the more playful side of backyard projects are things like jungle gyms, jungle gyms, zip lines, and even swimming pools. If, like me, you grew up in Maine and New Hampshire, swimming pools always seemed a luxury and a breeze. That mentality has changed a bit and they are becoming more popular. You also don’t need to blow your life savings on any of these projects. The jungle gyms are certainly inexpensive, and if you’re familiar with projects like this (or have a few good friends and a few pizza coupons) you can do many of them yourself. Even inflatable pools, makeshift ninja warrior classes, and even a small half pipe (yes, I’m returning to my BMX glory days) can turn your yard into a place you and your kids want to be.
On the other side of the house, our front yards get a lot more social. While we may not have iced tea on the porch like we did in Ray Bradbury’s dandelion wine (read it if you haven’t!), Let’s work on creating safe, social spaces to visit with our friends and neighbors. I went to a handful of “Happy Hours” this summer where we brought our own chairs and sat in the front yard, in the driveway and even (because it was raining) in the garage. It’s wonderful to be with friends and even entertain the people who walk by. It brought back a sense of normality and community in our lives that had disappeared.
One of the more interesting trends is focusing on the outside from the inside. Not only because it is cold and we are in our houses, but also because we spend a lot more time in the house overall. Part of the focus is on what the landscaping (or flower gardens or shrubs) looks like inside the home. “As well as looking good for passers-by and for themselves, homeowners want flower boxes and attractive ‘framed’ landscaping that looks great on the inside,” notes Bernadette Donohue, Badger Realty agent. This trend fascinates me and I’m excited to see how it will develop next summer. Only time can tell.
Working on our farms, wherever that may be and however you define it, has always been a project that some love, some out of a sense of duty and some simply detest. As winter comes and wraps us in its white blanket, most of us can forget about the yard for months to come. That said, I would still encourage you to think about it and see if you can come up with a strategy to get the most out of your yard and get your children out of the house. No wait. I mean, give your kids a great place to play (outside the home!). Have fun planning.