Yards and gardens are smaller and houses are much bigger in today’s subdivisions. The result? You could be missing the chance for perfect spots to enjoy being outside. Yes, you may have a patio and outdoor kitchen in your back yard. But something’s still missing – sites that are pleasant relaxation year-round.
Think about your definition of perfect weather. Perfect weather spots should be different locations deliberately created to encourage pleasurable time in the yard. Let’s consider how you might do that in winter and in summer.
In winter, your perfect spot might be a sunny corner of the yard sheltered from wind. Shrubs are actually better for this shelter than you might think. With a fence, the wind hits and lifts over the solid obstacle, dropping down with turbulence on the other side. Shrubs break the force of the wind, so the air movement is around, up, and through the plants. Choose a spot that captures sun in the afternoon, when it’s warmestA deciduous tree can be an optimal solution, with no leaves the block the sun’s rays.
In summer, those shrubs or that fence could channel the prevailing wind in your neighborhood for a nice breeze sliding across your perfect spot, keeping the microclimate pleasant. Plan for a mild daybreak with a bit of morning sun. Then use trees, awnings, even the shade thrown by the house roof as a congenial afternoon de-stressing spot.
For any season, get creative with seating options such as these three ideas.
- Yes, there are oodles of benches. But think, too, about moveable seating. That folding lounge chair could be just right.
- You don’t want to lug the chair back and forth? Consider an all-weather storage bin placed out in the yard to store the chair nearby. Instead of hiding man-made objects like storage, play with the rectangular shape as a way to connect the geometry of the house to the yard.
This uses repetition, a principle of good design.
Align the bin with the line of your fence, or continue the horizontal bin shape with a group of shrubs that mature to bin height, or even use 2 or 3 bins to repeat the shape of your deck or patio.
- For some reason, footstools or other ways to put your feet up are usually included indoors but rarely in the garden. Get really comfy; add a footstool!
Even if you have a small yard that’s mostly lawn, you can have deliberately planned sites for relaxation, mediation, or even a quick snooze just by thinking differently about what’s possible.
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