Now that the hecticness of the holidays is basically over, it’s time to relax a bit and dream about the future. Everyone is still busy with the day-to-day but there’s time to dream about the coming of spring and an outdoor space that feels comfortable and relaxed. One of my greatest pleasures is using my extensive knowledge of design and plants to create a low-maintenance landscape that is full of color and year round interest.
A well-designed landscape will maximize both the present and resale value of a home and may actually add to the amount of livable space. Many people don’t think twice about interior decorating but balk at investing in exterior decorating, otherwise known as landscaping. The landscaping should be welcoming and enticing for you and your guests.
I’ve consulted with many homeowners who have patios that are either too small or are in bad condition. Redesigning a patio is like adding a room on to the house. You have to ask the same questions. How large a space do you need? How much entertaining do you do? How many people? How much furniture? What other amenities do you want? And the tough question: What is your budget?
Keep in mind that as an outdoor room, the patio will have a floor, walls, and a ceiling. The walls and ceiling may be living or implied rather than solid but they are needed in order to define the space.
Another aspect of landscape dreams is privacy. One pitfall many encounter is installing privacy at the expense of creativity. Adding a row of evergreens will create privacy, and, assuming that the evergreens don’t die or become misshapen, they will add year-round color but will just be a green screen. Landscape designers have the plant knowledge and design skills to create a privacy screen using flowering shrubs, trees and/or innovative fencing.
A fence need not be a boring monolith. It could be painted a bright color on the side facing the property and an “acceptable color” on the neighbor’s side. Alternatively, it could consist of a series of panels, made of an interesting material other than wood, of different heights and colors. The options are virtually unlimited.
Colorful but low maintenance beds can be created with a variety of plants that have colored foliage or long periods of bloom and some that have foliage color that changes with the seasons. The design elements of texture, form, color and height can be employed to create beds that will give you pleasure without engendering endless hours of maintenance. On the other hand, if you love working in the garden, I can design beds for you that have plants that need deadheading or pruning. I would love to create your dream for you.