Room Refresh. Quick and Short ...guest blog author RMS
Are you thinking about creating a space, outside, that you can take advantage of as much as possible?
You can create a space with flowers and plants, seating area and lighting, and where a view keeps you happy.
Water features, hedges and pergolas are a step up from what I’m used to but I can appreciate their value.
However, today in our REFRESH we will look into using elements that are simple, fun and quick. If you want more than that, there are many professional landscapers out there and I highly recommend using one. I have many friends in this sector and I appreciate what they do. I like the fun of it, but not the work of it.
Remember in these blog burst refreshes we will be choosing just 3 elements to refresh or create our area. Let’s start with the patio itself. If you don’t actually have a cement or brick patio cut out for you, then choose a grassy spot near your home that you can utilize for this refresh.
Let’s start with plants. I have been planting and gardening for over 20 years and feel that I know nothing. A lot of it is research and a lot of it is trial and error. I once listened to a guy talk me into buying prairie grasses—for the back portion of a strip of garden I was creating. I spent the next 10 years pulling it out. And I couldn’t keep up! Sure, it looked nice but it was GRASS. Live and learn. Don’t be afraid to try new plants or ideas—this is only for you so who cares if you mess up. And! Don’t forget…if you do plant a wrong plant or flower or plant it in the wrong place—you can pull it up. Replant it where it belongs whether that’s in a sunny area or the trash.
Check out which direction your patio faces and buy plants accordingly. I suggest you plant perennials (ones that come up each year) and fill in with annuals (those that die out each season).
You can start small and add in every year. We are talking about a space to sit, read, have a glass of wine/beer and enjoy being outside.
Do you want color? What types? Do you want scents? Which ones? All this needs to be considered when choosing your plants.
Next you’ll want to figure out where to place each plant. Remember perennials will spread each year—and annuals will fill in as the season goes on.
Do you want to surround your patio with flowers and plants? Or have them off to one side? Do some googling for pictures of what appeals to you…then copy it!
It is good to draw a diagram when you’re first starting out to make sure you covering all your elements and placing them in the right spot. This cuts down on more work later and/or over spending.
A good process is to place the big items first. A water feature? Firepit? Brick wall? Seating? Once you know where those items will be placed, you can fill in your flowers in and around. Don’t forget sheperd’s hooks and pots of flowers and plants that you can place on low brick walls. You can use these brick walls as borders or to define walk ways.
Hauling brick can be tough, but I’ve done it and lived to tell about it. Patio brick tops finish off the look.
There is a lot of great patio seating out there. Wood, recycled plastic, or even cement. Choose the seating arrangement that works for you. Will you be sharing this space with family? Friends? Choose seating accordingly. You can always build up those brick walls to 3’ high and place cushions for additional seating.
various colored recycled plastic adirondack chairs
Recycled plastic pub chairs
painted wood adirondack chairs
Next, look into fire options. This will extend your patio sitting season.
Check out these options—that are perfect for a refresh, not a remodel or bigger.
If you would like a fire pit that’s more mobile there are a lot of great options—with light and sound:
It can be as simple as this….
And then add a fire pit.
When adding seating, consider…will you be eating outside in this area? Or is it just for relaxing? Choose from wood adirondack chairs, wicker, or cushioned outdoor patio furniture.
Lighting can be fun! Place solar lighting along the pathway from the house or along your sidewalk.
Use solar lighting to mark the borders of your gardens.
And that’s it! See? Simple and quick. Well quick to read but you’ll find yourself pouring over plant ideas along with lighting and seating. Get an overall picture in your mind first and then implement.
Take your time and create in steps. Make the process fun. Once you’re finished you will enjoy this area for years to come.
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