With the Spring bulbs once again starting to poke through our garden’s previously frozen soil, those of us who are gardeners start getting very busy indeed. March is always the time of year when those chores like the pruning back certain varieties of roses and fruit trees, sowing grass seed and preparing raised beds for their summer and autumn harvests well and truly gets underway.
However, for many people, it’s also the time of year when they can again start considering their extra room to their house. I am of course referring to their ‘outdoor living’ area where many a warm sunny evening will no doubt be wiled away with a cool Gin and tonic or summer barbecue.
The term ‘Inside/Outside Living’ started being touted on many of televisions home and garden shows. For some, the idea of Inside/Outside living really refers to a decked area and a table and chairs, and where opportunity (and weather!) permits, using this area to eat, drink and socialize.
Garden architecture design has definitely changed over recent years. Some people have taken the concept of Inside/Outside living a step further…literally. Instead of simply having an area of garden reserved for table and chairs, some have actually designed their garden so it actually meets the home. This is very often through the use of patio doors or large glass windows butting right up to the garden’s deck area without stepping up, or down. The advent of the increasingly popular ‘glass curtain’ has meant some lucky home owners can literally peel back the physical boundary between property and garden.
Here are some suggestions to help create a perfect Inside/Outside living area:
You can create sounds that could be heard inside the main living area from outdoors. Perhaps the sound of relaxing trickling water? Wind chimes always work well.
Wildlife: Encourage birds to feed on feeders near to the back of the property. Grow shrubs and plants which will encourage pollinating insects. One of the cheapest and most common of bedding plants, the Marigold, is perfect for attracting the likes of bees and ladybirds, which in turn actually help defend your garden from common pests.
Lighting: The seasons in colder climes make it near impossible to enjoy an all year outdoor living area without some serious heating solutions. But by using lighting wisely, the garden can at least be seen, and therefore still feel like part of the rest of the property all year round. Why not try solar powered lighting on decked areas and let the sun neutralize your electricity bill a little? Sunken deck lights work well and actually look better in the colder months. And don’t forget low level colored spotlights – a throw of light across a flower bed near the rear of your property not only aids security but creates a pleasant glow in the evenings.
If you are an avid barbecue enthusiast, consider building a custom outdoor cooking area? Spanish architecture brick barbecues are becoming increasingly popular and literally give you an outdoor kitchen area. ‘cut and come again’ produce.
So, if like many you start to feel claustrophobic at this time of year after enduring months of colder, darker weather, it’s time to consider the potential of an inviting outdoor living area to chase away next winter’s blues.